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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

What Prayer Is About

In review of Matthew 6:9-10 it says, “In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

Bottom Line:
When we pray, we are to honor his name and ask Him to come and establish his kingdom, we adjust our will to obey him, just as he is obeyed in heaven.

What this means to me:
When I pray to my Father In Heaven, I start with seeking to honor his holy name. I know that His Kingdom will come as I obey, I pray that I do what I can to help accomplish his will here on earth, just as it is done in heaven.

Today's verses come from the first part of what is referred to as the Lord's prayer. Jesus gave it to the disciples as a model for to keep in mind as we pray.

Prayer is not babble on or repeating my words again and again. For my Father knows exactly what I need before I even ask him. So I should model my prayer like this: Father in heaven may your name be kept holy. May your Kingdom come soon. May your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Provide for what I need today and forgive me for my sins as I seek to forgive those who sin against me. Help me to not yield to temptation, rescue me from the evil one. I should praise God, pray for his work in the world, pray for my daily needs, and pray for help in my own daily struggles.

"Our Father in heaven" indicates that God is not only majestic and holy but also personal and loving. The first part of this model for prayer is my statement of praise and commitment to hallow, or honor, God's holy name. I honor God's name by being careful to use it respectfully. If I use God's name lightly, I'm not remembering God's holiness.

The phrase "May your kingdom come soon" is a reference to God's spiritual reign, not my freedom. God's Kingdom is present in Christ's reign in believers' hearts, and will be complete when all evil is destroyed and God establishes the new heaven and earth.

When I pray, "May your will be done," I'm not resigning myself to fate but praying that God's perfect purpose will be accomplished in this world as well as in the next. God accomplishes his will on earth through people who willing obey him. This part allows me to offer myself as a doer of God's will, asking him to guide, lead, and give me the means to accomplish his purpose.

When I pray, "Give me today the food I need", I'm acknowledging that God is my sustainer and provider. It is a misconception to think that we provide for needs ourselves. We must trust God daily to provide what he knows we need.

God sometimes allows me to be tested by temptation. As His disciple, I should pray to be delivered from these trying times and for deliverance from Satan and his deceit. I will struggle with temptation, often it can be so subtle that we don't even realize what is happening. God has promised that he won't all me to be tempted beyond what I can bear. Therefore I ask God to help me recognize temptation and to give me the strength to overcome it and choose God's way instead.

Jesus gave me a startling warning about forgiveness: If I refuse to forgive others, God will also refuse to forgive me. When I don't forgive others, we are denying our common ground as sinners in need of God's forgiveness. God's forgiveness of sin is not the direct result of our forgiving others, but it is based on our realizing what forgiveness means. It is easy to ask God for forgiveness but difficult to grant it to others. Whenever I ask God to forgive me for sin, I should consider if I have forgiven those who have wronged me.

Being prayerless essentially make me powerless. No matter how busy I get, I must take time in my life for prayer. It is the greatest tool I have in my spiritual toolkit. The powers of hell cannot prevail against to power of prayer.

Prayer, is not about me sending God to do my will. Prayer is preparing myself to do God’s will. No matter the size of my need, the best way to approach it is by asking God to take charge. Request that He take the lead, and watch as the challenge dissipates before my very eyes. God can take my tragedy and turn it triumphant! He can hand me a victory so complete that those around me will want it to.

God is able, but He is waiting for me to give up my feeble attempts to handle all my own problems. Hand them over to Him to work on my behalf. My human resources are limited; God’s ae limitless. If I have a need today, I can simply lay it at the feet of the King and receive heaven’s answer.