In the year 2000 a little book came out by Bruce Wilkinson called the Prayer of Jabez. It has been really popular with over 17 million in print based on
1. No yada, yada yada v7,8
If there is one thing that most people are good at, it’s talking. Most can go on for quite some time talking often about a lot of stuff but really nothing of real importance. Jesus knew that and He also knew that we like shortcuts. So with all that in mind, He wanted to make sure neither one of things would happen when He taught about prayer. He taught that words alone are not enough. He also warned about asking over and over for earthly things because “your Father knows what you need before you ask him” v8
It isn’t about how eloquent and how often you pray you prayers. We don’t have to make a lot of noise to get God’s attention. He knows the thoughts and intents of our hearts. He longs to connect with us and He wants it heartfelt and intent on really being in communion with Him.
If we are just mumbling memorized words or listing our laundry line of requests and think, great that’s done, than you’re done. He wants more of you, He wants to hear whatever you have to say. It is in this way that friendship grows. Prayer is meant to be a really great conversation!
- God is your Papa – Daddy Father v9
Could there be a more gentle way to approach God? Jesus wanted to know that He is that close, He is that personal, He is that interested. I think we often overlook just how significant that is. Jesus could have opened with O thou eternal and infinite God of wonders, the great I AM, the mighty and glorious One among the heavenly hosts… But HE didn’t! For the disciples it was nothing short of shocking to address God in this way. The name of God was so sacred to the Jewish people that they were not permitted to even speak it out loud.
You may have heard the acronym for prayer as ACTS, but we are missing the most important aspect FAITH. It is the FACTS of prayer. It is in faith that we address God as our Father and realize we are His children.
Jesus then goes on to say “Our Father in heaven” to remind us that God is beyond all space and time. Words of faith build on our relationship with God and words of reverence to make us aware of our place in that relationship
P present yourself to God without pretense
A attend to how you are thinking of God
P purge yourself of anything that is blocking your relationship with God
A approach God as the first thing in your life
Hallowed be your name.
To pray ‘hallowed be your name’ means first things first. It places the emphasis on God first. We begin prayer by not emphasizing the situation but the God in all situations. It is significant to take time to hallow His name and that our lives are committed to His amazing nature and holiness rather than being all about my needs.
It is our prayer that His name will be respected by those who proclaim it. We pray that His Word will be spoken with clarity and authority and everything else needs to fall in line with that. In a sense our hallowing of His name is that we might be a living song of praise to God in everything that we place our mind, heart and hands to.
Your Kingdom Come, Your Will Be Done!
Jesus said His kingdom is not of this world.
Jesus said His kingdom is not of this world.
It is a prayer request to let the
It calls us to love extravagantly, give generously with a heart completely filled with the joy of the Lord!
That is why ‘Your will be done’ so naturally follows in the prayer. He is calling the shots, He is setting the agenda. We submit ourselves to God’s will. It doesn’t always turn out the way that you like it and we can pray with confidence, “No matter what Lord I accept whatever you choose to send me” Its not as much about the destination as it is about the journey along the way.
On earth as it is in heaven...
Jesus lived it, He modeled it, He empowered us to live the same way as He expressed not my will but yours be done in the
Give Us Today Our Daily Bread
I remind you of a great quote from a well known preacher, Howard Hendricks…75% of spirituality is a good night’s rest.
Get back to basics in your prayer life. Bread is the very foundation of our life and in many parts of the world, people don’t know where their next crust of bread is coming from. He was teaching that God can provide the most basic necessities of life and preparing His disciples for a gift way beyond any price…look at
Forgive us our debts
The first step on the road to forgiveness is taking an honest look at our faults, our sins and short comings. We need to see this very clearly and it is a very necessary element of prayer. God doesn’t need a list of our sins but we do in order that we seriously own up to what we have done.
In forgiving others we release them from the obligation they owe to us and really place them in much better hands, God’s hands. Shall not the judge of all the earth do right?
Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one
God has given us the opportunity to choose and that is no better illustrated than in
However he is a lion on a leash. So, remember don’t overestimate either and remember that as you submit to God, resist the devil and stand up to his lies, he will flee.
Keep repeating the Lord’s prayer enough so it becomes a living reality in your life.
It has been said we need to be reminded more than we need to be educated. My prayer is that as I have expanded on this prayer that it has become more precious, more empowering, more fulfilling in your life. “Finish the sentence” for Discussion and Small Groups:
“Finish the sentence” for Discussion and Small Groups:
- When ______________________ happened, I felt as if…
- Me?! Have a part in bringing God’s kingdom to earth? Well that’s pretty…
- It never occurred to me that Jesus expects me to…
- Being ‘in debt’ means that I….
- Temptation was tapping me on the shoulder when… next thing I knew, I…