Prayer (including the Lord’s Prayer)

  1. Prayer (including the Lord’s Prayer): Matthew 6:5-15

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One Reply to “Prayer (including the Lord’s Prayer)”

  1. When you pray go into your own room, close the door and pray to your father who is unseen. These are special words that I remember from February 2003 when Zoë and I were in Discipleship Training at Christian Life Church in Milton, Florida. I wrote songs to help with the required memory verses. Though I didn’t have great tools for recording, I made copies of cassettes and passed them out to others in the class. Here’s the song for Matthew 6:6, When You Pray.

    Jesus was such a radical teacher! These new ideas taught people to seek a relationship with God in ways they never dreamed possible. We’re still trying to do that today. Why do we preach and teach? To help people get a glimpse of the awesome Creator God who wants to hear from us, who wants to be part of our lives, who even wants to spend eternity with us. We don’t need to impress people with our prayers or thoughts, we need to be sincere about the words we speak, about the thoughts we have, and we need to be honest with God in private. After all, he already knows. Such openness and honesty only serves to strengthen us.

    So many sermons and teachings are available on the Lord’s prayer, his perfect outline for prayer. Honor God above all else by recognizing “Our Father in Heaven,” as one translation puts it: “may your name be revered.” In the Greek: hagiazō, regard or reverence as holy. If we start out each prayer, each day, with this attitude, we have the best chance to get it right, whatever “it” is for the day. God is to be revered, to be honored above all else. This short time on earth will fade away quickly, let’s remember God is above all first.

    Pray for his will to be done over our own selfish goals. We’re not robots and God doesn’t expect that, but when we try to live our lives the way God would want us to live, others will see Christ. Their reaction is their own responsibility, but they will see Christ. Some will be attracted and ask questions seeking clarity, others will react by mocking or denigrating us–that’s their choice. My goal is to seek Christ in all I do.

    Teach us to forgive Lord, to truly forgive. I know I’m so quick to put on the mantle of judge and jury, but I’m really trying to improve. When I think about you first, this is much easier. When I ready these words, I’m convicted that this isn’t just a recommendation, it’s a command from Christ. That should get my attention!

    Give us this day our daily bread. Wow! So many times you have done just that for us, in various ways, and in perfect timing. It’s not a coincidence or luck, I believe it is God taking care of his children.

    Lead us not into temptation. You know our hearts, Lord, better than any other. Please keep me far from that which would tempt me and teach me to move away from temptations when it happens (not if).

    In traditional, denominational churches, the Lord’s Prayer is still spoken by the congregation. We just visited one such church last week. To those who are seeking spiritual explanations this might seem ritualistic, and perhaps it is for those who profess Christ, but the consistent reminder of these truths is worth repeating. My complaint about most denominational churches is they have lost the sense of the words, not that they repeat the words. The Apostles Creed, the Doxology, the Lord’s Prayer all provide a solid foundation for those who are willing to be teachable. Lord, speak into the words and give them new life every time they are recited. Help congregations embrace the promise and hope that are intertwined in the words. Help us all to hear your great news and give us a longing for your words and your will each day.

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