I wanted to give a little bit of a follow-up from this past Sunday’s message on the spiritual discipline of prayer. This whole sermon series is about becoming stronger believers through the use of spiritual disciplines.
One of the things that I mentioned in the message on Sunday was that we can use the Lord’s Prayer that Jesus gave his disciples as a model for all the prayers that we pray. Some of these things you might already do and just not realize.
I wanted to give you a quick crash course on how to use the Lord’s Prayer as a template for your own prayers so that you can begin to implement some of these steps into your prayer life.
Remember in Luke 11, Jesus’ disciples come to him and say “teach us to pray as you pray,” and so Jesus instead of giving a 45-minute sermon says “when you pray, pray like this.” Matthew 6 paints a similar picture in the sermon on the mount where Jesus says “when you pray, pray like this,” and he gives us what many of us have memorized as the Lord’s Prayer.
If we take that prayer, we can break it down into six sections or movements. We pray to the Father’s character, we pray for the Father’s Kingdom, for His provision, His forgiveness, His guidance, and protection. You can see that each one of the portions of the prayer falls into one of those categories.
“Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name,” that’s His character. “Thy Kingdom come thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven,” that’s praying for His kingdom, and so on and so forth.
You can take this model and you can apply it to anything. We don’t just want to repeat the words because we aren’t trying to create vain repetition. What we want to do is take the way Jesus taught prayer and implement it into our prayer life. You can take this model of prayer and pray it over any aspect of your life.
Let me give you an example. This is a prayer that I wrote down today for my family following this model.
Father you are holy and you are loving. You’re the eternal one, and you’ve created me, you’ve created my wife, and you’ve created our family.
God we want your kingdom to break through in our home. God we want our house to be a picture of your dwelling place where your rule and your authority and your power are exercised in every decision that is made, every word that is spoken, and every thought that is thunk.
Father we want you to provide everything that we need in order for your kingdom to break through. We ask that you’d give us the food that we need to survive and not only that but financially that you would meet the needs that will arise in terms of us raising and rearing a family that seeks after you.
Father we know that you have forgiven us much. Father may we also inturn learn to forgive each other. God may we exercise the same measure of forgiveness that you have given to us. Teach us to be a forgiving home and let forgivness reign at all times.
Father we look for you to lead us forward in life in every season and every stage. Would you deepen our family bonds, the trust that we have with one another. Lord would you lead us away from temptation, away from idols, away from distractions that will disctract us or pull us away from the calling that you have placed on our family.
And God when we inevitably wander away into sin will you not abandon us? Rescuse us so that we might tell of your greatness so that we might expand your kingdom every day.
Because Yours is the Kingdom the Power and the Glory for ever and ever. Amen.
You see I just took the six components and I made a prayer out of it. You can do the same. You can do this over every aspect of your life. Over your family, over your career, over your health and wellness. Think of all the prayers being offered right now because of COVID-19.
This will really help your journaling as well. So what you can do is you can write it down or type it out and maybe over time condense it down into a memorizable form. In the same way that Jesus taught his disciples and we’ve memorized that prayer, you can between you and the Lord you can develop your own memorizable prayers. Not because it’s magic words but because it’s something that you can easily call to mind that reminds you of the character, kingdom, provision, forgiveness, guidance, and protection that the Father offers us.
Thanks for taking the time this week to deepen your understanding of prayer. I hope it’s been a catalyst for you in your faith. Join us each Sunday as we continue through this series of becoming stronger through spiritual disciplines.