Prayer is the first act of the Christian’s journey, and what sustains us for the remainder of life. In good times, bad times, busy times, and slow times we must pray to continue to discern what God desires for our lives. John Bunyon says, “Prayer will make a man cease from sin, or sin will entice a man to cease from prayer.” This should serve as a reminder of the importance of prayer.
Let’s take a few minutes to read what Jesus says about prayer. As we read let us consider how this teaching can continue to shape our relationship with God.
Jesus Teaches on Prayer
5 “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. 9 “This, then, is how you should pray: “‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, 10 your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us today our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’ 14 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Matthew 6:5-15 (NIV)
What do we learn about God?
What do we learn about man?
Is there an example to follow?
Is there a command to obey?
Key Elements found in the Model Prayer
Listed below are key elements that we can begin to incorporate into our prayer life that are found in the model prayer (Matthew 6:9-13).
1. Express the Character of God
2. Ensure prayer is God centered
3. Long for God’s will alone to take place
4. Focus on the needs at hand as you lift requests to God
5. Trust in God’s forgiveness and forgive by the same measure
6. Pray that God be our comfort and protection in all things.
This list serves to reveal the heart of prayer. As we seek to fulfill these our mind, heart, soul, and strength will begin to align with God.
Lord, teach us to pray. Give us pure motives. May your will be done in us.
Start and finish each day by giving thanks to God and presenting your requests to Him.