“You should pray like this: Our Father in heaven, help us to honor your name”
Jesus gives us a great model to prayer in Matthew 6. Here Jesus says that our prayers should be like this. Remember that Jesus is the first person in history to reveal Jesus as a Father. In the Old Testament, it was the God of our Fathers and Jesus brings a new insight that God is our Father.
We need to start off our prayers talking about God to Him, instead of hitting the timer and then starting at the top of our list and off we go. The order is reversed here. Instead of starting with us and our needs, we start off focusing on the Father and honoring His name.
“Come and set up your kingdom, so that everyone on earth will obey you, as you are obeyed in heaven.” Matthew 6:10
God is a King. After all, he has a kingdom, and if we are to pray to Him as a Father, then that makes us King’s kids. If we are His kids then part of this kingdom is ours. The irony is that even though we are King’s kids, we live in a world dominated by sin. So our prayers should be for God’s love to be made known in those we meet everyday so that God’s kingdom can grow.
“Give us our food for today.” Matthew 6:11
Simple truth that we should ask for what we need today. Don’t worry about tomorrow. It’s okay to pray for what we need. Notice that this is the shortest part of this prayer. Ironic isn’t it? If you’re like me, it’s what I spend the most time on.
“Forgive us for doing wrong, as we forgive others.”Matthew 6:12
We need to remember that we are only forgiven as we forgive. We must never lose the art of asking for forgiveness.
“Keep us from being tempted and protect us from evil.”Matthew 6:13
We might be kids of a sinless God, but that doesn’t mean that we won’t sin again. Here we see the need to pray that we are kept from sinning. (1 Corinthians 10:13)
Summing it up:
Focus on God and who He is and What He is. Then, ask God for what we need today, for His forgiveness, and for His protection from sin.
K… I can do that.
When you pray, what do you spend most of your time asking God for?