A Perspective on Prayer
“In this manner, therefore, pray:
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 forgive our debtors.
And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power
And the glory forever. Amen.” (Matthew 6: 8-13)
Make the observation with the help of thebold type that this disciple’s prayer/instruction teaches that we should begin our prayers with what we might call a ‘providential perspective.’
This is expressed in three petitions: Your name, Your kingdom and Your will. Before we get to “Give us” we are to bring into our perspective Who God is, as He is revealed in all His names. Then we are to focus on the fact that He is our King and we are His subjects.
When we understand that He is our King, we know His will must be done on earth through us even as it is done perfectly in heaven, all day long every day.
Many think prayer is coming into the presence of God with a shopping list and sending God on errands for us. But here Jesus is teaching that prayer is reporting for duty to our King that He might give us our orders for the day.
We are to end our prayers with a providential benediction. The essence of the providential benediction is that since the power to answer our prayers will always come from God, the glory and the result (the Kingdom) will always belong to God. James tells us we sometimes “pray amiss.” The difference between praying amiss and praying a hit can be this perspective on prayer.
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