Discipleship Lesson #11
How shall we pray? Part 1
After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
Prayer is an essential part of a Christian’s life or at least it is supposed to be. But how many of us do it? Scripture commands us to pray, and Christ in theses verses, shows us how we should pray. Prayer is the last resort for some people who may say, “Well all else is lost, might as well say a prayer.” It should not be the last resort but the first in the life of a believer. Looking at the text above, Jesus’ disciples asked him how they should pray, and He gives a formula for prayer. People often recite this prayer without thought, yet, it is not about saying the right words, it is all about talking to God. This article will examine the first two verses of the prayer.
First, you need to recognize to whom you are talking and you need to give Him worship above everything else. Jesus starts with, “Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.” The term “Father” is used by someone who is in a tender relationship with God the Father. You need to be saved in order to have this relationship. You need to admit that you are a sinner and that Jesus is the only way to get to heaven. When you accept Him as your Savior, you are then the child of God. It is not enough to say that God is the Father of us all. Even though it is true that He made all of us, it is not true that we are His children, because before we were saved, we were alienated, separated from a relationship of our Father due to our sin. But the reconciliation or the bringing together again is only done through faith in Jesus that He paid your punishment on the cross and died for you and rose from the dead. By accepting the free gift that Christ gives to anybody that places their trust in who He is and what He did, they become born again. This phrase of “Our Father” only belongs to born again Christians. Along with that title for God is the realization of who His character and Person are. He is our Father which is in heaven; so hallowed or holy is His name. He is above us and needs to be worshipped in our prayers with our whole being. This is the start of good praying.
Second, you ask God to work in our world as a whole to bring about His perfect plan. Jesus says “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven.” The kingdom is the kingdom that Jesus will establish on earth when He comes again. It is true that God is ruling in the affairs of men but I believe that the kingdom is always referenced as the perfect kingdom that God will bring down and establish, literally. The next portion is about the will of God being done on earth as it is in heaven. You could ask me, “Isn’t God’s will always done?” You need to understand that He says “in earth as it is in heaven,” He is saying that my Father’s perfect plan that is always obeyed in heaven be done and obeyed here on earth. Do we pray with desire to do God’s will in our lives? We should. How do you know what God’s will is for your life? First, you read your Bible, and you pray for the Lord to guide you. Then do all you can to obey what the Bible says, letting the Holy Spirit guide you in your activities. Then you will know what to do in the small things in life according to the Bible. After you do that on a regular basis, then He will guide you in the big decisions of life, and you will know it.
How is your prayer life? Do you have one? Is it a normal thing for you to pray or is it just what you do when you are in a jam? It needs to be something that we do every day. Prayer is talking to God; we need to be in a habit of worshiping Him in our prayers for who He is and pray that He works everything out according to His perfect will. This is a start to a wonderful prayer life.