God is teaching me to pray, and it’s much better way of praying than I’ve ever known. You see, my prayers have always been primarily focused upon asking Him to meet my physical needs for things like—security, money, safety and then, sprinkled in with some intercessory prayer for the spiritual and physical needs of others. BUT—Jesus taught us to pray quite a bit differently than this:
“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 also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” (Matthew 6:9-13)
First, The Lord’s Prayer leads us to PRAISE and ADORE Him. We ask Him to help us live in a way that will reflect His holiness and not bring shame to His name. We ask Him to reveal Himself to us so we can learn to live holy and thus, reveal the goodness of His presence to the others. We praise and adore Him as we would someone we deeply love and admire—because He deserves it AND we need it (daily) to strip our heart of the idols that are constantly launching a hostile take-over for our heart. This part of the prayer positions God as our heart’s greatest desire.
Next, The Lord’s Prayer directs us to pray for His kingdom to come on earth as it is in Heaven. This part of prayer involves SPIRITUAL petitions and intercessory prayer for other people and even nations. The glory of God and His kingdom is manifested to them when He answers. These prayers for others take many forms—healing, physical needs, comfort, salvation, growth, etc., and they are a foreshadowing of the Kingdom to come.
Then there are our prayers for our own physical needs. (It’s not even one complete sentence—just a phrase—wow—PERSPECTIVE—right?)
Next, is repentance. He drives home this point by instructing us to forgive others as HE forgives US. No one has sinned against us as much as we have sinned against God. The failure to ask God for forgiveness for the sins we commit each day—allows sin to steal our identity and shackle our heart. The failure to forgive others, burdens us with bitterness. This is such and important part of prayer—we must spend time on it!
Finally, there is prayer for God’s intervention and protection in the spiritual warfare we face EACH day. It’s so critical to go through each day and REMEMBER we are living on a battlefield and the enemy is lurking all around us. My friends who fought in the initial invasion of Iraq, were constantly on guard and battle ready because they KNEW they were at war. We are engaged in a much more critical war because it’s spiritual; and, we should be LIVING like we KNOW it! When we pray about it—we are gearing up.
So, does your prayer life look anything like the Lord’s Prayer?
Mine doesn’t—not even close!
I want to change this. If Jesus thought it was important enough to give us detailed instructions to learn it—then we should study to do it right! God promises:
“Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” (Jeremiah 33:3)
To learn more about Kimberly Faith and the mission of Faith Strong, click HERE.
Out Now – Essential Faith, volume II. Find it on Amazon by clicking HERE.