The Lord’s Prayer canchange your world
We have been learning about prayer for just over a month now, and it is my prayer for you today, with all that is happening in our nation and around the globe, that we will apply what we have learnt to transform our world. We can choose, today, to approach our fear with faith and speak life over even the darkest situations. In fact, let us look at how the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6 can be used for just that.
1. “Give us today our daily bread.”
In Jesus’ time, bread had to be made on a daily basis – they couldn’t just buy a few loaves and store them. God works in a similar way – He provides what you need daily, perfect for each day’s circumstances. God made us to have needs so that we will look to Him to supply them. Psalm 68:19 says, “Blessed be the Lord, Who daily loads us with benefits, The God of our salvation!” Even when we live in uncertain times, we can pray to God to provide for us and for others!
2. “And forgive us our debts …”
A debt is something owed that must be paid. We owe obedience to God, and so when we sin, that creates a ‘debt’ to God. Sin cannot be overlooked or forgotten. It must be paid for. God says, “Be holy as I am holy.” We can’t be holy like God without help, and that is why Jesus’ blood was shed for our sin. We can allow Jesus to pay the sin debt for us, or we can suffer the consequences of sin. And no matter how bleak our situations may seem right now, there is a day coming when we must give account for all we do in this life. So let us get rid of sin by confessing them to God and seeking forgivingness.
3. “… as we also have forgiven our debtors.”
Receiving forgiveness is contingent on us forgiving those who wronged us. This may seem hard, but forgiveness is central to the Kingdom of God. Those who are forgiven, forgive – because they know that they are also unworthy of forgiveness. Unforgiveness is kryptonite to our prayers. When we fail to forgive someone, we set ourselves up as a higher judge than God himself. Our relationship with the Lord cannot be right until our relationship with others is made right.
4. “And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from the evil one.”
If we have done the other steps before this one, then we’re now ready to move into deliverance. To be delivered is to be saved, rescued, or set free. When we let go of unforgiveness and are made right with God, we can now be free of all that tries to hold us captive in this life. As we ask for God’s protection, we are declaring God as our Leader and Shepherd. We are not praying, “Lord don’t tempt me” because God never tempts us (James 1:13). We aren’t praying, “Father don’t allow me to be tempted” because we are going to be tempted and tested as a part of life. It is not a sin to be tempted. It is sin when we give into temptation. Jesus said to His disciples, “Keep watch and pray so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak!” Matthew 26:41 NLT. And so our prayer should be that God would direct our path and lead us to triumph when we are tempted.
This was the pattern of prayer that the disciples were taught and used as the basis for miracles and deliverance that turned the world upside down. They received this blueprint from Jesus Himself, and when we use it, with sincerity of heart, we can be sure that God hears and will answer our prayers.