Reading Text – Matthew 6:5-15
I am reminded of the impact of prayer recently as we saw a 24-year-old football player literally drop dead on the field after being tackled by his opponent. As the medical team rushed in to perform CPR, the entire football team knelt around him and prayed. The entire stadium was praying. The entire opposing team knelt to pray. The sports announcer on ESPN prayed on a nationally televised broadcast – and he prayed to God. The player was revived and transported to the nearest hospital to continue receiving treatment but remained on life support. That literal life support was prophetically demonstrated by the life support of prayer from an entire nation praying. One week later, he recovered and expressed appreciation for the prayers people prayed for him.
Prayer is such an important aspect of our relationship with God. Jesus’ disciples recognized the importance of prayer as they spent time with Him. In fact, of everything they saw Him do, they only asked Him to teach them one thing – to pray (see Luke 11:2-4). Even seeing the miracles of healing and deliverance that Jesus performed, the action that stood out to them was His prayer life. That should tell us, as followers of Christ, something over 2000 years later.
Jesus’ disciples recognized the importance of prayer as they spent time with Him. In fact, of everything they saw Him do, they asked Him to teach them one thing – to pray (see Luke 11:2-4).
Take a moment to read Matthew 6:5-15 where Jesus tells the disciples how to pray. He goes into some important aspects of what not to do; don’t stand and pray where people can see you, and don’t use vain repetitions. And He told them what to do; go into your room and pray in secret, and remember that the Father knows what you need before you ask. Then, Jesus tells us exactly how to pray:
Our Father 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 forgive our debtors
And do not lead us into temptation
But deliver us from the evil one
For Yours is Kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
First, we need a revelation of our Heavenly Father. It is difficult to pray to someone we don’t believe is good and has good in store for us. He loves us and wants the best for us. Spend some time looking at the names of God. Names are used to describe someone. God has many names and every one of them describes Him as good, loving and faithful. Once you realize who He is, you want to develop a relationship with Him in Prayer.
Next, Jesus tells us to pray for His kingdom to come on earth as it is in heaven. Today, there are so many people who are just wanting to get to heaven, that we forget one of our primary assignment is to demonstrate the Kingdom while we are on earth. This happens when we reflect the image of Christ in every area of our lives.
Forgiveness is a vital part of relationship with God and His people. As we reflect on all we’ve been forgiven, we give that forgiveness to others. As we hold other people or institutions in unforgiveness, we hold ourselves far from our relationship with God.
God doesn’t lead us into temptation, but just as Jesus prayed, we need to appropriate the victory of the cross of Christ so that we are free from the evil activity of the devil in our lives.
Jesus reminds us to recognize that all the power to walk this out in the Kingdom as we are on earth, comes from Father God and to Him belongs all the glory.
I encourage you to spend some time this week praying this prayer. Pausing for each section to ask the Lord to give you deeper revelation of who He is in each area, and of how He wants to manifest Himself into your life in these ways for you to be a blessing to others.