Today in the Lenten Project we were asked to read Matthew 6: 9-13. This is where Jesus teaches the disciples how to pray. This passage begins with these words:
“The world is full of so-called prayer warriors who are prayer-ignorant. They’re full of formulas and programs and advice, peddling techniques for getting what you want from God. Don’t fall for that nonsense. This is your Father you are dealing with, and he knows better than you what you need. With a God like this loving you, you can pray very simply. Like this: (The Message)
Becky writes that the Lord’s Prayer is a perfect Prayer Model for us.
A Prayer Model
or simply a Prayer Outline.
I wonder how many of us have considered that before?
We speak of the Lord’s Prayer as the “churches prayer”. We pray it regularly, even religiously, every Sunday. We are so devoted to it that we will argue with others about the “correct” words–debts, trespasses, sins.
We forget that Jesus used this prayer as an outline for teaching the disciples how to pray.
I have been frustrated about the church forgetting that for a long time. There are days I simply want to shout: THIS IS NOT THE ONLY PRAYER–THIS IS ONLY AN OUTLINE OF HOW TO PRAY.
Becky points out that if we model all prayers in this way that we will cover about everything we need to say in God’s presence, except thanksgiving.
In this prayer:
We praise God
Surrender to his will
ask for our needs to be met
cultivate an attitude for forgiveness
ask for help against temptation
and acknowledge that God is in charge.
Then of course, Becky ask us to consider the tough question:
When we pray, do we cover all these areas?
It is certainly something to remember as we we all resolve to deepen our prayer lives. Prayer is about more than just us and our wants and needs. Prayer is about interacting with God and learning about our place in his Kingdom.
My favorite definition of prayer is from Dallas Willard:
Conversation with God about what we and he are thinking and doing together.
Our prayers, properly shaped, usher us further into God’s will and brings the world closer to his redemption.
Becky reminds us that by using this model we can ensure that our prayers are more about God and less about us.
More about God and less about us.
I like that.
There is power in that kind of praying.
There is purpose in that kind of praying.
There is freedom in that kind of praying.
There is God in that kind of praying.
This being Sunday, I’ll end with a prayer, not the customary Acrostic Prayer, but the Lord’s Prayer as it is found written in the Message:
Our Father in heaven,
Reveal who you are.
Set the world right;
Do what’s best—
as above, so below.
Keep us alive with three square meals.
Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others.
Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil.
You’re in charge!
You can do anything you want!
You’re ablaze in beauty!
Yes. Yes. Yes.
To lean more about the Lenten Project you can check it out here: https://tryingtopray.wordpress.com/2013/02/12/beckys-lenten-project/