The next topic we are going to be doing is prayer. Praying persistently, pleadingly, Arguing in prayer, and Praying for forgiveness, intercession, petition and thanksgiving are some of the topics we are going to be sharing about. (Don’t get scared by all the long words! :D) This week were going to look at the Lord’s prayer, next week will be ‘Praying Persistently” (meaning: not giving up when you pray).
A Modal for all Prayer – Matthew 6:5-15
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.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen. – Matthew 6:9-13
I know you have probably heard this prayer heaps of times before, but bear with me and open your eyes to this treasure. Do you see how simple it is? It doesn’t say: Our majestic, triune Father in the wonderful realm of angels in heaven. No it simply says: Our Father in Heaven. God doesn’t want flowery prayers full of many words. He doesn’t want to hear a lovely oratory prayer that scholars enjoy (and only scholars understand!). He wants your prayer. How you speak.
“And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think they will be heard for their many words.” – Matthew 6: 7
I once was praying with one of my friends, and when I had finished I opened her eyes and found her crying. I asked her what was wrong. “You pray so beautifully, I can’t pray at all.”
I tried to tell her, but she couldn’t see that He would have preferred her prayer over my own. Because hers was real, it was from the heart, it was full of mistakes and normal words. Nothing flowery and many unconnected thoughts. I realized that day how much I have to learn not to pray ‘with many words’, but normally.
Why not be distinct, and say what we mean as well as mean what we say?...Ask for it plainly, as before God, who does not regard your fine expressions, and to whom your eloquence and oratory will be less than nothing and vanity. You are before the LORD; let your words be few, but let your heart be fervent. – Spurgeon’s Sermons on Prayer, Order and Argument in Prayer.
Take a look at the Lord’s Prayer again. Notice it starts with God, praising Him and submitting to Him. My pastor once said: ‘Thanksgiving is the doorway to Gods presence’ If you want to be with God, give thanks with a grateful heart.
Then it says “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” - Its saying: Lord, everything I am about to say and ask, only let what you want to be done. Your will be done. No matter how much I would like this, no matter what I would rather, or see as logical- let your plan be done.
Then comes three demands; it doesn’t just say: Lord, if you could, would you give us our daily bread? If it doesn’t match up with Your will- that’s okay. No- demand of God, you have submitted to His will, ask what you would have and believe.
“Whatsoever you ask in prayer, believing you shall receive.” – Matthew 21:22
Give us our daily bread. And forgives us…
It ends again with praise to God and acknowledgement to His name. Don’t let your prayers be: “Dear God, please give me a new IPod, Amen.” Remember to praise God and submit to what He wants… He is only, well, the King of the universe after all! J
When you pray, don’t use flowery language and lots of words. Pray it like it is. Praise God throughout; don’t leave a paragraph without thanking Him for what He has already given. And ask with confidence, don’t be feeble about it- expect that God will answer!
~ Taleisha and Meggie