Saturday, October 13, 2012

A Pattern for Prayer

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Our 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.
Give us today the food we need,
and forgive us our sins,
as we have forgiven those who sin against us.
And don’t let us yield to temptation,
but rescue us from the evil one. Matthew 6:9-13 NLT

When His disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray, He gave them what we’ve come to call, The Lord’s Prayer. I believe Jesus intended this prayer to be a pattern for our prayer. Let’s examine it, phrase by phrase.

First, the address
It is normal to address the person to whom you speak, and it is natural to praise them. Jesus is speaking to His Father, and our Father. He acknowledges that God is Holy (or set apart from all otherus). When you pray start with praise for who God is and give thanks for what He has already done.

Begin with a missional focus
Jesus puts the needs of the kingdom of God first. May Your kingdom come soon. May Your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Jesus prayed that what is normal in heaven becomes normal on earth. By making this the first request He reminds us of our high calling to first fulfill the will of the Father.

Next Jesus acknowledges we have daily needs. He prays, Give us today the food that we need. Isn’t it great to know that He cares about your needs? Whatever is important to you is important to Him. Nothing is too small to escape His interest, and nothing is too big for God.

Then He continues with a subject matter we often like to avoid—broken relationships. Ask God to forgive you and in the same way that you offer forgiveness to others who sin against you.

Conclude your prayer time by asking for victory in your spiritual life. Pray to be strong against temptations. I suggest you name them. And pray that God will deliver you from the adversary of your soul often called the devil. Ask God to show you how you can win in the most important battles of this life.

Keep in mind that the greatest benefit to prayer is not necessarily the answers—it is the deepening of relationship.

Gary Kendall
Week 3, A Pattern for Prayer, Day 4, Devo 14

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