The most basic form of prayer is the Lord’s Prayer, which most of us learnt in Sunday school. It begins by exalting God and praising His name. It is creates a relationship between mankind and God the Father. Isaiah 56:7 says “God will make us joyful in the place of prayer”. It is good to hear what God has for me.
The Lords Prayer has been misunderstood in the church; it requires someone to know God before they can pray. However, we see the congregation depending on the priest to pray for them yet this is a role that we all have to play personally. Daniel 11:32(b) underscores this by saying “the people that do know their God shall be strong and do exploits”. We know God by talking to Him through prayer and this qualifies us to pray.
Let’s review the different parts of this simple but important prayer;
Our Father – God is our Father and we should relate to Him as a child to a father.
Hallowed be your Name – Hallow means to treat with great respect or to make holy. God’s name displays His character and authority and with is phrase we respect and make Holy the name of the Lord Almighty. Philippians 2:9-11.
Thy Kingdom Come – Kingdom of God is our business with God and it should come in every aspect of our lives (home, work, family etc). Before we ask God for anything, His Kingdom must come first so that our needs can be met. Hannah humbled herself before God and Priest Eli and changed her pattern of prayer to concern God’s Kingdom and God answered her. (1st Samuel 1:1-11). When you are praying, look for situations that would benefit God’s Kingdom which comes first before any other kingdom.
Thy will be done – God has a will for each of us and wants it to be done on earth as it is in Heaven. When praying, subject your will to the will of God so that His will come first before our prayers are answered. This means that God will answer pray that is according to His will.
Give us this day our Daily Bread – Bread here mean daily issues of our lives, home, family, work etc and through prayer we ask Him to supply all our needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19).
And forgive us our trespasses – We are sinners by virtue of our link to Adam and hence we fall short of the glory of God everyday. The magnitude of our sin is only shown when we are in the presence of God. We therefore have to ask for His forgiveness in our daily prayer. In the same breath, God requires us to forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation…. – Everyday we encounter situations and people that lead us astray. We therefore need to ask God everyday to help us overcome these temptations that the evil one lays on our path.
Deliver us from evil…….. This is the conclusion of the Lord Prayer and essentially requires us to return praise and worship back to God. We always fall into evil, so it is paramount that everyday we ask God to deliver us from all evil planned against us by the kingdom of darkness.
As we conclude, we should note that prayer is not for personal consumption; we need to take quality time on prayer. Prayer is also about laboring and God wants us to labor in the place of prayer like Abraham so that His purpose can be fulfilled. It is a mystery and is the legal avenue to redeem our country from evil. This will change the destiny of our generation. In Kenya, we need to pray the country into her jubilee as she will turn 50 years in 2013.