JANUARY 1, 2023
Praying Strategically And Powerfully
Jesus - “When you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him. This, then, is how you should pray: ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name, Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’” (Matthew 6:7-13)
The Prayer above is often called the Lord’s Prayer. It was a prayer Jesus taught His disciples when they asked Him to teach them to pray. Many Christians have believed it is a prayer they should simply recite, sometimes over and over again. However, before sharing this prayer, Jesus told His disciples to “not keep on babbling like pagans when they pray.” In other words, the prayer He taught them is not simply a prayer to be recited, but it is a guideline or outline for how we are to pray. It is an outline for prayer that should enable us to pray purposefully and powerfully for 15, 30, or even 60 minutes at a time.
When we pray, we should spend time “hallowing” or worshiping our Heavenly Father. We do that by praising God for who He is to us (our Father, our Deliverer, our Comforter, our Provider, our Protector, our Healer, our Helper, etc.). We also “hallow” or worship the Lord by thanking Him for His blessings in our lives (for meeting our needs, for our families and friends, for our jobs, etc).
When we pray, we should also spend time praying for “God’s kingdom to come in our lives and world” and for “God’s will to be done.” Romans 14:17 tells us that God’s Kingdom is about “righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit,” so we need to spend time praying for those qualities in our lives, family, region and world.
We should also spend time praying for our needs and for the needs of others when we pray. Praying for our “daily bread” means praying for our daily physical, emotional, financial, relational, vocational, and spiritual needs. In addition, we should pray in faith when we pray for our needs and for the needs of others. We should believe that the Lord is able and willing to meet the needs of His people.
When we pray, we should pray for God’s forgiveness, asking Him to help us forgive those who have hurt or harmed us in some way. It’s always good to ask the Lord to reveal any unconfessed sins in our lives (Psalm 139:23-24) and then seek forgiveness for those sins (1 John 1:9). It’s always good to forgive others when we pray, because Jesus said our Heavenly Father won’t forgive us if we don’t forgive others (Matthew 6:14-15).
Finally, when we pray, we should ask the Lord to bring us victory over the trials and temptations we face. We learn in the Bible that the Devil is always working against God’s people, seeking to bring us to defeat through trials and temptations. But when we resist the Devil through prayer, he will always flee from us. (James 4:7)
FOLLOW UP ACTIVITY
Memorize the Lord’s Prayer (if you haven’t already done so) and practice praying using the prayer as an outline. (For a family activity, read the Lord’s Prayer together and discuss what each section means. Then, use the Lord’s Prayer as a model for a family prayer time).
PRAYER FOR TODAY
Lord, teach me how to pray purposefully and powerfully so I can be who You’ve called me to be, live like You’ve called me to live and do what You’ve called me to do. In the name of Jesus, Amen.