“This, then, is how you should pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” Matthew 6: 9-13
At Redeemer Bible Church, we believe in the power of prayer and a God who deeply desires to fellowship and commune with his people through prayer. For many, however, prayer can be an intimidating mystery … when and where should I pray and how should I pray? Fortunately, we do not have to manufacture answers to these questions ourselves because God provides us with encouragement and guidance through his inerrant Word. In response to the when and where question, the apostle Paul encourages us to “pray in the Sprit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people” Ephesians 6:18. Elsewhere, the scriptures remind us to “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18. Although there is not one universally accepted right or wrong way to pray, for those who still wrestle at times regarding how to pray, we can again take our cues from the scriptures and the words from our Savior found in Matthew 6: 9-13:
“Our Father in heaven, hallowed by your name, …” Our prayers should acknowledge the awesome, holy and righteous God to whom we are praying while simultaneously exhibiting a robust reverence towards our heavenly Father. Acknowledging God as our Father can help us remember that he is our creator and the source of all life and truth.
“[Y]our kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. …” We should be praying for the coming of the New Jerusalem and the return of our savior, and ‘oh what a happy day’ that will be! Until that day comes however, our prayers should focus on the will of God and the accomplishment of his will here on earth. The lives we then lead here on earth should be in accordance with the will of God as it is outlined for us throughout the scriptures.
“Give us today our daily bread. …” As we daily look to God to meet our physical needs, we can also be confident that he will meet us regularly in prayer to supply our relational, emotional, and spiritual needs because he is Jehovah-Jireh (“the Lord will provide”).
“And forgive us our debts, as we also forgive our debtors. …” As we confess our own sin and debts, our God is faithful to forgive us from our transgressions. Just as God promises forgiveness to us, we are also called to forgive those who have sinned against us. Beyond just simply confessing our own sin and forgiving others, it is God’s desire that we be reconciled and restored to him and to one another as we acknowledge our brokenness and need for a Savior.
“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” Since God is our shield and protector we ought to call out to him regularly to protect us from any and all attacks directed at us from the evil one who continues to roam the earth like a roaring lion looking to devour and destroy God’s people.
For those of you that may not already be aware, or are new to Redeemer Bible Church, we have a prayer team that faithfully and regularly prays for the needs and various ministries of our church, our local community, and the world around us. We also meet corporately once a month to pray for these things as well as simultaneously seeking the blessing and favor of God. If you would like to partner with us in the ministry of prayer here at Redeemer Bible Church, we are always interested in welcoming new people to the prayer team. Please feel free to contact me (my email) with prayer requests any time or to be added to the prayer team.
As you pursue an intimate relationship with our heavenly Father and daily seek to draw near to God, may Christ reveal himself to you in new and fresh ways through the power of prayer!
Joyfully in Christ,