When we pray today, let’s do something that Jesus encouraged all of His disciples to do! Let’s use the model of the Disciples’ Prayer, what we refer to as “The Lord’s Prayer.”
In Matthew 6, before giving us this prayer, Jesus says not to be like the hypocrites who love to be seen by others—being seen is their only reward—but instead to pray in the quietness of our hearts to receive the reward of being closer to Him.
He also tells us not to “heap up empty phrases,” thinking that “more is better,” but instead of trying to impress God, we need only to be with Him, to just pour out our hearts, to just rest in the knowledge that He knows just what we need.
I’ll start off each phrase of the prayer, then add some phrases to prompt our thinking (including a few verses from Psalm 27), and then we will each pray (in the stillness) more of that same theme. Let’s pray:
“Our Father in heaven,” we thank You that You are the one true God, that You are the King of Kings, and that You have adopted us into Your forever family! We love being Your people, and we praise You for all of the ways that you are a good and loving Father to us.
“Your name is holy” and You never change. You are pure beyond measure. We, on the other hand, are inclined to impure and unholy thinking and living. Thank You for calling us to be holy like You, and for giving us salvation in Jesus so that we can come before You, Holy One, clothed in His righteousness, and reflect Your holiness. David said, “One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to meditate in his temple.” We praise You for Your holiness.
We ask that ‘Your kingdom would come,” and be firmly established here on earth in the same way that Your Kingdom is eternally secure in heaven. In Psalm 27, David praises You, saying, “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” Please reign as our King in our own hearts…in the homes represented in this church…and here in our community…and throughout this nation…and in the entire world…”
And instead of asking You to do things our way, we pray that “Your will would be done.” Please accomplish Your purposes in Your way so that You receive the honor and thanks. We yield our will and way to Your perfect will.
“Please give to us, Your people here are Grace Point, in this day our daily bread.” We ask that in this day, You would provide for each of us exactly what You know to be best for us. We bring these requests to You—the things that are most important and weighing on our hearts… We ask for Margie Edmond who had surgery yesterday that You would bring her excellent care and healing.
David says in Psalm 27: “Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud; be gracious to me and answer me! You have said, “Seek My face.” My heart says to you, “Your face, Lord, do I seek.” We think of our brothers and sisters at Amchit Baptist Church in Lebanon and ask You to provide for each of their needs, and especially for wisdom and guidance. Help them and us to seek Your face continually.
And please “forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.” Lord, bring to our minds any unresolved conflict or dispute that we have with other people. Give us the grace, and turn our hearts to forgive them.
And now we bring before You what we have done, the words we have spoken (or left unspoken) and the attitudes of our hearts that are not pleasing to You—we confess these to You now.
…thank You that we can be confident that the sins we have confessed are forgiven and You have purified us from all unrighteousness.
“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” We echo David’s prayer when he says: “When evildoers assail me to eat up my flesh, my adversaries and foes, it is they who stumble and fall. Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war arise against me, yet I will be confident.” Lord, we bring to You the enemies that are seeking to pull us away from You and we ask for Your Spirit to hide us in Your shelter in the day of trouble…to lift us high upon a rock. Encamp around us, protect us powerfully, and deliver us from whatever would seek to undo us. Rescue us and hold us close to You. We give to You all that You bring to mind that has an evil influence in any of our lives and we renounce each of these things.
You are the Almighty God, and in Psalm 27, we’re encouraged to “Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!” David says, “I will offer …sacrifices with shouts of joy; I will sing and make melody to the Lord.”…and we do the same!
As we continue in worship, we who walk in freedom and bear the name of Christ acknowledge that Your name, dear Jesus, is the highest and the greatest! And it’s in His matchless name that we pray, AMEN!
Keith Brown, Elder