A pattern of powerful prayer!
Scripture reading for January 7th: Matthew 6, Psalms 5:7-12, Proverbs 2:1-8
Jesus was anointed of God by the Holy Spirit to teach. In this sermon, He taught on prayer, fasting, and giving as well as living a life of contentment instead of worry. A life of prayer and generosity will lead to a life of true contentment! Seeking first God’s kingdom and His righteousness leads to all we need being added to our life by God! (Matthew 6:38)
Prayer is our conversation and interaction with God the Father who made us and also created the universe. Sin has broken the relationship and our ability to communicate with God. We can even try to use prayer, fasting and giving in selfish ways. They can be all about us and drawing attention to our devotion to God instead of as an act of worship in response to God’s goodness or direction to us. Motives of the heart are important as we pray or give.
Jesus taught his disciples a model prayer that we call the “Lord’s Prayer”. Jesus never intended that we just say this prayer in mindless repetition, but taught a timeless pattern of prayer that would help with motives and having a right heart in communicating with God. The prayer starts with relationship–“Our Father in heaven”. His very name and title brings reverence and respect–“hallowed be Your Name”. We are children of our heavenly Father but must show respect as we would for our earthly father (or should).
The next petition concerns a desire for God’s will to be done on earth as in heaven. This is not fatalism, but an aligning of our wills with God’s will and a recognition that we are open to do His will here on earth and enforce it in our circle of influence by faith. We are dependent on God, however, for our daily bread and ask for our needs from Him.
Forgiveness is asked for, but with recognition that we must forgive others. This thought is reinforced, because it is one of the biggest stumbling blocks of our flesh. We are constantly under temptation and need God’s help and deliverance from the source of temptation, the “evil one”.
These elements are the Lord’s instructions for powerful prayer! Let’s apply these principles daily as we move forward by Spirit-inspired prayer!