Take Time to Pray!
“This, then, is how you should 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 today our daily bread.
Forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.’
For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” (Matthew 6:9-15)
Here the Lord Jesus presents us with a model prayer. This is a prayer for His disciples to follow. It is an example containing elements important for our petitions. Christ begins His pattern of prayer with worship. Worship, reverence, and thanksgiving to our Holy Father are to be the foundation of all of our prayers. We praise God in all His perfections. We do not praise Him because He needs it, we praise Him because He deserves it! Beginning our prayers with praise help us keep the correct perspective of who He is and who we are.
-Ignatius of Antioch
The psalmist tells us:
Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. (Psalm 100:2-4)
Certainly there is nothing more pleasing and pleasant both to us and to God than for each one of us to call Him “Abba Father.” He thankfully pities us in our weaknesses and infirmities as well as denies us nothing that is ultimately for our good and His glory. He is on His throne in heaven and from there maintains a full and clear view of our burdens and needs as well as our weaknesses. God knows us through and through and is fully aware of the attitudes and thoughts of our hearts. He is not only willing, He is also able to help us do great and marvelous things! He gladly comes to the aid of those seeking to do right.
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10)
The words of the Lord’s Prayer tell us to seek God’s will in order that He may be glorified and we may be most satisfied. The Lord Jesus came to do His Father’s will, setting the example for His disciples to follow. We are to line up our wants with the will of the Father’s. All requests are to be in subordination and pursuit of His righteousness and glory. We are to pray that He may rule us in as a demonstration of trust in Him that He has our best interest at heart. We do well to pray for the knowledge of His will and the ability to obey it, both are necessary for the child of the King. There is no better place on earth to be than in the center of God’s will.
Our petitions are to be not only for that which is most wholesome, but also for that which is most daily. We are to speak in a direct and specific manner for the things we both need and desire, always according to His will, and with an expectation to draw from Him upon the unlimited resources of heaven. We need not worry about tomorrow! Day by day we can count on His mercies and grace.
Take It to Heart
“Prayer is not overcoming God’s reluctance, but laying hold of His willingness.” (Martin Luther)