How to Pray (a lesson from Jesus)

How should you pray? What if Jesus could show you how to pray a prayer that works?

Most of us have probably prayed the Lord's Prayer. We've sung it or recited it in unison in church, at a large event, at the dinner table. It's fast, simple, and maybe a little high-church in its feel.

But it's not really a dinner prayer or a convocation prayer. It's not designed for cathedrals.

It's merely a sample of how to communicate with God Almighty about both big and little things. Jesus formed this prayer himself, so I'd say this is a reliable template for your prayers, too. You can use this for a model.

Here's little breakdown of the topics: 1) worship 2) faith 3) obedience 4) mission 5) request 6) confession 7)  praise (It's always a good idea to start and end with adoration of God--it straightens out our perspectives.) 

In other words, I can't ask God for something when my heart is still hiding selfishness or pride. I can't ask for his will when I've already put perimeters on what I will do. I can't actually praise God when I think He's holding out blessing on me or treating me unfairly. Prayer is unfettered access to God Almighty. He knows when I'm full of bologna. Prayer requires emptying myself and my perspectives about everything, sitting and waiting for him to fill me, and then letting him do it. Look at this familiar prayer through those eyes--

You can pray the original or pray the paraphrase:

“This, then, is how you should pray:                   Here's how you should pray:                   

Our Father, which art in heaven,                         God and Father, who are eternal,

hallowed by thy name,                                         your name is holy. I worship you.

thy kingdom come,                                              Fulfill your purpose here in me.

thy will be done,                                                  Complete your will through me

on earth as it is in heaven.                                   bringing you perfect glory here.                            

Give us this day our daily bread                          Provide for my physical needs.

And forgive us our debts,                                    Forgive me when I sin, 

as we forgive our debtors.                                   according to my forgiveness of others.

And lead us not into temptation,                         Protect me when I am tempted to give up;

but deliver us from evil,                                      rescue me when I stumble and fail you.

for thine is the kingdom and                               You have absolute authority and

the power and the glory                                      power over me; you get the praise.          

forever, Amen.                                                    forever and always. This is true.

(Matthew 6:9-13 KJV)


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