Sometimes my wife and I wanted to hear important answers from our son on a long distance call but we were disappointed when the signal was too weak or lost.
When we pray to our Father, even if heaven is very far away from us, there is no fluctuation of signal. We are sure that our prayers are completely sent and have reached the heart of God. That’s a relief and good news indeed! There are nine points we can take from the famous “Lord’s Prayer” as recorded in Matthew 6 to enhance our prayer experience:
1. Pray Communally
The first word in that prayer, i.e. “our,” tells us that we are not alone. In Revelation 8:3-4, the prayers of all God’s people are presented before the throne of God by angelic hands. We need to pray in the knowledge that we are never alone.
2. Pray Relationally
Jesus’ prayer was personal, relational, and intimate. It is that same attitude that Jesus wanted us to call our God as our “Father”. Consider the following verses:
“For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” (Romans 8:15)
Let us approach God not only as Lord and King, but also as a loving, tender, and gracious Father.
3. Pray Confidently
Pray in the realization that our Father transcends the limits of this world. Pray with the understanding that what is impossible for you is completely possible for Him.
“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us” (Ephesians 3:20)
4. Pray Respectfully
“Hallowed be Your name”
Don’t lose that sense of awe and respect to our Father. Always pray that God’s name be honored and upheld, and not to be mentioned in meaningless way.
5. Pray Cooperatively
“Not my will but Your will be done”
We must seek God’s guidance and listen to His voice. Before asking God for anything, we need to ask ourselves first if what we are asking for is to the advancement of our mission on this earth. Is our prayer aligned with God’s will?
6. Pray Specifically
“Give us the bread we need today”
Be definite with your prayer. Mention specific names and their specific needs. It is not to say that God is so picky, or needs to be reminded, but being specific helps us to understand more about our or others’ needs. It helps us to be more concerned and serious in our relationship with others. It is only by knowing others that we truly show our love to them.
7. Pray Practically
“Bread” is a practical need of every human being. Pray for essential things, not for the superficial or unnecessary. What is the need of your family? What is the need of the church? What is the need of the ministry you are involved in?
8. Pray Contritely
“Forgive us what we have done wrong”
Our prayer should include a posture of repentance, attitude of humility, and a confession of sin. If my pride is untouched when I pray for forgiveness, I have not prayed for forgiveness, I don’t even understand it.
9. Pray Graciously
“…as we forgive those who have sinned against us”
We are forgiven because we forgive. “If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened” (Psalm 66:18), “but the prayer of the penitent, contrite soul is always accepted” (Steps to Christ p. 95).
May the Holy Spirit gives us the strength and willingness to exercise the points listed above when we pray. May these insights give us new experiences that will lead us closer to our Father in heaven.