May 15 I Wednesday
2 Kings 22-23
“May my prayer be set before You like incense.”
Jesus’s infamous teaching on prayer to His disciples is commonly known as the Lord’s Prayer. He taught His disciples, ‘When you pray, say: ‘Father, hallowed by Your name, Your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation’” (Luke 11:2-4). Matthew has a fuller version of the prayer, but even with Luke’s abbreviation, we can learn five principles to create the right atmosphere for our praying to be effective and fruitful.
First, prayer has to be in the context of relationship. The first word Jesus says is “Father.” Though we are God’s children, Jesus means “Father” here in the loose sense that He is our creator and originator. When we receive Jesus as our Lord and Saviour, God becomes our Father, and we are brought into that intimacy with Him whereby we can speak, talk, listen and trust Him. Secondly, when Jesus says “hallowed be Your name,” it expresses reverence towards God because He is sovereign. There are many in our day and age who are casual with God, but Jesus taught His disciples that when we pray, we are to pray with reverence.
Thirdly, when we say, “Your kingdom come,” we are implying in that phrase, “If Your kingdom is going to come, my kingdom has to go. If Your kingship is going to be expressed in my life, I have got to get off the throne.” We pray with that sense of
responsibility, where we seek after His kingdom, will and purposes to be accomplished.
Fourthly, we are invited to make our request to our Father. We can ask for physical needs, “Give us this day our daily bread;” spiritual needs, “Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us;” and moral needs, “Lead us not into temptation.” Lastly, we repent because we are not able to live a life that is pure and we come to God acknowledging our need for His cleansing. Our repentance is expressed in two ways: the confession of our sin to Him and our willingness to forgive those who sin against us.
If we are going to enjoy intimacy with God, we are going to have to converse with God through prayer grounded in relationship, reverence, responsibility, repentance and requests. What a privilege that we can come to God in this way!
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, may Your name be honoured. Thank You for Your continual work in my life. Forgive me when I wander away from You, and renew in my prayer life intimacy with You.