Theme of the Week: Rethink Prayer
Bible Verse: Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations. Psalm 100:4-5
Scripture Reading: Matthew 6:5-14
If you could ask Jesus to teach you one thing, what would it be?
Would it be to multiply food, or heal the sick? Or would you ask him how to craft the perfect sermon?
Within scripture, we see the disciples ask Jesus to teach them one thing: how to pray. Why is this?
Could it be because they saw a direct correlation between Jesus’ prayer life and his effectiveness in ministry? Likely.
Regardless, I think there is a lot to learn from the disciples request, and even more to learn from Jesus’ response.
What if we chased after an intimate prayer life, more than any other spiritual discipline or practice? What if our main pursuit was to learn how to have a relationship with the Father, like Jesus did?
I believe it would transform our lives and ministry.
As well, Jesus’ response to the disciples should inform the way we pray. Remember, Jesus outlines to them how to pray not what to pray.
Possibly one of the greatest take-aways from Jesus’ instruction is how he opens his prayer:
“‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,”
Hallowed means, holy, or consecrated – set apart.
Jesus instructs his disciples to begin their prayers with adoration – this feels like a far stretch for me as I reflect on some of my recent prayers.
It’s so easy to begin to list off our “give us this day our daily bread” or “deliver me from evil” prayers without stopping and saying “holy is your name”.
Today, I want to encourage you to begin your prayers in this way – with praise. Or as the Psalmist wrote it:
Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the LORD is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations. (Psalm 100:4-5)
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