On Tuesday mornings, I have the distinct pleasure of leading a Bible Study with a group of guys who have a desire to follow Jesus, followed a time of mentoring with an individual guy who has the same desire and passion. Well, today’s conversations really touched my heart, because we talked about making Jesus more of a priority in our lives and how prayer is really the key for making that happen.
I haven’t been praying like I should.
I know, I know…”You can’t be so hard on yourself Larry.” I realize that, and I don’t think I am. See, I have the same desire and passion for following Jesus that every Christian has, and there are times when that passion and drive for Jesus takes us to the next level of a deeper relationship with Christ.
And now it’s time to take prayer to that next level.
Because of today’s studies, I was able to discuss the Lord’s Prayer with the man that I mentor every week. As I talked about Matthew 6:9-13 with this guy, I realized the depth and passion that is needed to make that prayer meaningful to our daily walk with Christ. So, in response, I decided to write a teaching that breaks down the Lord’s prayer, line by line, and applies to it our everyday lives.
My “prayer” (yes, I meant to use that word) is that our prayer time with Christ would have more meaning and depth than it ever has, and I believe that this teaching of Matthew 6 will help (if it only helps me, then it was still time well spent) do just that.
Take the time to look this over, practice it in your own prayer life, and comment back to me on how it impacted (or even transformed) your time of conversation with your Father.
It’s time to go to the next level…will you join me?
Peace, Love, and Soul.
Here’s the Teaching:
Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.
- The Term “Hallowed” means holy or sacred; in essence, this means that we are acknowledging God for who He is.
- The very first thing we do in our prayer time is to thank God for being God.
- BE SPECIFIC…Thank God for being the giver of all things. Thank God for giving you another day of life, for your family, for your friends, for your job.
- Thank God for who He is.Thank Him for Jesus Christ, for His death on the Cross, and for His Resurrection. Thank God for the Holy Spirit who lives inside of you, and how through Him, you can live the life God has called you to live.
After you thank God for who He is and how He operates in your life, move on…
‘Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven.
- In order for this part of the prayer to be powerful, we have to first realize that God has complete control in Heaven. Is Will, is always accomplished in Heaven. Thus, in asking God for His will to be done on Earth as it is in Heaven, we are asking God to have full control of our lives, just like He has full control in Heaven.
- In this part of your prayer, pray for God to take control. BE SPECIFIC…share with God those areas of your life where you struggle to give Him control. Submit your will, your choices, your control over to God and let Him know that you are willing to listen to what He has to say. That you are willing to follow His commands, because you Love Him and you what to do what He asks.
‘Give us this day our daily bread.
- The daily bread spoken of by Jesus is a call for God to take care of our basic needs. What are your basic needs? Most Americans today have the same needs: Shelter, Clothes, Food, a Job, Money to pay bills, and a means of transportation (your list may vary).
- God wants us to ask for those needs, because He is our loving Father and wants to treat us like His children. God promises to take care of our needs, so at this moment in your prayer time, share with your Father the needs of your life and thank Him for taking care of those needs.
And forgive us our sins, as we also have forgiven those who sin against us.
- This is perhaps the most intimate part of our prayer time, because we are being completely transparent and honest with God. Share with God your struggles, those parts in your life where you fall, and ask Him for Forgiveness. BE SPECIFIC…let God see your pain, your issues, and ask Him to make you clean.
- The second half of that line is also important. Not only are you asking for God’s forgiveness for your faults, but you are also asking God to give you the strength to treat others in the same way. What people have wronged you that you are struggling with forgiving? Ask God to help you overcome your anger, your bitterness, and whatever other emotions you are experiencing so that you can fully forgive the people in your life that have sinned against you. This is vitally important because it means that you realize that if God can forgive you for what you’ve done to Him, you should be able to forgive others for what they’ve done to you.
Once you have accepted that forgiveness and are working towards that same attitude with others, you can move on to the next part of this prayer…
And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
- Notice how this says, “Don’t lead us…”. That means that we don’t even have to be tempted, that we can ask God to take us away from the areas of our lives that cause us to stumble. In this time of prayer, ask God to keep you away from the temptations of your life…to not even bring you close to that temptation. By doing this you are recognizing that God is the only one who can save you from yourself. God wants to deliver us from the evil of our lives, but we have to ask Him to help. That is why we pray for God to do just that.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.’
- Finally, you go back to where you began: by recognizing that God is God. When you finish with your prayer time, Thank God for being God. Because God is who He says He is, your sins can be forgiven, your attitudes can be changed, and your temptations can be taken away. Because God is who He says He is, you can have a better life and an eternity of life in His presence. Because God is who He says He is, you are loved, accepted, and desired. Take the time as you finish this prayer time to thank God for the impact He has on your life and ask for His continuing presence on your journey through this world.
In Jesus Name,