Last time we were together we discussed what Jesus called the "so-called prayer warriors" and the fact that prayer is not a formula for getting what you want from God. Today we will talk about more legalistic techniques and why they do not work.
"With a God like this
loving you, you can pray very simply. Like this:" (Matthew 6:9 The
This is Jesus teaching us how to pray -- no magical
phrases, no wordy wandering, just a simple plea. We all know The Lord's
Prayer, but do we really think of what it means?
In the verse
above, as rendered in The Message Bible, Jesus says pray "like this".
When I looked up the synonyms for the word "like" this is what I found
the following: "similar to", "in the vein of", "reminiscent of",
"approximating" and "akin to". Jesus is not telling us to pray these
exact words; He is saying this is the pattern for prayer. Otherwise,
this would be just another formula, and a prayer with no heart behind it
will never move God.
The actual words of The Lord's Prayer are
not meant to be the only words we use. That's legalism. These
words make up the framework on which to hang our prayers. We should be
able to trace each prayer back to this foundation. It is the pattern for
petition, the cornerstone of our spiritual house. We lay our prayers
upon it, building the structure one prayer at a time.
intended this teaching on prayer to be a guideline to take us deeper
into our prayer life, and not a stumbling stone. We know that Satan is a
perverter of God's Word, and tries to water down the Word to make it of
no effect. So, let us not fall into his trap by treating as common
something God has sanctified for our good.
Father, thank You
for Your Word. It is yes and amen. It is profitable to teach us how to
live and love and walk and talk with You. I pray You will open the eyes
of our understanding as we grow in the grace and knowledge of You Lord.
Bless us and keep us safe from the evil one. In the mighty and matchless
name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
In the next few parts
in this series, we will look closer at each verse of the prayer to see
beyond the familiarity of the words and into Jesus' heart in the matter.
Join us next Tuesday as we talk about the focus of our prayers, God
Yours in Christ,
Access the rest of "The Lord's Prayer" mini-series, please click