40 Days of Prayer: Day 12
Pattern for Prayer
We have already defined prayer as; simply conversation with God. When we pray it is based on our relationship with God. We have been looking at different aspects of prayer in the Bible. How then should we pray? What is the “best” way? Christians are the most wide spread group that prays. Jews are supposed to pray three times a day, Muslims pray 5 times a day, Buddhists meditate-they dont necessarily pray (and they do not pray to God), Hindus pray 3 times a day at their self made shrine, and those practicing Wicca use “prayer" for their spells. As followers of Christ our world view is based on Gods word and our faith in Him. Chants and repeated prayers are meaningless especially when the person that is doing them, is NOT a Follower of Christ.
“And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words.
So do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.
The King James says; “Use not vain repetitions”, The ESV says; “Do not heap up empty phrases”, or my favorite the NIV “Do not keep on babbling”
When we pray we must stay focused with the right mindset that we are praying to the Author and creator of everything we know. The Bible shows us examples of different types of prayer but does not explicitly tell us that any of these ways are the way we “must” pray every time. Having said that, we are going to take the next 12 days of our prayer blog and look at the Lords prayer. The Lords prayer, is an example, not a prayer that we mindlessly chant expecting to get results or use out of context.
9 “Pray, then, in this way: ‘Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.
10 ‘Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven.
11 ‘Give us this day our daily bread.
12 ‘And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 ‘And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. [For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.’]
The disciples were inquiring, Lord teach us to pray as John the Baptist taught his disciples. This is an amazing pattern to help you as you strive to be consistent in your prayer life. Jesus gave them and us guidelines for prayer based on the characteristics or attributes of God.
The beginning of the prayer focuses making sure we understand where God is in our priorities. We must always start by understanding that we are praying to the author and creator of everything we know. This helps us keep proper perspective of our personal needs. The second portion is focused on our needs, body soul and spirit as well as the needs of others. Jesus gets to the point… notice that this prayer does not go on and on and on, Jesus targets all of our human behavior and gently reminds us that we need Him. If we can pray through this pattern with a genuine and pure heart, what else needs to be said? Prayer must be part of our daily walk with the Lord, depending on Him for any and everything, and God wants to provide for us. Can we pray with such focus and intensity that God moves? This was a dangerous prayer for Jesus and the disciples. Jesus was killed for stating that He and the Father were one, Jesus addressing God as Father was blasphemy in their eyes, Jesus also gave the disciples the right to be called children of God.
We take prayer for granted in our country, in our community… and especially in our homes.
I challenge you over the next 12 days to look at the Lords prayer for what it is… a pattern, a pattern that brings great results in and through our lives.
Prayed for you all this morning!
Much love and blessings,