Matthew 6:8-15 – “Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him. 9 In this manner, therefore, pray:
‘Our Father 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 forgive our debtors. 13 And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.’
14 “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” NKJV
The prayer we identify as the Lord’s Prayer could be called the Model Prayer, the Disciple’s Prayer or the Christian’s Prayer. It conveys far more than one devotional could possibly hope to examine but let’s “read the red” and glean some truths, I believe, valuable for our daily lives and relationships here on planet Earth.
Jesus reminds those listening and all who read through the ages that would follow of God’s Omniscience. HE KNOWS! That lends an interesting twist to prayer and when I have presented this idea challenges come with fury. The idea is that prayer is not about “getting God to do something” it is about “getting us right” so that we can hear what He is saying and then act accordingly. I acknowledge that sometimes God does not act on our behalf if we fail to ask or pray but prayer is not our litigating our case before the tribunal of heaven and winning the argument thereby causing Him to respond. No, it is about us, our hearts and our condition. Let me declare, I believe in prayer and believe that it is vital for the believer.
Jesus instructed them to pray after the manner of the prayer He presented. Therefore, rather than something we recite from memory it is a presentation of pattern we should embrace in our petitions before the Throne of Heaven. I ask that you briefly notice several things:
- The Focus is GOD.
Most of our prayers are focused on us and our needs but Jesus instructed them to begin their process of prayer and petition with a recognition of God and worship of His name and His person. If we remember Psalm 100:4 instructs that our entrance before God was to be with THANKSGIVING and saturated with PRAISE. That is not possible if the focus is SELF rather than HIM.
- The Desire is God’s Kingdom, Will and Purpose Realized on Earth.
Again, it is not about self or our need it is about God and the Kingdom of God. The focus and desire are that God’s Kingdom reign in our hearts and our world just as it does in heaven.
- The Third Step is Our Needs.
Our need of provision in life and that covers the entire gamut if human need including daily provisions, health, etc.
- Then Comes Recognition of Sin – By Us and Against Us.
The first sin we must focus on is that against God, then against others, and their sin against us. Forgiveness is a core element in Christianity and the message of the Bible.
- Next, Guidance and Protection.
The enemy of our souls would lead us astray and into error, thus perverting the purpose of the Kingdom of God and the Will of God. If we focus first on God, seek His Kingdom, Purpose, and Will, then receiving the answer for our need, walk in repentance and forgiveness it is at that point we should ask for guidance, deliverance, and protection. Those would not be possible if at least items 1, 2 and 4 are not realized.
To emphasize the importance of this, Jesus gave His powerful statement in verse 14, “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” So, as you enter into prayer never rush in with “gimme, gimme, gimme” follow the pattern Jesus gave in this beautiful prayer. This, to me, emphasizes another reason to “Read the Red.”
God bless you as you go through this wonderful day on your journey through life.