“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. “Pray, then, in this way: ‘Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. ‘Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. “Give us this day our daily bread.”
And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 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.” Matthew 6:7-13 NASB
My earliest memories of my parents faith is their prayer life. Prayer was always at the top of their list of things to do. They would pray about everything and anything. It was such a normal activity, that even the family dog would act as if she were praying. She would sprawl close to my mom, with paws crossed during her prayer times.
My siblings and I were raised on the numerous stories of answered prayer. These life changing accounts filled our minds with the belief that God answers prayer. It was not until I turned 12 that I saw with my own eyes the first of many miracles; my mother completely healed of the crippling disease, Myasthenia gravis. This forever doomed me to the knowledge that Christianity was real, Jesus was real and God answered prayers of righteous people. I could never deny that God was real, so I was left with no excuses. Although I rebelled often as a youth and young adult, I could not ignore where my selfish behavior was leading me. Sin can seem fun. It can also lead to destruction. We still have the free will to choose our path. I know that the tearful prayers of my parents worked.
Thank God, I finally straitened out. Thankfully it was His goodness that allowed me to see sin as He does and bring me to repentance through Jesus Christ my Lord.
Now that I am older and wiser I return to those memories of my parents prayer life and the lessons I learned. Prayer should always be the first thing you do when facing a crisis or before making a decision. I wrote about this in a previous post: The Crazy Chaos of a Busy Life… It also needs to be persistent and enduring, which you can read in: Enduring and Persistent Communication…
Lately I have been asked, “How can my life change, so that I am really walking with Jesus?” “Why do I keep struggling with my faith?” These questions reflect a need in the church body to understand authentic prayer and Biblical based meditation on The scripture. Real changes come when people read the Bible consistently, meditate on what it says and add its understanding to their prayer life.
Isn’t it interesting that the Christian who prays every day, reads the Bible every day, memorizes scripture and shares his faith; never shows or expresses any doubts about his salvation. The knowledge of knowing the Father has given that Christian an assurance of salvation in Christ alone.
Do you want an authentic relationship with God?
So lets take a look at the example Jesus gave us on how to pray with authenticity.
“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;”
It is not the amount of words we use or the vocabulary, but the genuine heartfelt utterances that we speak to God. These are the words that matter to our Father. We do not pray mantras but sincerity from our heart and soul. We speak the languages of brokenness, honor, humility and we speak them with tears, thankfulness and praise.
“for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him”
We are to pray with the anticipation of knowing that God is paying attention to our lives, He knows every detail. We pray with the expectation that His will, will be done; because we know that He loves us. He is our Father, who is in Heaven.
“Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. ‘Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven.”
We surrender to His will, and offer thanksgiving and service to our Father’s Kingdom. We honor Him as our King, supreme in all authority, wisdom, knowledge and power. His understanding surpassing any situation we will face. We recognize that we are not alone, we belong to the Kingdom of God and are supported by the righteous right hand of God which is Jesus Christ our Lord.
“Give us this day our daily bread.”
God wants us to express our needs, concerns and fears. He want open and honest communication from us. He is never busy, always ready to listen. We remind him of the promises of Jesus.
“And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.”
We seek forgiveness for ourselves and for the grace to forgive and love others. Granted to us through the blood of Jesus.
“And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”
We ask for deliverance from temptation and endurance to overcome the trials and tribulations of living in a sinful world. We pray for healing and for strength.
“For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.”
We finish our prayer with praise, worship, and thankfulness, because God always wins. He is faithful and true, His love reigns supremely.
May your prayers be authentic and transforming. May people see Christ revealed in your life. May the proof of your faith be the Christ in you, the Hope of Glory.