7 “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. 8 So do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.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.’
Matthew 6:7-13 (NASB)
We want to fly, we want to soar, we want to spread our wings as eagles and race upon the wind. Too many times though earthly needs, worldly desires hold us down from soaring. We find bills pilling up, time thieves stealing precious moments of rest, and the demands of commitments keeping us from recharging our physical and mental batteries. For those who pray often, sometimes the barrage of requests flying up to the Father in the name of the Son tend to launch like rockets at a fireworks show. For those who don’t pray, trying to accomplish life in their own strength the drain of energy is no less real just with the feeling that no one cares resting heavily on their shoulders anchoring them firmly to the ground.
We are taught to forgo selfish desires, to think of others first if we are to walk closer with God. God gave us the ultimate sacrifice in His Son, Jesus Christ. This gift was no less painful for God than you would think it would be for an earthly father to sacrifice his first born son, yet it was given anyway. In light of that sacrifice those who try to walk closer in the ways of Jesus often teach a divesting of self, of things, yet we find our prayers often centered on things we see as immediate, personal needs. This tends to run counter to what we are taught, and yet God wants us to petition Him for what we want. How are we to fulfill these two things; asking for what we need or want and still remain selfless? The answer is the Lord’s Prayer.
The Lord’s Prayer is a fantastic way to pray because it takes away the burden of constantly feeling like you’re being selfish when you ask for one more thing from God for your life. He already knows what you need. The Lord’s Prayer ensures no disappointment when a prayer is answered but not in the way we expected, and sometimes in ways we cannot even see until much later. The Lord’s Prayer is a wonderful way to continue to talk with God without wondering if we’re doing it right or not. Keep in mind a few cautions about prayer of this kind.
Do not make the Lord’s Prayer your only method of speaking with God. He likes to hear more personal thoughts. Do not make this prayer into something that becomes systematic, without feeling, thought, or emotion. A mechanical prayer will elicit a mechanical response, neither of which is what Jesus intended when He taught this prayer method in the first place. Do not use this prayer with preconceived expectations of the response. What you may think you need is not what God knows you really need so be prepared and open to an unexpected response.
God already knows. He already knows the things that trouble you. He already knows the things that weight heavy on your mind. He already knows that which will be most helpful in your life. He knows these things because He’s God. He already knows everything about your life and still He’s interested in talking with you. He wants to include you in Life because He knows how you can be helpful not just to yourself, but to those you care about. God wants to help, wants to grow closer together because He loves you, and He says You Are Worthy.
Questions for Reflection
- Do you ever intentionally pray the Lord’s Prayer?
- Does giving God control of how He answers your prayer because you haven’t asked for anything specific scare you? Why or why not?
- Do you think praying the Lord’s Prayer regularly would give you peace of mind? Why or why not?
This devotion relates to the scripture used in the book You Are Worthy by Mark Malcolm, coming to Kindle soon. To be kept up to date on the release of this, and other writings from The Cavalier, join us on Facebook HERE or follow us on Twitter @FirstChevalier.
You are not trash. You are not wasted. You are not broken. You are loved. You are pursued. You are wanted. Because God says…