For some time now I have been using The Lord's Prayer as my prayer model. After all, Jesus taught His disciples this prayer and it covers all the bases (adoration, service, needs, forgiveness, and avoiding temptation). The Lord's Prayer is wise also in that it keeps our prayers from becoming simply narcissistic endeavors.
Without structure, our prayers often meander down life's road while we mumble off and on to God who we have sitting in the way backseat of our prayer mobile (such as it is) Between songs on the radio and checking our Twitter feed we barely say "Hi" to God and so truly seeking Him is not on the radar.
Oh without a doubt we can turn to the Lord in times of need, we can cut to the chase nd cry "HELP ME LORD!" and know that He always hears us, and God's answers are wiser than our prayers.
But over the years I have from time to time treated prayer as if I was the center of the universe. I would not think that was true, but.. now that I model my prayers after 'The Lord's Prayer I realize my prayer life was weak.
Like a kid sitting on Santa's Lap with my Christmas list than I did someone who foremost desired to be a servant of God.
Q. So, am I in love with the creator of the world that loves me, or just a needy churchgoer looking for a Genie in the lamp with unlimited wishes?
So how should we pray?
Jesus instructed His disciples.. in Matthew 6:5-15
5 “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
9 “This, then, is how you should pray:
“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name, (REALIZE HOW GREAT GOD IS)
10 your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven. (HOW CAN I SERVE YOU, GOD?
11 Give us today our daily bread. (LORD PLEASE PROVIDE FOR MY NEEDS)
12 And forgive us our debts, (FORGIVE ME OF MY SINS)
as we also have forgiven our debtors. (BE FORGIVING OF OTHERS)
13 And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.’ (LORD KEEP ME FROM TEMPTATION)
14 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
I am curious what others of you use as a model for your prayer life. Please share as I would love to learn more from others. No matter the method I pray we all become men and women known for our prayers to our God who is deserving of our worship and adoration.
Love God, love others and the rest is details. ... AMEN
The mutterings on life and faith by cartoonist Jeff Larson