In Jesus’ Words: What is Prayer? (Matthew 6:9-15)

prayerPrayer is the most powerful thing we have.

It is the only thing, where we have a direct, immediate and continuous voice to God in Heaven.  It’s a two-way communication. Prayer is also a special privilege to Believers in Jesus Christ.  Jesus intercedes on our behalf to God.  I can only imagine the conversations that must be going on constantly – more airwaves than the internet!  But prayer is also a very serious thing.  It is not something we should take frivolously.  It is not a vehicle for wishes or a pleasant greetings.  When you offer to pray for someone, do it!  Write it down in your prayer journal, set aside some time in your day, and devote it to prayer.  Not everyone may be open to talking about God, but almost everyone, including strangers, will be open to sharing a prayer request with you, or will let you pray for them.  We all have that same longing.

Prayer is often very misunderstood.

When prayers don’t seem to be answered, some give up on faith, or use that as an excuse not to believe.  But real prayer is less about our wants and desires, and more about aligning our hearts and will to God, and getting to know God better.  When I look at prayer requests from my church, work associates, friends and family, I never see requests for a bigger house, fancy things, or a new sports car.  But if you watch most tv commercials, you would think these things are our biggest desires.  No, our true prayers and needs are deep, personal longings – a healing for sickness or cancer, for our children to return, for a widow’s comfort, for a husband to find a job…  By prayer, I’ve seen drug addicts turn their lives around, alcoholics begin a new life, prodigal sons and daughters find their way home, and most importantly, a person calling on the name of the Lord to be saved (known as the Believer’s prayer).  No one else can do that for you.

Prayer is less about our circumstances and more about our hearts.

It can start with one simple thought: God, I need your help.  It is the honest, humble, real crying out prayer to God, not just once but daily, that will begin to change a person.  And when our hearts are changed, our circumstances will begin to change.  When we relinquish everything to God, we allow Him to intervene in our lives.  Don’t miss out on God’s intervention in your life!

 ~ Matthew 6:9-15  The Lord’s Prayer ~

Jesus demonstrated and talked a lot about prayer.  It was very important to him.  As I continue on my journey of reading through Jesus’ words in the New Testament, the next passage is Jesus showing us how to pray.  Rather than just reciting or memorizing this prayer, I wanted to look closely at what Jesus is saying.  My additional thoughts are in parenthesis.

“This, then, is how you should pray:

    Our Father in heaven,     (acknowledge who God is)
  hallowed be your name,
    your kingdom come,       (acknowledge the kingdom of God)
      your will be done,          (align with God’s will)
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread. (give us what we need, daily dependence on God)
 And forgive us our debts,        (acknowledge we are sinners and need a Savior)
as we also have forgiven our debtors.  (forgive others in same way as Christ)
And lead us not into temptation,      (Satan is powerless when we pray)
 but deliver us from the evil one.

For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”  (evidence of a true, changed heart)

About Life and Heart Matters

I love sharing the stories I see around me every day - of life, family, of the heart and of the spirit. I've written for Guideposts and Angels on Earth magazines, participated in speaking engagements across the U.S and France, and enjoy working with humanitarian efforts. I also like spending time running, swimming and reading, all of which can be done on a beach somewhere!
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