Words On The WORD
Monthly Articles Grounded in Biblical Truths




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Subject: Prayer

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 Peter 3:10)

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.” (John 15:7)

Nancy Hamilton

© 2012 Words On The Word

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