How can a Christian be happy in the circumstances of life?
Become like Jesus.
In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus teaches us how to abide, commune with the Creator of the Universe.
“Pray then like this: Our Father 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 have forgiven our debtors and lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil” (Matthew 6:9-15)
These are not empty words to be memorized for repetition without thought. This prayer bring us into deep communion with the Living God.
Jesus makes seven explicit statements that guide us in prayer.
1. Elevate God’s Name in prayer. As we approach prayer, the very first thing we should do in prayer is to do whatever we can to exalt His Name. In the Old Testament, God name will be in all caps. LORD, which in Hebrew is Yahweh or Yehvah. Linguists called this the tetragrammaton, the great four letters. When God’s chosen came across the Name of God they never spoke it. They paused, and kneeled as they read Scripture and did not let the Name drop from their lips. God’s chosen people so greatly respected God’s Name that they didn’t defile it by confining it to time and space. Hallowed be Your Name, begins us into place of submission before the One who defines us.
2. Elevate God’s Kingdom and His will. Recognize that God’s ways are greater than our own. Lay down personal concerns in deference for His Kingdom. Elevating God’s will brings us to the crux of the prayer itself. Here, we bring all of our desires and confront them with the will of God. It takes courage to surrender our desires over to His will.
3. Request and Petition. Now that our hearts are centered with God and His Kingdom and His will, we bring our requests to God. We ask not for what we want but for what we really need.
4. Forgiveness of sins. Ask God, Will You forgive me? I opened my mouth in the wrong way today. Will You forgive me? I spoke in the wrong tone today, God. Will You forgive me? I acted inappropriately today, God. Will You forgive me? When we begin to look into the interior of our hearts and discover where we are soured in relationship to God but other people, we forgive others, and seek their forgiveness.
5. Alertness to temptation. Now Jesus turns to spiritual awareness. We have become softened and desensitized to temptation and sin. Pray to be awakened to the temptation and for God’s leading us out.
6. Deliverance. There are moments in my own life when I realize my weariness. I can ask God be my salvation, love me, care for me, deliver me, and for His will. Jesus guides us into deep communion with God with a pattern of prayer.
- Take a moment to elevate the Kingdom of God and lay down your own understanding of the Kingdom.
- Lay down your desires and wills and pray God’s Will in your life.
- Make your request known to God.
- Ask God to forgive you.
- Pray that God will increase your awareness of sin and temptation.
- Finally, pray for your deliverance in places where you’re weary.
QUICK TIPS FOR ESTABLISHING A PRAYER TIME
- Number one: Set a time and a place. For me, that’s early in the morning.
- Two: Set a prayer goal. Two years ago I set a goal to pray two hours a day and I’ve continued to maintain that goal.
- Three: Have a pattern of prayer. This morning, I prayed the Lord’s Prayer. Sometimes I pray the Psalms. I pick a Psalm. Read it. Stop, and pray it. This helps me focus.
- Four: Pray out loud. Jesus always prayed out loud. It may look weird sometimes when your kids walk in and interrupt you or you’re driving down the freeway talking to yourself, but you know what? It’s okay. You’re talking to God.