PATTERN OF PRAYER PT. 1

He was different.

He said things they didn’t fully understand, he spoke of a kingdom, but he didn’t act like a king, and when he prayed it did not sound like their own prayers. His were intimate and conversational; full of surrender and expectation. They prayed religiously. He prayed relationally.

“Teach us how to pray!” they asked. They knew how to pray; prayer had been a religious exercise for years. They were really asking Jesus to show them how to have a deep, more connected experience with God. And because Jesus is ultimately a teacher, he chose to not tell them what to pray, but how to pray.

And so we have the Lord’s Prayer: the ultimate example of how to pray. But consequently, we’ve made it into something to memorize and recite together. Mindlessly, it becomes a religious to-do; something to check off of a list, and we’re prone to miss the heart of what he was teaching us.

Our Father…
Connection. It’s how Jesus approached God to spark a conversation. He started with the relationship he had. Just like a child would approach a loving parent, we can approach God. So, how do you approach him?

Holy is your name…
Refocus. Before asking anything, before praying about problems, he chose to worship. Worship takes the focus off of us and lends us the perspective of Heaven. It brings us to a place of gratitude, and gratitude unlocks the presence of God. What do you have to be thankful for? What has he already done in your life so far?

Your kingdom come…
Cooperation. God invites us in, and on this adventure with him. Of course he can handle it all on his own; he certainly doesn’t need our help. But he wants us to partner up with him! He speaks promises over us, and then shows us how we’re going to adventure on together. Call it the greatest tag team ever.

Your will be done…
Surrender. It is not always easy, but it is necessary. After all, the crucifiction led to the resurrection. So, surrender can also bring about life. What in your life do you need to relinquish control of, and pray his will over?

Give us this day our daily bread…
Bread is a symbol for all of our needs. So, he’s telling us to bring everything-all of our needs-to God. If we look to anything else besides him to fill our needs, we’re heading down dead end streets.Rest; he’s working and faithful.