Saturday, August 2, 2014
How to Pray God's Way (Matthew 6:9a to 6:13 HCSB)
Jesus taught us to pray "Our Father in Heaven". In others words, we approach God recognizing His responsibility to take care of us, His love for us, and acknowledging an intimate relationship with Him. "Your name be honored as holy". As God's children, we acknowledge that our behavior reflects upon God's reputation, and that should remain foremost in our prayers. Our petition should start and end with our desire to live a life that reflects well on Him. "You kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread." I think that most of us focus upon getting our needs met in prayer; however, our focus should be God's complete control over our lives. Notice how Jesus de-emphasized asking for our needs in Matthew 6:8b. " your Father knows the things you need before you ask Him" ; however, Jesus puts God's rule primary in our lives even in prayer in Matthew 6:33 "... Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided to you". Since God is all knowing and has our best on His heart, why should we use our prayers as a tool to bend God's will to ours and not the other way around when our ability to know what is best is so limited? "And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors." Another focus in prayer is confession of sin and forgiving others. "And do not bring us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one". Here it is again. Our focus in prayer is our desire to live a godly life while acknowledging our tendency toward selfishness and an enemy who attempts to use them to destroy us. "For Yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever." Here Jesus summarizes the prayer again which is to do God's will, with God's help, for God's reputation.