Robert believes that the Holy Scriptures are the authoritative foundation of knowledge and hold the answer to humanity's ills.
Prayer is an awe-inspiring conversation between a human being and his most profound parent. Although our Heavenly Father loves us and welcomes us at any time, we must still honor and respect Him when we speak to Him. Here is an excellent way to talk to the Father and Head of It All.
We Need to Talk
Our first provisions of comfort and help came from our parents. As we grew, we began to understand who was loving and supporting us. In time we learned how to give thanks and respect to the ones who protected and provided for us. The most significant provider of all is our Spiritual or Heavenly Father (God). When a child needs help, he goes to his parents and talks to them. As adults, we also need to talk to our Father in Heaven. In Matthew 6:9-13, Christ, our elder brother, provides an excellent blueprint on how to respectfully and lovingly approach the throne of God. The outline has become commonly known as the Lord's Prayer.
Recognize Who You Are Talking To
In His famous Sermon on the Mount, Jesus gives instructions on how to pray. In Matthew 6:9, Jesus tells us to address God as "Our Father which art in heaven..." The statement recognizes God as the Father of All, whose throne is in Heaven. Knowing who we are talking to helps us to come forth with the awe and reverence that the Creator and Sustainer of the Universe deserves.
Matthew 6:9 goes on to say, "...Hallowed be thy name.
When something is hallowed, it means that it has been made holy or consecrated (declared sacred). When we pray to our Father in Heaven, we begin by understanding that his name is worthy of all the honor, reverence, and respect that we have to offer.
When we pray to our Father in Heaven, we begin by understanding that his name is worthy of all the honor, reverence, and respect that we have to offer.
Ask for the Ways of God
God's throne is in Heaven. A throne signifies a kingdom. A king rules according to the way he feels is best. In Matthew 6:10, when Christ tells us to pray, "Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven," he is instructing us to pray that the ways of God come to earth. Namely in the hearts and souls of humanity. The passage also peers into the future by instigating the coming of Christ's kingdom on earth.
Request That God Continues to Provide
Matthew 6:11 says, "Give us this day our daily bread. In time past, people made bread every day. Making bread out of seeds that contained natural, consumable oils caused spoilage to occur quickly. Bread is a metaphor used to describe the things we need to survive daily. Those necessities include food, shelter, clothing, and a medium of exchange. Bread is also said to be "the staff of life," meaning necessary to sustain life. When our ancestors replenished "the staff of life" every day, it ensured their survival. God, in His love and mercy, has been ensuring our survival. When we ask Him to give us our daily bread, we are praying that He continues to provide for us.
Petition for Forgiveness and Help to Forgive
Because we exist in a world full of people with various customs, viewpoints, and personalities, sooner or later we are going to say or do something that offends someone. If someone offends us, we can go down the path of revenge and resentment, or we can forgive, let it go, and move on. Although our Heavenly Father loves and provides for us, all of us have done something to offend Him, "...for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" Romans 3:23 (NIV).
Forgiveness is not easy, and staying away from hurting others isn't easy either. We sin against God and offend others every day. That is why Christ instructs us to pray, "And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors," Matthew 6:12 (KJV).
We have sinned against (offended) The Head of It All (God) and deserve the death penalty. However, God loves us so much that He came up with a way to forgive us and deliver us from the sentence of death. Romans 3:24 says, "...and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus." If the Creator of all things can forgive us, we should be able to forgive those who have offended us. Forgiveness is not easy, and staying away from hurting others isn't easy either. We sin against God and offend others every day. That is why Christ instructs us to pray, "And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors," Matthew 6:12 (KJV).
Call for Help and Protection Against Evil
After God has forgiven and removed sin from our lives, we are to pray that we do not enter into the offensive behavior again. Sooner or later, some form of temptation will come to all of us. To be tempted is not a sin. Christ faced temptation, but He did not succumb to it, Luke 4:1-13. Christ was able to avoid every temptation that the devil threw at Him. Our victory over temptation and the pitfalls of evil comes when we call for God's help, "And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil," Matthew 6:13 (KJV).
Close with Praise
We close our conversation with the Head of It All, similar to the way we began. We acknowledge that God's ways are perfect ("for thine is the kingdom"). We also recognize that His power is supreme, and He is and always will be worthy of glory and honor. Saying "Amen" at the end of prayer puts a seal of completion on things. It means "so be it." According to Merriam-Webster, "so be it" is "used to say that one is resigned to the fact that one can do nothing to change something." The Cambridge Dictionary says that "so be it" means "it is necessary to accept the situation as it exists." Once we talk to The Head of It All respectfully and adequately, we can accept with confidence that His unshakeable hand of authority and love will be upon us.
"...For thine is the kingdom and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen" Matthew 6:13 (KJV).
"Lead Us Not Into Temptation" Commentary on the Lord's Prayer. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.lords-prayer-words.com/commentary/lead_us_not_into_temptation.html.
Soroski, J. (2019, August 16). "Hallowed Be Thy Name" - What Does it Mean? Retrieved from https://www.biblestudytools.com/bible-study/topical-studies/what-does-hallowed-be-thy-name-mean.html.
"Thy Kingdom Come" Commentary on the Lord's Prayer. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.lords-prayer-words.com/commentary/thy_kingdom_come.html.
© 2019 Robert Odell Jr