I believe You, Lord, when Your word
emphasizes the importance of prayer.
There are so many things in life that I have
no control over; things that I care about deeply.
And they are things that You care about, too.
People I love, ongoing circumstances that require
patience and strength, and the state of the body of
Christ both locally and around the world. There are
people who are sick or struggling, friends and
neighbors with real needs who need You to intervene
and rescue them. But caring isn’t enough.
We must pray. But so often it’s hard to know just
how to pray, what words to use, and exactly
how to align our prayers with Your will.
Prayer is not just your greatest privilege, but your highest calling. It is the avenue I use to bring My will and My blessing to the world around you. I hear every word you breathe in prayer, and even the thoughts you cannot put into words at all. My Spirit lives in you and perfects your prayer to My will.
However, I have not left you to struggle with this alone. I left you a pattern of prayer that truly fits every need you have. You know it so well that you repeat it by heart without giving any thought to the words you say. Let’s look again.
“Our Father” helps you recognize that you are part of a family. You are not alone. You have brothers and sisters, family, friends, even people you don’t know who share a true faith in Me. I am Father to all who place their trust in Me, and I am the kind of father who can be trusted in every circumstance. I am an infinitely better father than you have ever known. I am full of compassion and lovingkindness, and I have the power to do all things.
“Who art in heaven, hallowed by Thy name” acknowledges that I am sovereign. No matter what issue you are praying about, or what circumstance you are facing, you must see that I am in control. You are not in this spot apart from My involvement. Even the results of sin are not outside My purview. Nothing catches Me by surprise. Recognizing My control builds your faith to trust what I will do next. In these words you also desire that My name be glorified in the midst of everything.
“Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” helps you ask for specific shifts from people following their own agendas to seeing My will and kingdom come to life in real times and places. Pray for My kingdom to invade a home, a family, a church, a community, and the world as you pray for specifics. My will is carried out when My kingdom takes precedence.
“Give us this day our daily bread” means you can pray for needs to be met. Needs of provision, health, finance, peace, courage, patience, love, whatever the immediate and present need, trusting that I will provide again the next day.
“Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors” are words you can use to pray especially for relationships of all kinds. Each of you needs a heart that both seeks and gives forgiveness freely as evidence of all that I have forgiven you.
“And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil” covers both the temptations you face within and the evil that would attack you from outside. You need the provision of My Spirit to stand guard over your own heart which so easily deceives. I am also the only One who can defeat the enemy and all that he would plan against you.
“For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever” puts everything in My hands and under My power for the sake of My glory. This purifies your motives in all that you ask, so that you are not seeking just your own benefit but the glory of My name.
Do not think you will be heard for your wonderful and many words. Simply bring to Me the one thing you want to pray about. Use this pattern to pray for that person or situation. Use My words and include your own following My pattern and you will find that you are praying according to My will. This will build your faith and give you confidence over time that I am answering your prayers even when it takes time to see those results. Our relationship will grow as we talk more and more and you bring others to Me in prayer.
Do not despair, thinking your prayers are ineffective. Again, I hear every word and even give you the best words to direct yours. I sit next to My Father interceding for you, and I now bring you into partnership with Me in praying for the world around you as I lay its needs on your heart. Take My hand and join Me in this adventure.
Romans 8:26-27; Matthew 6:7-13; Romans 8:34