Radical, Transformational Prayer – How it Will Change Everything!
This then is how you should pray. (Matthew 6:9)
With these words Jesus gives us a model prayer which could be considered the most basic teaching on prayer. The words have power to transform and the pattern can be used for nearly every circumstance.
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name (Matthew 6:9)
We address God first of all. These words teach us about God and the spiritual posture of prayer. These few words teach us three things about God.
He is personal. The very use of the word “our” means we talk to God on a personal level. Our is a plural pronoun that is personal. If we were praying this prayer alone, we could say My Father.
He is relational. “Father” is a family address. God is our closest relative! He is a perfect Father. We all have fathers. Some are good and some are bad. When we think of our Father in heaven, we must see him as flawless and everything we could imagine. Therefore he is:
And, doubtless, we could add many other things to describe his as a Father. If our description is good, then it will be accurate.
He is holy – “hallowed be your name.” This helps us know how to approach him. While he is approachable as a Father, he is also supremely holy. We can’t be flippant or careless as we come to him in prayer. He deserves to be treated as holy.
Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. (Matthew 6:10)
Your kingdom come teaches us a fourth thing about our Father – he is sovereign. A kingdom has a king. That king is sovereign. He reigns absolutely with all authority.
When we pray for his kingdom to come, we are asking for:
His presence. The king comes with his Kingdom. When a kingdom advanced in the days of Jesus, the king led his conquering troops. A prayer for his kingdom to come, therefore is a cry for the presence of God.
His purposes. His kingdom coming means the purposes of his kingdom are established. What are his purposes? He desires: everyone to be saved from the ravages of sin; those saved to be made holy; for everyone one to have the fruit and gifts of the Spirit vibrantly manifested in their lives.
His values. It is clear that what our Father values by what he showed us in his Son, Jesus. Here are some of his values: all are loved, all are precious, everything is done for God’s glory, unity among his people.
His activities. The activities of the kingdom are many. Among them: prayer, serving the needs of people inside and outside the kingdom, encouragement, worship, sharing the good news of the kingdom.
His economy. God’s kingdom has a radically different economy. Here are some things that change in a kingdom economy:
The spiritual takes priority over the physical
Obedience is more important than comfort
Giving is far more essential than receiving
Participating is the reality rather than spectating
Your will be done is where this prayer becomes even more radical!
This is a prayer for him to have his way in your life and in your world. It means that his will is unchallenged (in earth as it is in heaven). The Bible tells us his will is good, pleasing and perfect (Romans 12:2).
It also means: “not my will!” When we pray this, we surrender our personal sovereignty to him.
This is comprehensive. Absolutely nothing is done in heaven contrary to his will, so everything in your life matters to him. Too often we forget to even think about the will of God for things we consider trivial – it’s too small to ask God about, urgent – no time to ask God about this, or routine – this is what I do all the time. We need to recognize that God may have desires in regarding all of these things.
In earth as it is in heaven. There is absolute certainty that God’s will is done in heaven, without opposition or question. In heaven, God’s will dictates that conditions are not subject to the curse on the earth caused by sin, rebellion and disobedience.
Do you now dare to pray this prayer? It will truly change everything in your life.