At the Disruptive conference in Toronto, Dr. Rick Reed, President of Heritage College and Seminary, presented a session on Prayer based on Luke 22 and the Lords’ Prayer. Here is a summary of the presentation by our Director of Conferences, Rick Verkerk.
Three Reasons We Don’t Pray
When Jesus told the disciples at the Last Supper about events that would happen soon, they started arguing among themselves. Jesus pointed to Peter that Satan wanted to “sift him like wheat,” but Peter confidently replied that he would die or go to prison for Jesus. (Lk 22:31-34) Well, we know how that turned out after the three rooster crows.
How often in our lives do we overconfidently think that we are okay and can handle whatever is happening?
After the supper, Jesus took a few disciples and headed out to pray. He instructed them to “pray that you will not fall into temptation.” (Luke 22:40) Three times, Jesus left to go pray and, upon return, found them asleep. (Matt 26:36-46) Our lives are busy with plenty of distractions, and none of us have an eternal fountain of energy. We get tired, and even though we have the best intentions to pray, we end up neglecting prayer. For the disciples, it had been a long day; they were tired. Maybe they started praying but succumbed to their tiredness.
How often have you started praying at the end of the day when in bed and fell asleep before finishing?
Jesus left to pray and was “exhausted from sorrow,” a possible explanation of why the disciples fell asleep. They had heard some startling news from Jesus during supper. The long day and troubling news would have been overwhelming and difficult to process, making it hard to focus on prayer. Add fatigue to that – and soon, the disciples were asleep.
In moments of simply being overwhelmed, how often do we think about praying?
Six Ways to Pray Using The Lord’s Prayer
Using the Lord’s Prayer (Matt 6:9-13) as a template, here is a guideline of six different ways for you to pray. Three are focused on God, and three are focused on you.
FOCUS ON GOD
1. Praise – Hallowed be your name
“Hallowed” is not a word readily used today, but “praise” is more common. Your prayers can always start with praising God because there is an infinite number of reasons to praise his name every day. You can begin praising him when you wake up until you fall asleep at the end of the day.
2. Kingdom – Your kingdom come
Thank and praise God for his kingdom, but also pray for an expansion of his kingdom. Pray for people who do not know Jesus, people you know when the Holy Spirit impresses their names on you. Pray for those presenting the gospel to others – missionaries, pastors and our churches.
3. Will – Your will be done
Thank and praise God for his perfect will and how it guides your life. Pray that your will does not conflict with God’s will but rather aligns with it. Pray that God clearly shows you his will for your life and that you obediently follow it.
FOCUS ON YOU
1. Needs – Give us our daily bread
Pray about your needs – the necessities of life. However, if God knows all your needs before you pray about them, why pray? Our most significant need is to get closer to him, and prayer is the direct route to God. We can bring our needs to God because he wants us to.
2. Forgiveness – Forgive us our debts as we also have forgiven our debtors
This is the opportunity to ask for forgiveness for your sins. But also take time to ask the Holy Spirit to show you people that you need to forgive – or people you need to ask forgiveness from.
3. Protection – Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from the evil one
Pray for protection and total reliance on the Lord to guard your life and the lives of others. Pray against the evil of the world and strength for you to resist it.