How Should We Pray?
By Caleb Osborne
Many Christians often wonder, "How should we pray?"
I'm going to touch on this subject of prayer a few more times in the upcoming weeks, so today we'll deal with asking for forgiveness in prayer.
This question of prayer isn't a new one but is in fact one that the disciples asked Jesus while he was still roaming the earth. Jesus responded by giving them an example in the form of the "Lord's prayer".
Many people misconstrue the Lord's prayer as the "sacred" way that we ought to pray. But this is simply not true.
You have to pay attention to a few key points in the Bible. If you've read "Christ Through Me" Then you know that you are no longer under the law of the old covenant, but you are under the new covenant law--forgiven by grace.
But what you must also keep in mind is that the New Covenant, the complete forgiveness of our sins--past, present and future was not put into effect until the ultimate sacrifice for the sins was made. Which came in the form of God's sinless son, Jesus Christ.
So when Jesus told the disciples in the lord's prayer to pray "and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us" they were praying that way because they were still under the old covenant or law. This law required that they seek forgiveness whenever they sinned.
As soon as Jesus Christ died and bore the punishment for all of our sins, it was the the ultimate sacrifice. When you and I accepted Christ as our savior, we accepted the sacrifice that Jesus made on that cross and were completely forgiven. All sins were wiped away, even future ones (heck, they were all future back then right?)
So because we are now under the new covenant and have the life of Christ in us, and holy because of this. We no longer have to ask forgiveness in prayer.
So I encourage you when you pray today, if you find yourself saying, "Father, I ask that you forgive me of my sins..." catch yourself and just show your gratitude instead for the completed work of Christ at the cross that paid for your sins and allowed you forgiveness once and for all. I say it something like this, "father, thank you so much that I am totally forgiven because your son took the penalty for my sins..."
Instead of acting like a sinner. Go on in complete faith that you are already forgiven, think "attitude of Gratitude"!
Consider now the first part of the Lord's prayer. Here is how it is often said:
"Our Father who is in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name"
The key thing that I want to hit on in this email is that the first thing that Jesus does is address his heavenly father as father and then start praising him.
Our God truly is wonderful and worthy of praise, give him the praise that he deserves. Tell him how wonderful he is, thank him for what he has done in your life, relive those positive things that he has done for you and tell him how much you appreciate his gift of salvation.
In the next verse:
"Your kingdom come
Your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven."
Jesus reaffirms what all of us should, that the control of our lives is in our loving father's hands. Let him know that your life is in his hands and his will is yours.
Giving over control of your life and your rights to it is an important step in receiving the great Christian life!
That's all for today, next email we'll look at prayer requests and the best way to present them to our father.
"Give us this day our daily bread."
With this in mind there are two things that I would like to bring up in this email:
1. I think it's important to notice that Jesus put asking for our needs after praising God and telling him that his will is what is foremost in our lives.
Because we are capable of making mistakes and not seeing the whole picture, make sure to let God know that HIS will is what is foremost in our lives.
If this is truly your belief and you have told God this then it isn't necessary to keep drilling it, but I usually precede a prayer request with "if it is your will". This reaffirms the thought process (for myself mostly) that what I am asking is according to his will not mine.
2. We can rely on God to meet our needs and he will always be faithful to do so!
Jesus, the son of God, relied on his father to meet his needs! What beautiful illustration of the way that we are to approach our Christian lives!
God was faithful to meet the needs of Jesus, that he asked for in his prayer because we know that he died on a cross for all of our sins; not because of a lack of his needs being provided for!
"I WILL NEVER DESERT YOU, NOR WILL I EVER FORSAKE YOU" (Hebrews 13:5). God is faithful to always be there for you. He gave his son Jesus so that you could have life and have it more abundantly (John 10:10). He will take care of you and meet your every need.
This has been article on the way that God intended for us to look at prayer. It is by no means exhaustive, but I hope you found it useful.
© Caleb Osborne - All Rights reserved