In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus taught about many things. In Matthew 6:9-13 Jesus gives the disciples wisdom concerning communication with God and shares with them the manner in which they should pray. We all probably pray very often. Let’s look a little closer…..
In verse 9 Jesus says, “This, then, is how you should pray:” The Greek word translated in English as “how you should” is “houtos” [hoo-to]. The broader meaning is to “pray in this manner”. We often recite the Lord’s prayer, which is good, however, Jesus is pointing us here to a more personal communication between us and our Father, God. In other words, Jesus is saying “this is the manner in which you should talk to God the Father”:
Praise God (6:9), pray that God’s perfect purpose will be accomplished in this world (here on earth) as it already is in heaven (Verse 10), ask for provision of individual daily needs (Verse 11), and request help and strength in daily struggles (Verses 12-13).
So, if God knows our needs, then why should we bother praying at all? The reason, I believe, is that prayer, (or conversation with God, indeed with Jesus), is part of our intimate personal relationship with our maker. God loves us intensely and abundantly and wants us to love Him. While he knows US deeply……He wants us to know HIM deeply…in relationship.
Matthew 6:9-13 (TNIV, this is Jesus speaking)
9 This, then, is how you should pray: ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, 10 your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us today our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’
The kingdom of heaven/the kingdom of God is not simply a hoped for future. When we accept and and make a decision to follow Jesus–the kigdom is immedietly within our midst. We suddenly are thrust into the recognition that moment by moment, the world and humanity are being shaped into what God intended in the garden……“thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven”. And………..we are now an active participant in God’s story.
May your life, indeed, your prayers…..be an intimate daily communication with Jesus who loves us more than we can know. May your relationship grow through conversation with our maker and may you come to know His love deep in your heart! May you not only believe…but may you follow Jesus. May you be a part of the healing and the restoration of this world and may you daily live in relationship with Jesus!