In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus shared the Lord’s Prayer. This week we have the opportunity to learn more about the Lord’s Prayer. The Lord’s Prayer is the most important prayer in the universe. Many people know the prayer, but how many of us know where we can find the prayer in the Bible? And how part of the prayer is connected to the Old Testament? And how the prayer is relevant for our own lives today? This week we have this opportunity.
Monday, March 22
Read Matthew 6:5-15
Adult Israelite males were expected to pray morning and evening in the direction of Jerusalem. They would recite long prayers by memory. Jesus changed the direction of prayer in his time by sharing a short, easy prayer to remember that was meaningful to the people who prayed it. We know the prayer, of course, as the Lord’s Prayer.
The phrases of this prayer are not empty like the prayers the Israelite males said. The Lord’s Prayer has two sets of three petitions. The first set of petitions starts with God. We hallow God’s name; we pray for God’s Kingdom; we pray that God’s will be done on earth as in heaven. The second set of petitions has to do with human requests. We pray for daily bread; we pray to be forgiven and to forgive others; we pray that we do not experience temptation and are delivered from evil.
These two sets of petitions are clear and memorable.
The audience of this prayer, of course, is God. We’re not trying to impress others by praying piously or by sharing long, flowery prayers. The Lord’s Prayer is an honest prayer that gets to the core of what is important.
Tuesday, March 23
Read Luke 11:1-3
The disciples became interested in prayer when they saw that Jesus was praying. The disciple who requested, “Lord teach us to pray,” probably would not have asked the question if he hadn’t seen Jesus praying.
Jesus modeled the importance of abiding with Abba, Father. His prayer life became an example to his followers.
We can become examples of prayer with others. Too often we think of prayer as personal and private—but Jesus didn’t view prayer this way. He talked about prayer and taught about prayer and encouraged his followers to pray.
In past sermons Pastor Paul has preached about the importance of talking about our prayer lives. Look for ways to talk about your prayer life with others. If you have a prayer partner, perhaps today is a day to contact that person. If you don’t have a prayer partner, share what is happening in your prayer life with a friend or family member.
Sharing our prayer lives with others might seem a bit odd at first, but when we do it over time, we will become more comfortable. Sharing our prayer lives with others can help us grow in our own relationship with God.
With whom can you talk about your prayer life today?
Wednesday, March 24
Read 1 Chronicles 29:10-13
The Lord’s Prayer that is used in worship by churches is a bit longer than the two versions of the Lord’s Prayer in the gospels. The part of the Lord’s Prayer that is added is called the doxology. That part of the prayer is:
“For thine is the Kingdom, and the power and the glory forever.”
This doxology is based on a prayer that David offered to God. This prayer can be found in 1 Chronicles 29:11.
“Yours, O Lord, are the greatness, the power, the glory, the victory, and the majesty; for all that is in the heavens and on the earth is yours; yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all.” 1 Chronicles 29:11
Pastor Paul has often described this part of the prayer with three words, “It’s all yours.” Everything that we have is God’s. Every part of our life belongs to God.
Use this verse as your prayer today. Consider memorizing it. Pray this verse over and over until it becomes part of you.
Thursday, March 25
Read Romans 8:12-17
The Apostle Paul wrote that when we cry, “Abba, Father” we receive confirmation that we are children of God. The term, “Abba” is a term of intimacy. It’s the way that Jesus addressed God in Jesus’ prayers. It’s as if Jesus was saying, “Papa.”
Unfortunately, some in the church have turned the term, “Father” into a litmus test of faith. They won’t use the term because it reflects gender exclusivity; some others will only use the term, “Father” because they want to claim the term.
“Father” is not a gender phrase. Instead it’s a phrase of intimacy. We are addressing God in an adoring and familiar way. It’s similar to the way a spouse may say “honey” or when a child says, “Daddy.” This is an intimate phrase that reflects love.
We can come up with our own intimate terms for God. Certainly “Father” can be one. What are some intimate terms for God that you use? Make a list of three phrases that reflect your own view of God. Use these phrases today as you address God in prayer.
Friday, March 26
Read Psalm 89:1-11
To start out the Lord’s Prayer by praying, “Hallowed be thy name” is to praise God. We are praising God that God’s name is holy.
Praising God is a wonderful way to start out our prayers. In praise we praise God for certain qualities of God. In Psalm 89 David praised God for many divine attributes. Look at verse 1, “I will sing of your steadfast love, O Lord, forever.” We can almost imagine David singing out with the full sound of his lungs praising God.
Try praising God with this decibel level! If you feel comfortable shout out praise to God. Shout out with such passion that other people in your residence will hear you. Why not! You want others to know of your praise for God!
Saturday, March 27
Read Matthew 4:12-17
In the Lord’s Prayer we pray, “thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
Praying for God’s kingdom connects us to Jesus’ message. Jesus taught his followers that the kingdom had come through him. Look at verse 17.
“From that time Jesus began to proclaim, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.’”
One way to live out the kingdom is to pray for people who have different views on life than each of us do.
Consider praying today for someone who voted differently than you in the Presidential election. To take it to the next level, consider contacting that person and sharing with the person that you prayed for them. Don’t pray that the person will change their view. Instead pray for the person’s welfare and goodness. Pray that the person will continue to become the person God desires for him or her to be.