Do you sometimes wonder if prayer is a gimmick? We will get whatever we ask for, as long as it is God’s will. Doesn’t it seem that if it’s God’s will we shouldn’t have to ask for it? Won’t He do it anyway? Sometimes we forget that God’s love for us is perfect. He only wants and provides what’s best for us. We often have no idea what’s in our best interest. Maybe the purpose of prayer isn’t a request line to God. Maybe it’s time with Him designed to allow us to get to know Him and to learn from him what’s best for us. Maybe it’s all about will alignment. Consider the Lord’s Prayer.
Paternity “Our Father, who art in heaven” We were created for relationship with Him. His first desire is to be our Father. We sometimes think that He is father to all. That’s not so. He offers inheritance to all; not all accept it. “But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God.” John 1:12. All prayer should begin with the acknowledgment and thanksgiving for the blessing of His paternity. All else flows from that.
Proclamation “Hollowed be your name” We should be proud of our Dad. We should proclaim his fatherhood and Lordship and insist on reverence for who He is and all He has done. Prayer is grounded in the recognition of who He is and the worship that flows from that.
Power “Thy Kingdom Come.” We are capable of great things as His children. Goodness comes from our recognition of his Kingship now and perfectly when that Kingship is established universally in the future. His great purpose and our great commission is to promote His kingdom now.
“Thy Will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” What we really need and what He wants for us is a Kingdom perspective. If we can see things as they are seen from heaven, trials and obstacles shrink. We stop majoring in the minors, stop worrying about what is insignificant and start to gain a Holy Anguish
for what’s really important.
Provision “Give us this day our daily bread” God wants us to be able to separate want from need. He wants to be our daily provider. Focusing on today eliminates our regrets from the past and our worries for the future. This is why wealth is such a stumbling block to relationship with the Lord. We feel secure in ourselves and our own ability to provide. Christianity is flourishing in those places where survival really is a daily struggle. There provision can be seen as truly from Him and actually a daily miracle.
Purification “Forgive us our trespasses …” Our salvation is based on what Jesus has done. God still desires our purification, a process of recognition of sin, seeking forgiveness, turning away and moving on to the next imperfection.
Peace “As we forgive those who trespass against us.” God wants the best in our horizontal relationships as well as our relationship with him. The biggest block to that is our perception that others have wounded us, are hurting us now and have evil intentions against us.The soothing balm for that illness is forgiveness. A forgiveness that becomes possible when we realize the grace that has been granted to us.
Plan “Lead us not into temptation.” We often try to lure others into relationship with Christ based on our assurance that He has a wonderful plan for us. He truly does but it comes after all the other “Ps.” It involves a close following of Him that follows paternity, proclamation, power, perspective, provision, purification, and peace. It’s a plan that requires obedience.
Protection “But deliver us from evil.” In his relationship is the only real safety, purpose and joy.
Prayer really begins with “P.”