God speaks to us through His Word and we can speak to God through prayer. How are we supposed to pray? In John 17 we see a beautiful prayers that Jesus shares on the night before He was to be crucified. In this prayer, He first prays for His Father to help Him to do what He is called to do in carrying out the mission He was about to fulfill. Secondly, He prays for the disciples and close followers, that they will be kept in faith and be strong to carry out the work they are called to do. Finally He prays for the world to receive the message of His Word. As you break down this prayer, there a lot of similarities between it and the Prayer He taught His disciples and ultimately us – The Lord’s Prayer. The Lord’s Prayer can be broken down into seven petitions and is the model for us on how to pray.
Paternity: We pray “Our Father who art in Heaven.” We have a common Heavenly Father and we are His children. In this pray we pray to our Heavenly Father and we realize that we are all His children and a part of His eternal family.
Praise: “Hallowed by Thy Name”. God is Holy and without sin. In this prayer we praise our God for being who He is and for His perfect love. He is all powerful, all knowing, present everywhere and without sin. If we want to get to heaven we have to be without sin ourselves. The reality is that He is holy and we are not. Yet in His perfect love, He has acted in time and history to solve this problem of sin for us through Jesus Christ, that through Him, we find forgiveness and are made Holy through Him. Praising and worshipping God should be something we desire to do each and every day.
Purpose: “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Jesus came to earth so that one day we can go to heaven. At the same time we see the phrase “on earth as it is in heaven.” This indicates that even though heaven is going to be incredible, the fun is meant to start now. That as we walk with Jesus in this life, we can experience an amazing life now. That is what God want for each of us. To have an amazing life now and forever. He is calling us to be Kingdom people, with the purpose of living for Him as we journey through this life and helping people to understand that we have a King and that our true Kingdom is not of this world. Jesus is the answer for time and eternity and we acknowledge that in this prayer. The key in life is not our will, but the will of Him who created us and has saved us.
Provision: “Give us this day our daily bread.” In this petition we are praying not only for ourselves but for everyone in the world. There are two parts to this petition. First of all that God would provide the daily resources that we and everyone else needs to survive from day to day. In the wilderness God provided for Moses and the people manna, quail and water so that they could survive. In the same way we have every reason to be thankful that God provides the daily essentials of life with food, clothes, shelter and the other blessing we receive on a daily basis. As we pray for others the receive these as well, we need to be prepared to be moved into action, because God works through others to so often answer the prayers. As long as there are people that are starving in this world, we as the body of Christ have work to do. We have been abundantly blessed to be a blessing to others. The second part of this petition is that we are praying as well for the spiritual bread of God’s Word. Just as we need physical food to survive on a physical level, we also need the spiritual food of God’s Word on a daily basis to thrive spiritually. It is essential for us to not only be in the Word, but to share that Word with others.
Pardon: “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” The greatest gift in life is the fact that Jesus died and rose for us. Because He died on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins, we find true forgiveness. Not only are our sins forgiven, but the way to heaven is open. Just as Jesus forgives us of our sins, in the same way we are to forgive others. In so doing, we are set free and we help others that we forgive to find the same grace God shares with us through Jesus.
Protection: “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” We are sheep and the Devil is a wolf or lion. We are in the midst of a spiritual battle and we cannot win this battle on our own. It is only through the power and victory of our Lord Jesus Christ that we can find protection and victory from our enemy the Devil and His evil forces.
Power: “For Thine is the Kingdom and the Power and the Glory forever and ever. Amen.” This was added to end the prayer but reminds us that prayer is backed by the power of God.
Prayer is powerful, because God is powerful. We have the privilege to talk to God anytime and anywhere. He hears our prayers and answers them according to What is best for His Kingdom and for us.
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