‘Lord, teach us to pray’

Read Luke 11:1 – 4, “Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10 New Revised Standard Version).

How is one supposed to pray? This is a question that many have asked since Jesus gathered his first disciples. What brought the disciples to ask the question was when they saw Jesus himself praying. Jesus did pray for he never did anything apart from his Father in heaven and prayed to him constantly. This is a testimony to Jesus’ close relationship with the Father. It also begs the question from us: Do we go to our Father in prayer and stay in touch with God? We can you know, and what is more Jesus shows us how.

The first thing to consider is who God is. When you think of God, what comes to mind? Do you see God as some kind of vending machine who can give you anything you want on command? Or do you see God as a judge who is ready to condemn you for anything you do wrong? How we see God will reflect on how we pray.

When Jesus taught his disciples to pray, he gave a model for prayer.

The first thing he says is, “Father, hallowed be your name.”

God is holy and can never abide with sin. So, how can we even begin to approach the Lord in prayer? The thing I see to remember is that Jesus referred to the “Father.” Our God is our creator and thus our Father.

Our Father loved us so much “that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life” (John 3:16).

Our Father did not desire that we should die in sin but return home to God. Therefore, one should look upon God as his/her loving Father. This may be hard for some whose earthly fathers have failed through abuse or absence. Yet, where humans fail, God does not.

Remember our heavenly Father’s promise: “I will never leave you or forsake you.”

Knowing that God our Father is a loving and righteous God who has sent Jesus to show us the way home, we can trust our Father to do as promised.

In fact, this leads us to the next part of prayer: “Your kingdom come.”

Praying for the kingdom of God to come is to pray for God to come into our hearts and our lives. We open the door and make God the ruler of our lives.

We say, “You will be done.”

When we were seeking only our will, we got lost and separated from our Father. When we say, your will be done, we not only proclaim God’s rule for our life and return to God, but also that we will trust the Lord for the Lord is righteous.

“Give us each day our daily bread.”

God provides for us. I have seen this in the life of my own family, friends, congregation and community. Friends, I believe we would be humbled if we counted the ways that God has blessed us. Let us trust the Lord come what may for the Lord will give us what we need every day and in every situation.

“And forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone indebted to us.”

Forgiveness is an essential part of Christian living. After all, we who believe in the Lord Jesus have come as sinners in need of a Savior. The mission of a disciple of Jesus is not to condemn anyone nor hate anyone. Our mission is to make disciples. This means we pray for and lead people to the one who can forgive sins.

Forgiveness does not happen without prayer. This is important as we consider our own relationship with God and with other people. If you are finding it hard to forgive another person for something done to you, please seek the Lord. The Lord will heal you and provide you the way to forgive others.

Lastly, we pray that God does “not bring us to the time of trial” or temptation.

This is does not mean that God tempts us, but that we will face temptation. We pray that God will lead us through what temptations may come so that we may live as the children of God. Thus, we may bring our concerns and joys to the Lord and the Lord will lead us through as a people of faith. Trust in the Lord, my friends and pray to our heavenly Father through Jesus the Son today.

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