“What should we SAY?”
Start With Prayer:
Dear God, please help me to hear you, and understand your message for me.
Jesus was a teacher of the Jewish faith, which meant He had followers who were “training,” underneath Him. These people, the disciples, asked Jesus how to pray after they watched Him setting the example. They wanted to learn to do it the way that He did. I am so thankful that they asked, because this prayer that He taught them, has been passed down through the generations.
You most likely have heard it yourself.
One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.” 2 He said to them, “When you pray, say:
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come.
3 Give us each day our daily bread.
4 Forgive us our sins,
for we also forgive everyone who sins against us.
And lead us not into temptation.’”
What’s the point?:
I have a very vivid memory from childhood of my mom teaching me the Lord’s Prayer at night. We had always recited the famous “Now I lay me,” prayer together, as we went to bed each night. Which was fine and dandy … except for the fact that my poor mother had ME, as her daughter.
You see, I’m sure you’d never be able to guess it, but, I love to dissect the written word, and really ponder the meaning and lessons behind all of them … And apparently this started in childhood. One night in particular, in fact.
As we were reciting the “Now I lay me,” prayer, I caught myself really thinking about the words I had routinely repeated for as long as I could remember. And as I got to the “If I should die before I wake,” part …. well you can imagine things spun out of control pretty quickly.
“Am I gonna die?!? I don’t wanna die! What will happen to my stuffed animals and baby dolls? Are you and Daddy going to die? Who dies first? Will this prayer MAKE me die?”
It was then and there that my mom pronounced that my sister and I were now old enough for a new prayer, and we defaulted to The Lord’s Prayer from that night forward.
The disciples asked Jesus how to pray.
I wanted to know what words I should pray, that wouldn’t make me die in the middle of the night!
And I’d be willing to bet that you, too, have wondered what it is exactly that YOU should say, as you pray sometimes.
What does all of this mean to me/how can I apply that to my life today?
Prayer is way more simple than we might think. God simply wants us to speak to Him, with honesty and sincerity. It’s all about the meaning behind our words, and the condition of our hearts as pray.
Jesus gave His disciples, and all of us, the Lord’s Prayer, as a beautiful example of how it is that we ought to pray.
He shares it, so that we could see a model for prayer.
And His model comes down to the 5 P’s …. Praise, Purpose, Petition, Pardon, and Protection!
Don’t worry, we are going to dive into each of these specifically next week, but for now, here is a quick overview of the things Jesus says we should consider when we’re praying.
- We are to praise God, thanking Him for our blessings.
- We are to ask for purpose, seeking discernment in helping in making decisions that will align our lives with His will.
- We are to petition Him for healing, or for whatever it is we NEED.
- We are called to ask for forgiveness, or pardon, sharing those things we’ve done with Him, so that we no longer have to carry around the burden.
- And lastly, we go to Him for protection, for shelter … for comfort and peace through all of life’s ups and downs.
That’s it! You’ll soon come to discover that there is not one, “right,” way to pray. However, for those of us who are trying to start a prayer life, need to revive or refocus our prayer lives a bit, desiring to get the most out of prayer … I can’t think of any better example to turn to, than Jesus Himself!
So hang tight, this series is going to lead us through the different types, ways, and reasons to pray!