Matthew 6:9-13 says, “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” (NLT).
This is HOW we should pray, not WHAT we should pray. This is not a specific prayer to pray. There are several key elements on how to pray:
1. Give praise: Our Father in heaven, may your name be kept holy. When we come to prayer, we want to begin by expressing our love to God and focus on Him. There are two kinds of praise: Adoration, praising God for who He is; Thanksgiving is praising God for what He has done for us individually and corporately. Psalm 100:4 says, “Enter into his gates with thanksgiving and into his courts with praise.” Be thankful unto him and bless his name. We need to learn to practice the presence of God.
2. Commit to God’s purpose: May your Kingdom come soon. May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. This is our acknowledgment that Jesus is the Lord of lords and the King of kings. We pray for God’s will to be done in our lives, families, churches, friends, co-workers, communities, and country. In this prayer, we ask the Lord to do whatever He wills. Romans 12:2 says, “Offer yourself as a living sacrifice to God, dedicated to his service and pleasing to him. This is the true worship that you should offer.”
3. Ask the Lord to provide: Give us today the food we need. What needs do we pray about? This is easy, ABSOLUTELY every need we have. There is nothing too great for God’s power to take care of, and there’s nothing too insignificant for His loving involvement. The Word of God reminds us in
Philippians 4:19 that “God will supply all of my needs from His riches in glory because of what Christ Jesus has done for us.” When you have a need, ask God. Be specific. And now pray and pray and pray. Wait for the Lord to answer.
4. Ask God to forgive you of your sins: and forgive us our sin. We are to ask the Holy Spirit to reveal sin in our lives. Psalm 139 says, “Examine me, O God, and know my mind; test me, and discover my thoughts. Find out if there is any evil in me.” Proverbs 28:13 says, “You will never succeed in life if you try to hide your sins.” And 1 John 1:9: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
5. Pray for other people: as we have forgiven those who sin against us. 1 Timothy 2:1 says, “Pray much for others; plead for God’s mercy upon them, give thanks for all he is going to do for them.” If there’s someone you’ve been praying for, and it seems like you do not see an answer. Don’t give up! Scripture says pray much and plead for God’s mercy. Be assured that whoever it is you’re praying for, God is working, even though you can’t see the evidence of it. We are to pray until God has changed me, changed the situation, or changed the focus of the prayer. God’s answers come in one of three ways: NO – YES – WAIT
6. Ask God for the Lord’s protection: And don’t let us yield to temptation but rescue us from the evil one. We face spiritual battles. Satan wants to defeat us through fear and temptation. Ask the Lord to make you aware of any evil that may be trying to overcome you. Ask the Lord to make you aware of evil so you can fight against it in prayer. 1 John 4:4 says, “The Spirit who is in you is more powerful than the spirit who is in those who belong to the world.” The Spirit, who is in us, is more powerful than the spirit in the world.
Did you notice that there is no “I” in the Lord’s Prayer? We cannot pray the Lord’s Prayer and even once say “I.” We cannot pray the Lord’s Prayer and even once say “My.” Nor can you pray the Lord’s Prayer and not pray for one another. And when we ask for daily bread, we must include others. From the beginning to the end of it, it doesn’t once say “Me.”
On Thursday, September 30th, from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., we are praying. I am inviting you to come and pray in our church sanctuary. Our prayer, coming together, is one of the most important activities we do. You are invited to pray!