Luke 11: 1-4 contains the Lord’s prayer. The perfect prayer as instructed by Jesus for us to pattern all of our prayers after.
Prayer is the most important thing we can do to communicate to God our fears, desires and needs. Reading the Bible is how He communicates back to us.
This is the best thing any of us can do to grow closer with God.
I realize many of you know and can recite this scripture well. I find sometimes we can lose the special significance and real life application of the familiar, so I’d like to take a closer look.
One of the disciple asked Jesus to teach them how to pray and Jesus was happy to instruct them. He was their rabbi, their teacher of all things spiritual.
This request shows the desire of the disciples that they wanted to honor and please God like Jesus did.
Jesus replied this is how you need to pray, “Father who art in Heaven.” Addressing the Godhead, the Father who created the world and you and I.
We need to take time to realize, respect and acknowledge to whom we are speaking. Jesus knew at some point He would be sitting right next to God and would be the go between for humans and God.
That is why we end prayers, “In Jesus’ name.” Because He understands what is like to be tempted and to walk the human life.
“Hallowed be thy name.” Coming before His throne humbly with acknowledgement of how much we love and appreciate Him, His love and a request to further teach us how we can honor Him more.
“Thy Kingdom come.” Jesus identifies the most important prayer priority for Christians. Help us to know what we can do here on earth to help set up the Holy kingdom, which will eventually be the new heaven and earth together in perfection.
“Thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.” Give us everything we need and the wisdom to know His will. The emphasis here is on God’s will being done, not our own.
We often think we can bend God to our own will. We often hope God’s will for us will look like what we have imagined. When this doesn’t happen we need to trust that His plan is better than our own and not become discouraged or mad at God.
“Give us this day our daily bread.” Provide for us the physical nutrition to continue in life with vitality and strength. But this verse goes much deeper than that.
Ultimately, God wants us to get to a place in our relationship with Him that we are willing to forgo the rat race and make do with what He provides.
This kind of faith is hard for us, and He forgives us for not trusting Him at this level, but he wants us to trust His provision as the birds in the sky do.
“Forgive our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” Ask forgiveness of your daily shortcomings to remove any guilt from your heart, so you can have a clean conscience and live to your fullest potential.
Offer that same grace to all who may have treated you with harshness or have wronged you in any way, so you can live without bitterness or anger. This will provide the greatest peace and restore the joy in your life.
“Lead us not into temptation.” This seems a bit contradictory to God’s nature. He wouldn’t lead us to temptation, so a look into the original Greek translations gives us a better translation of “Do not leave us alone in the face of temptation.”
All of us are tempted to sin, but if you seek the will of God in your life we will not be tempted more than we can overcome.
“Deliver us from evil.” Contrary to what some religions are teaching, Satan is very real and wants nothing more than to see us fall.
He may not be able to make us sin, but he is good at going before us and setting up traps to entice us.
Jesus showed us to humble ourselves before God and to resist sin. When we do, Satan has to flee from us.
As we lead up to Easter I pray you will take some time to examine your prayer life and use these tips to grow closer to Him.
(Rhonda Sexton is an author and inspirational speaker. She lives in Neosho with her husband and children. She can be reached at email@example.com or 417-389-1222.)