“Dear God, please give me this. Dear God, I need that. Dear God, please work in my family’s life, my life and the list goes on.” We’ve all prayed to God in some manner. Yet we wonder why we aren’t making a connection with God.
This past week there has been discussion in my midst about prayer. “Oh you have to use this formula or you have to lock yourself in a room and pray for three hours a day to get results.” We all want to have God’s ear, we all want to have a meaningful relationship with Him. So why not focus on the way Jesus prayed. We see His example in Matthew 6:9-13.
“Pray, then, in this way:
Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.”
Chris Hodges, pastor of Church of Highlands preached a phenomenal sermon on the Lord’s Prayer and how we can apply it to our lives. Here is the outline of his sermon.
- Prayer should be our first response not our last resort.
“Our Father in Heaven”
- Connect with God relationally . Focus on how God is your Father, focus on your relationship with Him. Be willing to take the time to just crawl into His lap and be close to Him.
“Hallowed be your name”
- Worship His Name. Take time to praise Him for all He is. Pastor Hodges lays out a few of them for us, “Righteousness, Healer, Banner of Victory, Sanctifier, Provider, Shepherd and Peace.”
“Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”
- Pray His agenda first. Lose sight of your wants, desires and needs and focus on what God wants for that moment, hour, day and the long term. We want God’s will to be done no matter what our agenda is.
“Give us this day our daily bread”
- Depend on Him for everything! God wants us to rely on Him for everything, nothing is out of bounds. We may not need anything in the moment but we can surely pray for blessings each day.
“And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.”
- Get your heart right with God and with people.
- Allow God to search your heart, to show you where you need to ask for forgiveness. Be willing to ask for forgiveness daily, don’t wait. Be willing to forgive others, bathe yourself in prayer so you can forgive others when offense comes.
“And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”
- Engage in spiritual warfare. Ephesians 6:10-12. Take time to bind the devil off marriages, families, pray against addictions, etc.
“For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.”
- Express faith in God’s ability. Jeremiah 32:7 and Revelation 5:13
Pastor Hodges delivers a message that we all need to hear. He encourages his congregation as well as those watching the podcast to try out his method. I felt I couldn’t share this with you unless I had tried it. So tonight before work I took his seven steps that Jesus laid out in the Lord’s Prayer and used them as a guide. Can I tell you that it was the best fifteen minutes I’ve spent in prayer in a while. I truly spent time in God’s presence, focusing on who He is, what He wants from me and how I can pursue His will and not my own. It was fabulous!