Skip to main content

Give Us Today...

How to Pray: Part 5

Prayer is an essential part of a Christian’s life. For that reason Jesus took the time to teach people to pray. Not only did Jesus give people teachings on prayer, but He also gave us a model prayer. Models serve as examples to help us understand what the real thing is like. The model prayer of Jesus, The Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13), helps us understand the essential parts that make up prayer.

Prayer is about giving God our praise. This helps us to remember who God is. If we make prayer just about a wish list then we are in danger of making God out to be Santa Claus or a genie. He is neither! God is the Creator and Sustainer of the universe. He provides what we need for both life and godliness. He is our Heavenly Father who loves us. He is our Sovereign and King. God needs to be honored, loved, and respected for Who He is.

Prayer is also about our priorities. Being human and only able to see a small part of the entire picture our desires often run contrary to God’s will. The process of praying helps us to align our priorities with God’s will. We trust that God will do the right thing even though we might not understand what He is doing. It helps us to give our lives away to doing His will here on earth as it is done in heaven.

The final element that should be in prayer turning over to God our daily our provision.
11 ‘Give us today our daily bread, 12 and forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who have sinned against us. 13 And never bring us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’ (Matthew 6:11-13)


In our culture we don’t look to God for our daily provisions such as food, shelter, and clothing. We have the resources to meet these needs ourselves, and so we may take time to thank God for them but we are not worried about missing out.

In the culture Jesus lived in things were vastly different. 90+% of the people lived below poverty. That meant if they did not work that day they most likely did not eat. Each and everyday was a struggle of survival. I imagine that our prayers would be different if we were struggling like that.

What Jesus is pointing out in this last part is that God is the Provider and we have great needs in our lives that only He can meet. Yes, we need to ask God for things, but what we ask God for must remain within the lines of who God is and what God’s will is. When God seems to ignore our prayer requests it is because they fell outside of those lines.

We must trust God to give us what we need. This is hard because we have so many things that we want that we often blur the line of what is a need and what is a want. A need is something that is essential for life, whether it is our physical life or spiritual life. A want is something that we think will make life more enjoyable. Praising God and bringing our wills to align with God’s will will help us clarify what we really need.

If we make prayer all about our provisions then we will be disappointed and frustrated with our prayer life, and we will even be tempted to conclude that God doesn’t exist (or doesn’t love us). Yet, when we put the provision element of prayer in its proper place, after the praise and priority elements, we will be able to see the changes prayer makes in our lives. Proper praying is the difference between a frustrated prayer life and a dynamic prayer life.

  • Point to Ponder: We have great needs that only God can provide.
  • Passage to Remember: Matthew 6:11-13
  • Question to Consider: Why do you pray?

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Prayer: Married Bedtime Prayer

My wife Jenny and I have been using the Bedtime Prayer that John Eldredge wrote for Walking with God as part of our bedtime routine.  As much as I have enjoyed the prayer I thought it was time for a prayer that was better suited to pray together.  Hopefully this will encourage you to implement prayer into your bedtime routine.

Our Father in Heaven, we pause at the end of this day to say thank You.  We give You thanks for the blessing of life, for the blessing of each other, for the blessing of family, and for the blessing of a home. You have richly blessed our lives. Restore us Father to Your Son Jesus.  He is the vine and we are the branches and He has become our source of life.  Open our hearts to receive the Holy Spirit's guidance, healing, and transformation.  May our lives and our marriage bear the fruit of the Spirit.  We surrender our lives and our marriage to You.  You have our bodies, possessions, and spirits; we give You our hearts, souls, minds, and strength.  We belon…

God Uses Unlikely People

One of the things that strike me about God is that the value society has given to people makes no difference to Him. In fact it seems that God would rather use the common, even the despised, people of the world to make a difference in this world. Consider Moses. God doesn’t use Moses when he is a prince of Egypt, but when he is a nomadic shepherd. Certainly God has used the rich and the powerful, but more often than not God has used the poor, sinful, and abused. God uses the unlikeliest people.

This reality comes our loud and clear at Christmas time. Think about the major characters of the Christmas story: Joseph who is a poor and scandalize carpenter, Mary who is a young and scandalized girl, Shepherds who are a bunch of untrustworthy characters. Only the Magi have credibility in society, but this diminishes in Jewish culture since these men were Gentiles. The most important event in the history of the world and God chooses people who are rejected and wouldn’t be believed by so…

Worship is a Lifestyle

"It's a lot easier to sing a song than it is to stop and touch the broken. It's a lot less taxing to go to church than to take 'church' to the world. But sharing with others is a sacrifice of worship that makes God smile." ~ Louie Giglio; The Air I Breathe

Worship isn't just about music. Worship isn't just an activity that is planned and programmed. Worship is about glorifying God with our lives. When we seek to honor God, we worship Him.

Worship happens anytime and anyplace. It happens Sunday mornings at church. It happens Wednesday night at Bible Study. It happens when we chat with our neighbor. It happens when we serve those in need. It happens when we show love to the lonely. Worship is what being a Christian is all about.

Worship is a life lived in response to God's gracious blessings. God has given us so much. We owe Him every breath we breathe. He is responsible for our talents we use. God has given us blessing after blessing. Only a life o…