Take for example the issue of prayer. One of Jesus disciples asked for His help on how to pray. Heres the profound, but infinitely simple pattern He gave: When you pray say, Father, may your name be kept holy. May your Kingdom come soon. Give us each day the food we need, and forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us. And dont let us yield to temptation. (Lk. 11:2-4 NLT)
In 40 words Jesus gave them the essence of prayer that can be stated in about 15 seconds. Shortly after His discourse on prayer, He indicted the religious leaders for laying unnecessary religious burdens on their people: You crush people with impossible religious demands (Lk. 11:46b) With that in mind, here is the bottom line on Jesus pattern for prayer:
Father. The term Father reflects the tender and respectful love which a child feels toward his father. It also expresses our confidence in His love for us, such as fathers have for their children.
May your name be kept holy. We are to ask God to purify and consecrate every aspect of our lives. Thus, our heart embraces Peters admonition, You must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy (I Pet. 1:15).
May your Kingdom come soon. We are to pray that God will reign among men as they submit to His governance. We pray that His kingdom will grow and advance to the end of the world. (See Dan. 7:14-27; Matt. 3:2; Heb. 12:13)
In next weeks Facts we will discuss praying downward.
This week, may you experience His grace, peace and protection.
R. Dwight Hill