Our Father, which art in heaven, hallowed by thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil; For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen. Matthew 6: 9 – 13
Wouldn’t it be so amazing if we could just sit and have a long conversation with God, taking all the time we need?
And how incredible would it be, if He would reassure us that He is just where He wants to be, spending time with us? Imagine knowing that He has nowhere else in the world He has to be. He is not in a rush, nor will He have to leave to attend to someone or something else, and neither will He become impatient with us. It would be our own personal time with Him, with no one else around. We would be free to tell Him what is on our hearts and minds, what concerns and issues we have, and how we need His presence with us to help us through whatever painful situation we are facing.
Can you even imagine how we would pour our hearts out to Him – telling Him everything – and how He would listen to us with such love, concern, and assurance? Can you imagine how He would gently soothe our hearts and souls and take away our anxiety, fear, and sadness, as He reminds us of how much He cares and of how He will always be with us?
And what about us, after seeing and understanding how much He loves us, would we not want to praise Him and give Him our love and gratitude in return? Humbled by His love and presence, would we not want to ask for His forgiveness and thank Him for His saving grace? Would we not want to promise Him that from this moment forward, we will forever trust Him with our lives and with those we love?
Even more, can you imagine what peace and comfort we would feel after being with our loving God? Would we not want to worship Him always with all our honor, praise, and glory?
If we could only realize that this is a gift we have each and every day when we spend time with God in prayer, for there is nothing He desires more from us than our love, devotion and time. He is waiting for us to come to Him, and we can have the peace and comfort of knowing that we have been in His presence.
So many individuals seem to struggle with how to pray, what words to say, how to go before Him and open their hearts to Him. We don’t need flowery language or have to be a great speaker to pray – we just need to spend time with Him honestly expressing our thoughts and feelings.
If we need more, Jesus, the Master and Teacher, has provided this model, The Lord’s Prayer, for us in Matthew and Luke. We have these guidelines to use when approaching God’s throne in the manner in which we should, with reverence and humility.
In the 66 words in this beautiful prayer, 24 are devoted to God, and 28 focus on our needs. That should give us insight on how we should pray, and one of the greatest lessons we can take from this prayer is that we should always begin our own with loving recognition of who God is – our loving Father, the Creator, Sustainer of Life, our Lord, and our most Holy and Sovereign God.
We should want to acknowledge His love, grace and goodness to us and always offer thanksgiving for our many blessings. And we know from Scripture that He graciously invites us to ask for love, peace, and healing for ourselves and for those we care about.
God knows our needs even before we ask, but He desires that we seek Him and His presence. If we ask anything according to His will, He will hear us and we can know that He wants His best for us. We should ask for forgiveness and offer our gratitude for the gift of His Son.
And if we need more guidance, we can always use the words from Scripture passages to help us form our prayers. But most importantly, we should always know that we can ask specifically, persistently, and with faith. What a gift of time with Him!
Our most loving Father, we thank you for the grace to come before you with confidence and hope, to give you our most heartfelt concerns and all our despair. But most of all, may we always come before you humbly and reverently, with love and gratitude for all your goodness to us. Amen