Once in awhile my husband and I like to dress up and go out for a fancier dinner than our usual Mexican Cafe. We go for the ambiance, white tablecloths and candlelight, expecting good food and good service. The waiter comes out with a large menu to delight our palate…Oh so many choices! We sit and contemplate each section while picking and choosing what we want to fill our senses and satisfy our hunger.
Our Pastor mentioned in a sermon that we might be guilty of treating prayer that way. I think I am sometimes. Prayer becomes just a daily duty when we only ask for what we want and thank Him for what we have. We treat God like a Heavenly Waiter. We Thank Him for the food and great service while we leave our leftovers and dirty dishes behind for Him to clean up.
God is not a waiter, Santa or a magic genie just waiting to fulfill our wishes. Prayer is direct communication with Our Heavenly Father, Our Creator – the One Who sent His only Son to die in our place! Since the very beginning of time God has longed to have a relationship with His Creation. Jesus gave His disciples a model for prayer that we can follow too.
Our Father in heaven – Our Heavenly Abba or Dad, unlike our earthly fathers He is the One Who knows everything about us and promises to always be with us. He is all powerful and can never fail.
Hallowed be your Name. – Holy, praise and glory to, reverence and awe to, your Name above all Names. We fail to worship Him for Who He is.
Your kingdom come – Are we building His Kingdom (sharing the gospel) and looking for His return? It could be soon!
Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. – Recognize that He reigns over Heaven and earth. It’s not what I want but trusting that He knows better than I do. He sees all our circumstances and is Sovereign and in control.
Give us this day our daily bread – He provides daily for our every need; food, clothing, shelter, friends, family and way beyond. Make your own list of blessings not just wants.
and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors – Forgiveness is freeing and powerful. We do not deserve having Someone die in our place! We mess up every day. But we also have to forgive others to have true peace in our hearts.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. – be mindful of the things that trip you up. Stay away from temptation and ask for that way to escape and overcome. Matt 6:9-13 (ESV)
Jesus taught a lot about prayer. First we should make sure our thoughts and motives are pure when we pray and keep short accounts with God. He does encourage us to ask for our hearts desire because God longs to give His children good gifts. He hears us, sees us and knows our pain and every need and we can trust Him in all situations.
During this Lenten season let us be more mindful of how we pray. Let us not be complacent or so casual as to treat Him like our personal waiter. If we follow Jesus’ model we can pray powerful prayers that make a difference in our lives and those around us.
Praise God from Whom All blessings Flow