Dear 8lbs 6oz newborn, infant Jesus… With your Golden Fleece diapers and your balled up fists… -Ricky Bobby
Lord of Hosts… Three things we pray… To love thee more dearly, to see thee more clearly, and to follow thee more nearly… Day by day by day! -Greg Focker
God is great… God is good! Let us thank him for our food! -Every Kid
Prayer… I’m convinced it is the greatest weapon we have on the planet. Yet it can be one of the most intimidating things to do. And God forbid you’re asked to pray in front of others.
Your heart begins racing. You feel sweat beads begin to form on your forehead. Your mouth goes as dry as your grandmother’s turkey on Thanksgiving. And you’re trying to think on the fly… What do I say so I don’t sound stupid?!
So you try to use the biggest words in your vocabulary. You say the word “Lord” at the end of every sentence like it’s a period. And you’re listening and hoping that someone is making “yes” noises, agreeing with what you’re saying.
Praying is tough. Especially when you’re not even really sure where to start. And most people think you have to start off with these super long prayers. But you can’t pray more than 5 minutes without repeating yourself 5 times. It’s hard!
Don’t worry… You’re in good company.
Even the disciples of Jesus had a tough time with prayer. And in Luke 11… The disciples ask Jesus to teach them how to pray.
Jesus does just that in what’s become known as the Lords Prayer.
What Jesus gives is a format for prayer… Not necessarily the exact prayer were supposed to pray. And once we understand that format… It’s game on in our prayer lives. Over the course of the next few posts… I’m going to break down this format for you and hope that you’ll have a better understanding of where to start in prayer.
The Beginning: Jesus give us the opening line and its powerful.
“Our Father in heaven… Holy is your name.”
There are two parts in this sentence that make up a powerful beginning.
1. Our Father in heaven…
This is a perception change right from the start. Sometimes we can focus on how big the problems in our life seem. Cancer, divorce, finances, problems with our kids, etc. seem to overwhelm us. We think there is nothing bigger than the current issue were having to deal with.
God is bigger than all of those things! God is bigger than your sickness. God is bigger than your financial problems. God is bigger than your marriage issues. His ways are higher than our ways.
This is a perception change at the beginning of our prayer… stating that God is greater than anything we will face. He is in heaven. Above all things. And because he is greater than anything we will ever face… We trust him.
2. Holy is your name…
Before we come to God with our request… Let’s take a moment to brag on God… To God! This is the time where you just thank God for who he is. A moment to worship him for all he has done in our lives.
We are so quick to jump right in to what we need from him. Like he’s a genie in a bottle. Yet Jesus is showing us a different model. We should be taking a few moments to worship God for who He is… and what He’s done! If you need help with this part… Start here.
Our God is:
- Worthy of our praise
- Always present
- Our Healer
- Our provider
- Our source of strength
And on and on and on….
When you start out with this model… You’ll approach prayer now with that plan. A place to start. And it’s probably the single greatest part of prayer. The worship part of it.
So start out the next few days praying this way:
God, I thank you that you are higher and greater than anything I will ever face in our life. You are above it all. And you’re watching over me. God I thank you that you’re a holy God. You’re set apart. There is none other like you. You are worthy to be praised. I stand in awe of you. I’m thankful for your grace in our lives. Giving me your son to pay a price on my behalf. I thank you for your mercy. For not judging me according to what I’ve done… But what you’ve done for me….. Etc.
Hope this helps some of you. I’ll post the next part in a few days.