Radical Transformational Prayer – Finish What You Start!
We have heard it before. Prayer changes things. Does your prayer change things? Jesus taught us prayer that truly changes things.
Last week, we began to dive deeply into the Lord’s Prayer as it is recorded in Matthew 6. Today, we will finish that radical transformational prayer.
Give us today our daily bread. (Matthew 6:11)
We are to ask for our physical needs to be met – our daily bread. In Jesus day, the daily bread was often purchased with the days wages on the way home from work. So this prayer is also a prayer for employment so needs can be met.
In our culture today, we tend to have plenty of food. For those who hunger, this prayer is relevant. Jesus modeled it; you can pray it, knowing it is God’s will. All we have comes from God. We should use this prayer as a reminder and be very grateful!
And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. (Matthew 6:12)
Forgive our sins. We cannot thrive spiritually with sin in our lives. The text reads debts but the amplifying information Jesus gives us in verse 15 makes it clear that these are offenses, sins.
While we can be sure that we have been forgiven and we can know it is possible not to sin, we must never be so arrogant to assume that we never miss the mark!
We must humbly accept our human proneness to being self-centered and allow for God’s convicting work in our lives to bring us to a point of repentance and confession.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. (Matthew 6:13)
As we pray, we ask to escape temptation. This request is asking for God’s leadership to take us where we need to be and away from the places that would hurt us. We want God’s power to preserve us against the inevitable attacks of the adversary. We are also asking for continual communion with the Father so we can recognize his presence and direction in our lives.
Part of the answer to this prayer is our responsibility – remember, God won’t do what he expects us to do. You can do three things to help with this part of the prayer.
Live with an attitude of surrender – ‘yes’ to Jesus all the time. Don’t argue with God. He knows best!
Listen and cultivate an attitude of attentiveness. Through continual prayer and reading of the Bible, we can increase our spiritual ability to hear his voice.
You must be devoted to living a life of obedience – especially when it doesn’t seem to make sense. We must have an unwavering faith and trust in his leadership in our lives.
Condition for Successful Prayer
For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. (Matthew 6:14-15)
This verse strikes fear in my heart! When I hear someone say, “I cannot forgive him” or “I am having trouble forgiving her” I shudder knowing that this attitude is keeping God’s forgiveness from their lives.
Forgiveness is conditional! When we pray for forgiveness, we must recognize the essential nature of our being forgiving!
Forgiveness must be one of our highest values. Forgiveness is the most basic expression of mercy. God’s mercy on us must be transformational enough for us to embrace the idea of being merciful to everyone else!
Today, make sure you have forgiven. It is essential for your spiritual well being!
I want to help you be a tenacious follower of Jesus! And, I want to help others follow Jesus with all their strength as well. Please pass this on and join me in encouraging others in this great adventure of following Jesus, living the abundant life and changing the world.