How did Jesus teach his disciples to pray?
Read the following versions of The Lord’s Prayer from the Bible:
What is Jesus teaching about how to pray?
What is Jesus teaching about what to pray for?
The following is an imaginary conversation between someone and God whilst praying The Lord’s Prayer:
(Person)-‘Our Father which art in heaven...’
(Person)-Don’t interrupt me. I’m praying.
(God)---But you called me.
(Person)-Called you? I didn’t call you. I’m praying. ‘Our Father which art in heaven...’
(God)---There you did it again.
(God)---Called me. You said, ‘Our Father which art in heaven.’ Here I am ... what’s on your mind?
(Person)-But I didn't mean anything by it. I was, you know, just saying my prayers for the day. I always say the Lord’s Prayer. It makes me feel good.
(God)---All right. Go on.
(Person)-‘Hallowed be thy name...’
(God)---Hold it. What do you mean by that?
(God)---By ‘hallowed be thy name’?
(Person)-It means ... it means ... Good grief, I don’t know what it means. How should I know? It’s just a part of the prayer. By the way, what does it mean?
(God)---It means honoured, holy, wonderful.
(Person)-Hey, that makes sense. I never thought about what ‘hallowed’ meant before. ‘Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.’
(God)---Do you really mean that?
(Person)-Sure, why not?
(God)---What are you doing about it?
(Person)-Doing? Nothing, I guess. I just think it would be kind of neat if you got control of everything down here like you have up there.
(God)---Have I got control of you?
(Person)-Please don’t pick on me! I’m just as good as some of the rest of those people at the church.
(God)---Excuse me. I thought you were praying for my will to be done. If that is to happen, it will have to start with the ones who are praying for it. Like you, for example.
(Person)-Look, Lord, I need to finish up here. This is taking a lot longer than it usually does. ‘Give us this day, our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.’
(God)---What about Ann?
(Person)- Why, Lord, she’s told lies about me, spread stories about my family. She never paid back the debt she owes me. I’ve sworn to get even with her!
(God)---But your prayer? What about your prayer?
(Person)-I didn’t mean it.
(God)---Forgive Ann. Then I’ll forgive you. Then the hate and sin will be Ann’s problem and not yours. You will have settled your heart.
(Person)-Oh, you’re right. You always are. And more than I want to revenge Ann, I want to be right with you. ... (pause) ... (sigh). All right. All right. I forgive her.
(God)---There now! Wonderful! How do you feel?
(Person)-Hmmm. Well, not bad. Not bad at all. In fact, I feel pretty great!
(God)---You’re not through with your prayer. Go on.
(Person)-Oh, all right. ‘And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.’
(God)---Good! Good! I’ll do that. Just don’t put yourself in a place where you can be tempted. Now go ahead and finish your prayer.
(Person)-‘For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever.’ Amen
["Don't Interupt Me Lord I'm Praying" from www.murraymoerman.com]
The Lord’s Prayer can be broken down into the following sections to form a prayer template.
FATHER – ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name’
KINGDOM – ‘your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven’
PROVISION – ‘Give us today our daily bread’
FORGIVENESS – ‘Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors’
GUIDANCE – ‘And lead us not into temptation’
DELIVERANCE – ‘but deliver us from the evil one (or evil)’
This can also be thought of a filter through which to pass any issue requiring prayer.
In groups, take some time to still yourselves before God and allow him to bring to mind an area of your life that you are each concerned about.
Use the prayer template to take this in prayer to God.
FATHER - Praise and thank God for who he is in reference to your issue of concern.
KINGDOM – Tell him that you don’t want your own way in this situation, but you just want what he wants.
PROVISION – Ask him for help; ask him to intervene in this area of your life.
FORGIVENESS – Forgive anyone who has wronged you in this situation and ask God to forgive you for any wrong you have done.
GUIDANCE – Ask God for wisdom and direction. Ask if there is anything he wants you to take action on. Ask him for the strength and power to obey and go his way.
DELIVERANCE – Ask him to change you and weed out any sinful habits that are involved in this situation. Ask him for protection
After prayer, take time to share how you feel about this area of life having prayed it though with God using The Lord’s Prayer.
‘Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.’
Other Bible passages:
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