THE LORD’S PRAYER
Okay, let’s face it – if you’re doing a reading plan on prayer, it should probably include the most famous prayer in history, right? I mean, if Jesus himself opens with the words “this is how you should pray…” probably a good idea to take a couple notes. Now, while “The Lord’s Prayer” can be confusing (and has led to probably millions of people simply repeating it and not really understanding what they’re praying), it can also be an incredibly powerful tool to guide the way we approach God in prayer.
So, as you read through this fairly familiar prayer today, I want you to consider these five questions to help you focus and expand on your prayer to God…
Who are you praying to? – “Our Father in heaven.” He is a good, good Father, on the throne of the universe, and he is completely holy, perfect, and trustworthy.
What are you praying for? – “Your Kingdom come, your will be done.” What is God up to in this world, and what does he (not you) want to see accomplished? When your request aligns with the purpose of God, you’re more likely to get a yes.
Why are you praying? – “Give us today our daily bread.” We all have requests for God (and he wants to hear ALL of them), but how can we make sure they align with the “your will be done” part?
How is your heart before God? – “Forgive us our debts, as we have forgiven our debtors.” When we sit humbly before a perfect God, we are all too aware of our own sins. But, are we taking the gift of grace and forgiveness that God gives to us and showing that to the people that wrong us as well? Our heart should reflect gratitude towards God and grace towards others.
Where are you likely to get off-track? – “Lead us not into temptation.” God loves us, forgives us, and fully understands that we are weak and flawed people. Fortunately, he doesn’t want to leave us stuck in our messes! So, ask God for help and give some thought to how you can set yourself up for success by avoiding temptation.
Now, read this passage one time all the way through, and then go back through each section personalizing it and spending time talking to God about each of these questions.