DOES GOD HEAR US?
How many times have we
recited the Lord’s Prayer? “Our Father who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy
name….” But what does this prayer mean to us? Is it merely a prayer that rolls
off our lips because it’s been memorized since childhood? A prayer that is used
in various situations and venues, half-heartedly repeated time-and-again simply
because it’s a tradition?
Regrettably, too often
this model prayer (“after this manner…pray ye”), given by Jesus Christ, is
recited by those who are void of an authentic, personal relationship with God,
making this prayer meaningless when uttered! To understand what Jesus was trying
to convey concerning prayer and praying, we need to dissect the contents of this
perfect prayer found in Matthew 6:9-13.
But first, what is
prayer? Prayer is the believers’ direct, 24 hour communication line to our
Heavenly Father, allowing us to voice thanksgiving and praise, ask for guidance,
express our concerns for others and maintain inner peace in a troubled world.
Without a personal relationship with God, however, our prayers are unheard and
unanswered! “Now we know that God
heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will,
him he heareth.” (John 9:31)
Jesus begins the Lord’s
Prayer by instructing us to acknowledge that God is our Father. “But as many
as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God...” (John 1:12)
With this recognition, we also acknowledge His complete sovereignty, reverently
honoring Him with thanksgiving and praise – “hallowed be thy name.” However, if
we don’t know God as our Heavenly Father, we are unable to worship or display
reverence toward the Redeemer!
Then believers are to
ask that His “will be done”…here and now! An unbeliever asking for God’s perfect
kingdom on earth, along with His reign of righteousness, is petitioning that
God’s will, NOT mans’ will be done! For the unsaved, this request is pointless
since the only will with which one is concerned is his own; a will that is
selfish and destructive; void of any desire to please the Lord! Furthermore, the
unsaved have no expectancy of the Lord’s Second Coming! (Luke 21:27, 40; II
Next, through spoken
word or silent thought, we are to humbly ask Him to “Give us this day our daily
bread.” In this manner we demonstrate our dependency on Him to provide both our
daily physical and spiritual needs! (John 6:35) “…The effectual fervent
prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” (James 5:16b) The thinking of the
unsaved is ‘who needs Jesus?’
When we truly believe,
having sincerely repented, God, The Father, pardons (forgives) us of our sins on
the basis of His Son’s death! For this reason, we have eternal salvation! Yet,
we still sin thus making it necessary to make confession to our Heavenly Father.
“…forgive us our debts, as we forgiven our debtors.” Following this
pattern (forgiveness) set by Jesus, we, too, are to forgive!
“And be ye kind one to another……forgiving
one another….. as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” (Ephesians 4:32)
“And lead us not into
temptation, but deliver us from evil
(sin)…” Total trust must be given
the Lord knowing that only He can guide us through life’s trials, tribulations
and temptations. Yes…He does allow believers to be tried and tested, but He
NEVER provokes us to sin! Thankfully, we have His assurance that He will neither
test us beyond our limits (I Corinthians 10:13) nor forsake us. (Hebrews 13:5)
Unbelievers struggle through adversities alone!
That unbelievers cannot
communicate with God is a harsh reality! The heavenly airways are blocked by
their sin, and God will not respond, but praise God, there is an exception!
When we as an unbeliever, broken and repentant, cry out to the Lord He hears
and our sin debt is pardoned because
“…whosoever shall call upon the name of the
Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:13; Psalm 103:12).
Saying the Lord’s Prayer
or any prayer is futile unless we have accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and
Savior. Praying is opening the secrets of our hearts while talking with God. If
we are without the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, our hearts are wicked (Mark
7:21-23), and our prayers are meaningless. Are we being heard?
“If ye abide in me, and
my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will and it shall be done unto you.”