The most influence we can have (on Earth and in Heaven) on the day to day and eternal operations of God is through prayer. We all agree that the Lord’s prayer, found in the Gospels, is the standard guideline for praying. After all, our Lord and Savior tells each of us to “Pray in this way” But WHY? What is God’s motive for the instructions of His Prayer?
Why We Pray
- God lives in us: Jesus died and offered the world (you and me) a transition. A transition from a performance-based relationship with God to grace-based dependence on God. This move changes our religion from “the material” or the outer appearance rules (the law), to the living mystery of “Jesus Inside” (the Spirit). This transition was announced by John the Baptist and finished by Jesus.God is not in heaven with a hands-off approach to our lives. God is now inside us, wanting to infect our whole being, all our living.
- We can engage, touch and absorb God: Our prayers and the importance of them can only be calculated and understood by the mystery of God’s economy “GOD IN US!”. Explain to me the infection of affection for Jesus when HE comes into your being. I believe prayer is the most intimate and most productive habit we can form to understand and enjoy God. God redeemed you, so you can enjoy Him. Prayer is that path to enjoying God.
- Prayer gives God the opportunity to examine our hearts: No person knows or understands someone else's heart. We don’t even understand our own heart, but God does. We need to give Jesus permission to touch us through prayer. To clean out the corners of our heart by finding and cleansing the things that only He can.
- Prayer sets us up to worship rightly: We were born worshipers! We prayerfully worship in Truth (God’s inspired Word), and we prayerfully worship in the Spirit (God’s breath into us). I have never been able to righty engage in true worship of God, without engaging in truthful and Spirit led prayer. This predominantly happens by using God’s word to guide us as we pray.
- To be a living prayer: Our motive, or the WHY we pray, is For Living. Our prayer emphasizes that “God is our life, and our living belongs to Him”. Do your prayers reflect this kind of living? Our lives are a continuation of the conflict of the sacred and secular. When Jesus steps into our lives and we choose to live according to THE KINGDOM RULES. There is no secular, and our lives.Prayers must be motivated by pleasing God from the inside out. Being a” living prayer” is accomplished by allowing God to control your involuntary thoughts.
- God loves us and we love Him: God is looking to be with you through Prayer. In all categories of prayer God is waiting for you. In your secret times, corporate settings, thoughts and in everything.
Ask God to help you understand these mysteries more:
- Prayers are for LIFE! and for the Living of them. Live what you Pray!
- A closed mouth in our secret times of prayer, leads to a heart touched by the Spirit of God.
- There’s only one key to a God pleasing life.” Be a Living Prayer”. Don’t do the “Fruit of the Spirit” Be the “Fruit of the Spirit”
- During Lent. Do not form a habit of prayers. Form a habit of BEING with God through “Living Prayer”.
Spend time this week with the Lord’s prayer (Matthew 6:9-13). Seek to be with God in prayer throughout the day by drawing your attention, thoughts, and prayers to a specific part of the Lord’s prayer each day.
Monday: Our Father in Heaven - What is your relationship to God? How do you receive Him as Father? What does it mean to you and to Him that He is in Heaven and you are on earth? Talk to God about what it means for God to be OUR Father.
Tuesday: Holy is your Name - God is first in name and in position. Tell God what you understand about His holiness. What does it mean to you to put His interests first? What does His glory look like and feel like and sound like?
Wednesday: Your Kingdom and Will - He rules the heavens and the earth. In what ways are you still watching and waiting for the Kingdom to be revealed to you or to others? What revelations of His Kingdom are you grateful for today? What will living in His will look like today?
Thursday: Our daily bread: What do you need for today? How has God supplied it? As God’s child, who has surrendered to live in God’s will and God’s Kingdom, you can trust that he wants to give you all you need!
Friday: Forgive us and Help us forgive: Where have you gone out and away from God’s Holy Name, Kingdom and Will? God will and does forgive us. Has someone else acted or spoken in a way that has hurt or offended you? Have they gone outside of God’s Kingdom and will in the way they have behaved? Forgive them today just as you are forgiven.
Saturday: Lead us not into Temptation - The Spirit longs to fill your life with good things. How can you continue to have more of the Spirit and less of your own longings? He will deliver and keep you.
This week for our family discipleship time we want to spend time praying together as a family!
Read Matthew 6:5-15:
1. Ask your kids…. “What is prayer?”, “Why does God want us to pray to Him?”
- Help your kids know that prayer is simply talking to God and that He wants to talk to us because He created us, He is our Heavenly Father and He loves us!
- We can pray to God and praise Him for who He is! We can pray and thank Him for things He has done! We can pray and ask Him to do things in our lives and the lives of our friends and families! We can pray and confess things we have done and need forgiveness for!
2. Ask your kids…. “What kinds of things does God want us to pray to Him about?”
- Teach your kids that God wants us to pray to Him about all sorts of things! He is interested in our lives and wants us to ask Him to be with us; He wants us to ask Him to give us strength; He wants us to ask Him for wisdom when making a decision; He wants us to ask Him for forgiveness for when we sin!
3. Share a few examples of things that you often pray for in your life!
Reread the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6:9-13!
1. Break down each verse into a simple truth statement that we can be praying for and ask your kids to pray for that thing!
- Example: verse 10 you can talk about the simple truth that God is our Father and then pray a prayer of praise for being such a good Father.
Finish your time reciting the memory verse (Psalm 51:10-12) as a family again and then praying that God would renew us and thank Him for being a God who lets us know Him!