“Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;” —Ephesians 6:18
Scripture Reading: Matthew 6:5-13
Christ’s teaching on prayer in Matthew 6:5-13 establishes the foundational concepts every Christian needs to have an effective prayer life. But how are these concepts incorporated into our daily prayer life in a practical way?
WORSHIP—The Lord’s Prayer begins with worship. “Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name” (Matthew 6:9). Prayer should start with a focus on God’s greatness, His majesty, and His mercy and grace in sending His Son to die for our sins. We recognize that He truly is Lord over the entire universe, and that He alone is the Father and Creator of mankind. Worship includes not only a recognition of His greatness, but a personal acceptance of it. We’re called to go beyond lip-service, and pour our heart out to the One who made us in His image. One of the best ways we can do this is to worship God for His character attributes. He truly is our Holiness, Righteousness, Healer, Provider, Shepherd, Protector, and Peace.
KING—“Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10). When we begin by worshipping the Lord, it is then that we can fully understand He is King of everything. All we can see or understand in the physical or spiritual realm is His. Because it’s His, He has every right to rule as He sees fit.
When we recognize Him as the Ruler of the universe, we must also be willing to recognize Him as the Ruler of our life. Just as He sits on a throne in heaven, we need to let Him sit on the throne of our heart. What we want must be given up in prayer by saying what Christ said: “Not my will, but thine, be done” (Luke 22:42). Seeing Him as our King and Ruler should cause us to cast our care upon Him completely. if He can rule every aspect of the universe, surely we can trust Him with our life!
- By what glorious work of grace do we become the children of God? John 1:11-12; Romans 8:14-17; 2 Corinthians 6:17-18; Galatians 3:23-26; Ephesians 1:3-6; 2:11-14.
- How does the phrase “which art in heaven” indicate God’s sovereignty and rulership over everything and everyone (Matthew 6:9)? Ephesians 1:19-23; 3:20-21; Job 41:33-34; Psalm 87:5-11; 115:3; Matthew 19:26; 1 Corinthians 1:27-29.
- Is it coincidental that Jesus teaches us to begin our prayers with worship? Why is worship such an important part of our prayer life? 1 Chronicles 16:23-31; Psalm 22:3, 27-28; Isaiah 45:20-24.
- Christ instructs us to pray that God’s Kingdom would come. What does it mean to have His Kingdom come to us? Luke 17:20-21; Romans 14:17; 1 Corinthians 4:19-20; Acts 2:1-4; John 4:13-14; 7:37-38; Matthew 16:19.
Note: It’s important to realize that God’s will has already been established in heaven. What has been established in the heavens becomes reality on the earth. Therefore, our life should focus on discovering God’s established will, and then praying that into reality on earth.
- How does His Kingdom come in our personal lives? Romans 10:8-13; Luke 9:23-26; John 15:1-8; Mark 16:14-18; Galatians 5:22-26. How can we limit the fullness of His Kingdom working in us?
- Why must we always be seeking God’s will for our lives? Matthew 7:24-27; 12:50; James 4:13-17; Luke 22:41-43; Proverbs 16:7, 9; Psalm 1:1-6; 139:23-24.
This week, begin experimenting with prayer. Spend 2 or 3 days in worship, trying to see God’s sovereignty and mercy in a new way; spend another 2 or 3 days praying in complete silence, listening for the still, small voice of God; spend another 2 or 3 days examining how much of your life is really devoted to the Kingdom of God.