The Lord’s Prayer
5 “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 6 But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
7 “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. 9 Pray then like this:
“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
10 Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread,
12 and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
14 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, 15 but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Mt 6:5–15). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.
- What requests dominate your prayer?
- True prayer happens at the intersection of surrender and celebration.
- When we surrender our "wish list" to God, then prayer becomes a celebration of all God has given to us.
May I not be so foolish as to think I know what is best for my life and thus make demands (my wish list) for you to satisfy. How easy it is for so much of my prayer to be nothing more than me treating you like some genie in the lamp, demanding you grant me my desires. Abba, forgive such foolishness. You are THE God of the universe! You are THE Creator and Sustainer of all that we see! You are THE embodiment of wisdom, knowledge, justice, righteousness, love, mercy, grace, holiness, and everything we revere and honor! How could I possibly boast to know more or better than You? Ah, such is the folly and shame of arrogance and pride.
No, rather grant my heart surrender to you. Knowing as I do, even as little as it is, about your divine nature, grant me trust in Your divine being and the strength surrender to Your perfect will and plan. So much does not make sense to me. But I know that You make no mistake and You have no equal to thwart Your will. You can be trusted. Strengthen me to trust You and surrender all. You have already given to me more than I deserve and more than I can truly understand. Let my prayer be derived from surrender and celebration for WHO You are and WHAT You have already given rather than merely on what I demand.
Abba, I know that You invite us to come and share our needs, desires, and burdens with You. Your graciousness to invite us to come, Your tender care of even being mindful of our needs is a grace so rich that I cannot fathom the depth of. Who am I that You would pay heed to my inconsequential requests? Truly, the fact that You hear and show interest should humble me into oblivion.
So grant me the strength to embrace Your invitation to come and the humility to come with a heart of surrender and celebration. As I make my requests, let them be made out an understanding of Your holy being and in complete acceptance of whatever Your perfect will may be. Let my requests come only after abundant acknowledgement of Your nature, confession of my own sinfulness, and thankfulness for everything Your grace supplies every moment of my life. Truth is, my requests tend to change when my focus is You instead of my requests. After contemplating the wonders of your majesty, how can my trite and trivial requests not change? And how can I offer any other response besides contentment and joy after reflecting so long and so hard on the glorious beauty of You. Truth is, if I were to stare into the sun for too long, I would become blind to all else around me. I would be able to see nothing but the blazing and dazzling light from that star that heats our humble home. How much more glorious is your majesty and regal beauty!!!! When I stare long enough at the wonder of it, the things of my life around me fade into nothingness and the cares of this life mean little compared to being enraptured by Your holiness.
Yes, Abba, lead me to a this place of surrender and celebration. It is the only place worth living at.
I love you, Abba.