I deal in hope : Carolyn R Scheidies

The Lord’s Model–The Lord’s Prayer

After this manner therefore pray: 

Our Father which are in heaven, 
Hallowed be Your name. 
Your kingdom come, 
Your will be done in earth, 
as it is in heaven. 
Give us this day our daily bread. 
And forgive us our debts, 
as we forgive our debtors. 
And lead us not into temptation, 
but deliver us from evil: 
For thine is the kingdom,
 and the power, and the glory, 
for ever Amen.--Matthew 6:9-13

Many of us have, at one time or another, memorized this prayer that Jesus taught His disciples. At least most of us have heard it recited or read in some media. For many, it has become a meaningless recitation of words, rather than the powerful prayer it is.

The beauty of the prayer is not disputed. Most will acknowledge it lifts up and comforts those who pray it from their hearts as well as their memories. However, Jesus taught this prayer, not as the end all for prayer, but also as an example to follow.

“After this manner therefore pray,” He said. He meant this prayer to be a model for our ongoing conversations with God. So how do we pray?

First, we start by addressing our Heavenly Father with respect and reverence, and to praise Him for who He is

Second, we are to indicate our willingness to do as God directs. (Why bother asking if we plan to ignore His guidance and do things our way anyway?)

Third, we need to honestly share our needs and desires with God. This includes our hurts, feelings, good or bad, and even our disappointment of, or questions to Him. (Share what is on your heart and mind. Don’t worry, He knows what you’re thinking anyway.)

Fourth, we need to make certain our hearts and lives are right before God. (Again, He already knows, but wants us to acknowledge our bad choices, thoughts, behavior to ourselves and Him. Reality check.) Here we humble ourselves with confession (admission of) and repentance (turning away) from things we know are not right in our lives and relationships.

Fifth, we live in a world growing more dangerous. When praying, we need to ask God’s safety and protection over ourselves, our families and others on a daily, sometimes moment-to-moment basis. Prayers for wisdom and healing also fit this pattern.

Finally, prayer is more than making demands. Prayer is also about gratitude, praise and giving thanks for what God has done in our lives, is doing and will do in the future.

The end of prayer is the beginning of leaving things in God’s hands and trusting Him for the results. Sometimes we need to ask God to help us do that as well.

Help me, Lord, pray with a willing heart and mind, not just when things are going badly, but daily and even throughout the day. Help me realize prayer is my direct line to Your help and to my relationship with You and to access it often. Help me also pray with the full expectation that You can and will answer, though, sometimes, not in the way I may expect. That’s OK, too. Amen.

Meditations:
Monday: Proverbs 15:8, 29; 16:3
Tuesday: Psalms 70
Wednesday: Ephesians 6:18; 3:14-21
Thursday: Philippians 4:4-9
Friday: Romans 12:9-21
Saturday: I Thessalonians 5:12-28

(C) 2018, 2022 Carolyn R Scheidies
From Listen! Who Me?
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