"Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints" - Ephesians 6:18
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Most believers, if they are honest, would have to admit that they do not know the delights of praying. Our culture is one that is busy and demanding; our attention span has been trained to be short and quick. Everything goes against our spending time in solitary meditation and prayer. Yet, we all yearn to have that kind of relationship with our Lord. How can I pray the prayers that work?
One of our goals should be to move from being a spectator to a participant. Our Lord gave us his example by being a participant in the prayer experience. He prayed all the time.
- At the beginning of His ministry (Mark 1:35).
- At the middle of His ministry (Matthew 14:23).
- At the end of His ministry (Matthew 26:39).
Matthew 6:9-14 contains the Lord's Prayer. The disciples had noticed that prayer was a learning experience and was a connection to the power ministry of Jesus. The Lord's purpose in teaching us this prayer was not to recite a 13-second prayer, but to demonstrate an effective prayer time. These verses were meant to be demarcations or topics that should be covered in our own personal prayer time.
Praise: "Our Father which art in heaven. Hallowed be thy name."
Yield control: "Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven."
Provision: "Give us this day our daily bread."
Confession and pardon: "And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors."
Praise: "For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen"
How should you use this prayer as a guide?
I. "Our Father which art in Heaven. Hallowed by thy name."
a. Thank God for your relationship with Him and that you can call Him Father through faith in Jesus.
b. Praise the name of God for the corresponding needs in your life.
Jehovah-Tsidkenu The Lord my righteousness
Jehovah-Mekadesh The Lord who makes me holy
Jehovah-Shalom The Lord our peace
Jehovah-Shammah The Lord who is there
Jehovah-Rophe The Lord who heals
Jehovah-Jireh The Lord shall provide
Jehovah-Nissi The Lord our banner
Jehovah-Rohi The Lord my shepherd
II. "Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven."
a. Yourself - yield control daily
b. Your family (spouse, children)
c. Your church (pastor, leadership, ministry, harvest)
d. Your community
III. "Give us this day our daily bread."
a. Be in God's will
1. Am I in fellowship with Jesus?
2. Am I in fellowship with the church?
3. Am I practicing biblical, balanced, diligent work habits?
4. Am I obedient in the use of my time, money, and abilities?
b. Pray for specific needs
c. Don't stop praying for these needs until you get an answer
IV. "And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors."
a. Confess all known sins and ask God to forgive you
b. Forgive and release others
c. Set your will to forgive those who sin against you
V. "And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one."
a. Put on the whole armor of God (protection for inside) Ephesians 6:14-17
1. The belt of truth
2. The breastplate of righteousness
3. The feet shod with preparation for the Gospel of Peace
4. The shield of faith
5. The helmet of salvation
6. The sword of the spirit
b. Pray for a hedge of protection (protection from the outside)
VI. "For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen."
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a. I will be controlled by the will of God (kingdom)
b. I will be confident in the power of God (power)
c. I will be concerned for the glory of God (glory)