Have you ever felt you didn’t know how to pray? Or felt that other people prayed better than you because of their many pretty words? Well, Jesus isn’t interested in us having a degree in praying, or even in those many pretty words. Check out Matthew 6 in the link above.
YouVersion.com has wonderful bible reading plans. My current plan is “Experiencing 14 Days of Fresh Air” – today’s reading was Matthew 6 concerning Jesus teaching his disciples to pray. I loved the side note where the writer pointed out an interesting fact: the men asking Jesus to teach them to pray would have been raised to know how to pray. Daily prayer was something they did devotedly. The men, every morning, would strap little boxes around their forehead and arm as part of their prayer routine. They were no strangers to prayer, yet they saw something in Jesus’ prayer times that stood out to them as something they clearly lacked. I would love to know more about this but google has yielded little results so far…but I will keep checking.
Anyway, at their request to learn how to pray like Jesus, he gave them what looks like a simple little prayer…but He is showing prayer doesn’t need to be fancy or long-winded for the sake of being long-winded. Jesus lays out a guide in how to pray allowing room for us to be personal with God as we add our own life stuff to each piece of this awesome prayer.
First and foremost: God desires relationship – v.9 “Our Father”, is He your father? That’s relationship. It’s hard down here for some to relate to God as Father because of what their fathers were like., but He is and always will abundantly exceed anything we can call good here on earth.
v.9 “hallowed be your name” – Holy is Your Name = praises, worshiping, as we come into His Presence we praise God for who He is, because who He is…is worthy of all our praise.
v.10 “your kingdom come, your will be done” – I liken this to submission…submitting to His Kingdom coming into its fullness in us; in our hearts, in our minds, in our lives. Submitting to His will not ours. Help us to let go of our way God, help us to cleave to Your Way.
v.11 “give us this day our daily bread” – further in Matt.6 Jesus instructs us not to worry about what we will eat or drink because our Heavenly Father knows we need them and that He will provide them. In this verse we to ask Father for our daily provision. In another verse God says we have not because we ask not. So Jesus is saying: Ask, God is willing to give. Make our requests known with prayer and supplication. We can trust He will provide.
v.12 “forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors” – we are now into the problem areas of life. People we may have a conflict with, wrongs we’ve suffered, hurts, wounds…we are to forgive because as Jesus further explains – we are forgiven in these disputes because we have forgiven. If we do not forgive we are not forgiven. Simple, yet takes some dying to flesh to accomplish. Forgiveness is essential.
v.13 “lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” – temptation is something we all face in one form or another. Jesus himself didn’t go running into the 40 days of temptation with the devil – so none of us should think higher of ourself than we ought too. We are all susceptible to temptations, whatever our individual temptations may be. This is the time to pray for protection, deliverance, strength, and victory.
So, as I hope I’ve shown, Jesus gave us a prayer to live with and grow with and adapt to our daily needs. I hope this helps you relax and open up in your prayer time with Father God. He just wants to hear your heart and what’s on your mind.
Don’t forget to listen – relationship isn’t one-sided. 🙂
found a site (below)teaching on Jewish prayer time – what different movements mean. I know I’ve had great prayer times while walking around with my bible. But then I also have awesome prayer times driving – it’s whatever works for you. 🙂