As you grow in your Christian maturity, you really start loving and enjoying your prayer life.
It is no longer about praying once in the morning and once in the evening because your soul continually cries out in prayer and worship to God throughout your entire day!
When I first became a Christian, I was daunted by individuals who either prayed very long or were so eloquent in their prayers. I knew I was nothing like it and I wanted to be like that! The problem was though that I didn’t think about the practice required to do that nor did I really reflect on why I wanted what they had.
As I grew in Christ I realized that:
1. I didn’t need to pray like ‘them’ (““And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” Matthew 6:5-8)
2. I just needed to be me and come to God with a pure heart (“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12)
But in my desire to pray and learn as much as I could on praying, it allowed me to reflect on 6 important reasons why we should have a prayer life. And the greatest guideline can be found in the prayer that Jesus taught us to pray (Matthew 6:9-13):
““This, then, is how you should pray:”
“‘Our Father in heaven,”
Praying helps us build a closer relationship with God. The start of this prayer shows our acknowledgment of who we are praying to. Our God is a holy and majestic God who has called us his children. How reassuring it was for me to know that my God who created all things and is the Great I AM, deemed me as his child and showed his love for me by stating I could call him Father.
“hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”
Our God is holy. Our honor, praise and fear brings glory and reverence to his hallowed name. How we use his name including the importance of how we use a capital G or lower case g (especially when we are too tired and feeling lazy) is all important to how we show reverence to his holy name. “[HIS] kingdom come” is that eternal promise given to us of a new heaven and earth when Christ returns (2 Peter 3:7-13 http://bible.com/111/2pe.3.7-13.niv). “Your will be done” is a reassuring faith that we are to trust in God’s perfect purpose.
“Give us today our daily bread.”
Who alone provides all of our needs but God. He is our sole provider. His word reminds us not to worry about anything but to trust him (Matthew 6:25-34; Romans 8:28; Hebrews 11:1). We are to trust God daily for all of our needs. He will provide.
“And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.”
God restores us through confession and healing. How a relief it is to know that my God forgives all my sins. And HE provides me with an opportunity to heal by my forgiveness of others. When we don’t forgive people in our life it traps us into our own prison. One where it controls our lives negatively. So the concept of forgiveness is one that is freeing and provides us with the freedom to love everyone and just let it all go and give it to God. God also warns us that if we don’t forgive others their sins he won’t forgive ours! (Matthew 6:14-15)
Revelation and Resilience
“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’”
God doesn’t lead us into temptation but he does sometimes allow for us to be tested. God allows us to see and understand his wisdom through prayer and reading HIS word. This provides us revelation in our testing and helps in the delivery of us from Satan (the evil one). We need to be resilient in asking God for strength and courage to overcome our tests and he promises us that he will not only give us what we ask (Matthew 7:7; Luke 11:9-13) but also will deliver us from our temptations (1 Corinthians 10:13; Isaiah 40:31).
Prayer: Father, hallowed be your name. Forgive us when we don’t spend enough time with you but want so much. Show us opportunities throughout our day to praise, glorify and honor you as well as situations and people that we can pray for. Grant us thy wisdom, strength and courage to recognize our temptations and overcome it to choose YOUR way in our lives. Amen