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Tuesday: The Model Prayer: Part 1 — 20 Comments

  1. The Messiah promoted and practiced closet prayer far more than public prayer for at least two reasons.

    Public prayers are often designed to satisfy the human hearers, with concern for what they might think, and may easily become pretentious if not at first intended (Matthew 6:5, 6). To avoid distractions and preserve the necessary sincerity and openness it is more beneficial to withdraw privately to a solitary place (Luke 4:42).

    As well public prayers are often evaluated for their supposed eloquence or skillful use of catch phrases and impressive tone, that which identifies ‘prayer stars’ (Matthew 6:7, 8). Little we may realize the content has to be interpreted and perhaps reorganized before it goes anywhere (Romans 8:26). We do not need the right words nearly as much as we need the right heart (Luke 18:10-14).

    While it is commendable to invite others to pray on one’s behalf none should outsource their prayer life to ‘prayer champions,’ who it is thought have a good strike rate (track record). When anyone prays for another he/she stands to benefit more than the one prayed for, including when something changes in the circumstances as a result of the prayer. It is the relationship of God with the one praying that is likely to grow, which is the intent of prayer.

    The saints invite others to pray for and with them not as power brokers to wrench from the Universe's CEO something He is unwilling to impart in direct response to the individual’s prayer of faith. Neither do they enlist the support of the better communicators to get the Father to do their will, instead of accepting His. Rather they encourage others to pray so they may all grow together.

    The model prayer is about growth in Christ and rather than ‘I’ or ‘me’ it uses the words ‘our’ and ‘us’ to remind us to think more about others even when we pray in the closet, alone.

  2. “Hallowed be Your name”
    Among other things I believe this is telling us God's character is our example of what it means to be holy, sanctified. and his will for us is to be transformed and to know His will for our lives.

  3. When we pray, we give God access to our hearts. Through prayer, we allow to God to transform us, search us, enable and ennoble us. That is why we should pray without ceasing.

  4. Many years ago I received a gift of the book by Carrol Shumaker - The Sanctuary Prayer. It changed my life and has been my 'model' for prayer since. If I compare that model with the Lord's prayer it follows the same 'pattern' of praise as I enter God's presence, surveying Jesus' sacrifice and daily laying myself on the altar of sacrifice, confession and cleansing at the laver (removing my 'sin covered sandals' before entering the sanctuary, partaking of the shewbread - God's Word through daily bible study; allowing the Holy Spirit to search my soul for hidden sins through the light of the menorah; remembering Christ's intercession for me at the altar of incense and interceding for family, friends and whoever the Holy Spirit brings to mind as I kneel at the altar. Then only am I ready to truly enter into the Holy of Holies before the Mercy Seat. Obviously this is not a prayer that takes 2 minutes to recite but it has blessed me through the years. The Lord's Prayer can be prayed very much the same - by pausing after each sentence and extending it with more personal praise or words. The amazing thing is that I have noticed that during my prayer the Holy Spirit will give me a thought which I now call my 'prayer thought' - almost like a gem for the day. God is good - He has led me from a flippety gibbet girl to where I am now. Am I perfect? By no means! It's a daily battle and I can say with Paul - "the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak"! I share this not to boast but to humbly encourage others to pray as we have never done before. "Thy Kingdom Come - Oh Lord, come quickly, your people are dying for want of prayer."

  5. Ellen White says that prayer is the opening of the heart to God. The Laodicean message of Revelation chapter 3 shows Jesus standing on the outside wanting to come in. Could it be that is so because the church of the last days would be a people lacking in prayer and full submission to the Savior? Could it be that we are a people not giving God full access to our hearts and lives, thus not allowing Him to search us and reveal to us who we really are? Could it really be that we are not allowing Him to transform us? But why? Because we are satisfy with ourselves? Could it be?

    • When we are friends with someone that so meant to us to talk often isn\'t it? Let God be our truly friend and there we can talk more and more often to Him in prayer. Those words of adoration and respect will just come in as we truly had a good connection with him.
      Is Jesus my true friend?
      Your individual response !

  6. Jesus was praying when the disciples asked Him to teach them to pray. They could observe that prayer was the most important item in His life. I think that our lives should be an encouragement for others to pray and trust in God: this is what testimony is all about! Our experience have to be something inspiring for all the people around us...

  7. When all is said and done the importance of intercessory prayers should not be forgotten. As much as every soul needs to understand the intimacy that closet prayer offers it cannot be left unsaid that many who now enjoy, appreciate and fully understand the need of and for closet prayer were brought to that place through the constant intercessory prayers of someone else on their behalf! Many individuals have so escaped the hands of death, misfortune and needless pain due to intercession. Many can, will and have testified that they felt prayers that were offered on their behalf and can I say that it is due to this that they too now not only now engage in intimate closet prayer but have become powerful intercessors for others. Roger Morneau's book, Incredible Answers to Prayers is a powerful book that explains all this. Keep on praying my friends. .....God bless you!!

    • I agree, Maureen, Jesus never had a selfish moment. Every part of His ministry involved Selflessness. Interceding for others in prayer teaches us to be "selfless" and more like Jesus.

  8. "Dear God, teach me to pray. Write words from heaven on my heart, and let me never forget them. Amen"
    Joshua Dubois
    The President's Devotional, 5-9-15

  9. Jesus started the Lord's Prayer with the most important thing of all. "Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name" (Lk. 11:2 NKJV). We usually have no problem with "Our Father in heaven" but the other half has been butchered by applying it in our way of thinking and through the translation to English.

    First, "hallow" simply means to venerate or to sanctify, to set apart. It is the very same word that is so often translated "sanctified" with its derivative "sanctuary." This means that God's name is to be set apart from common usage and venerated, treated as something special. Most Christians will then consider the name of God or of Jesus the way we think of it in the modern era where names are only labels we apply to identify things. That is not the way it was with the ancient Hebrews. For instance, the name Jesus is described in the study notes of the NET Bible in this way:

    The Greek form of the name IeÒsous, which was translated into Latin as Jesus, is the same as the Hebrew Yeshua (Joshua), which means "Yahweh saves" (Yahweh is typically rendered as "Lord" in the OT). It was a fairly common name among Jews in 1st century Palestine, as references to a number of people by this name in the LXX and Josephus indicate.

    Joshua is a Hebrew name formed by two words, 03068 יְהֹוָה Yehovah and 03467 יָשַׁע yasha which means, "to save, be saved, be delivered." As one goes through the Bible it becomes very evident that the names were formed by combining two or more commonly used words. They were descriptions of the character or qualities of the person the compound word applied to. So when Jesus told His disciples to hallow the name of God He was actually telling them to set apart the character or the quality that makes God the kind of being He was and to venerate it, to separate it from all other things, to put it on a pedestal and worship it. That is the kind of relationship we are to have with God and His character as described in the Ten Commandments along with the manifestation of that character in the life and ministry of Jesus.

    When Jesus said in answer to the question about which law was the greatest, "'You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.' "This is the first and great commandment" (Matt. 22:37-38 NKJV) He was virtually saying the same thing He told His disciples to pray for - to make God the best and most regarded being in the universe.

    • I have always misunderstood and questions on that part "hallowing" the name of God.
      U used to be Jehovha's witness and we were taught to believe that Jesus by his model prayer wants us to use his name Jehovha often when praying and not merely God as there are many gods. They say we need to identify which God we are praying to. See Exodus 6 verse 3. I need help on this section.

      • Garikayi, I have been in bible studies with Jehovah's Witnesses and they not only want to make a distinction as to what God a person prays to but go to the extreme of being careful to pronounce His name correctly. I think that is missing the point in a big way. When Jesus prayed, "And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent" (Jn. 17:3 NKJV) He wasn't talking about how to pronounce a name correctly but about knowing God's character.

        Some people will say that to know God is to have a relationship with Him and I will not argue with that too much but rather to simply say that I think it is broader than just a relationship. God has said through the prophet Hosea, "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being priest for Me; Because you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children" (Hos. 4:6 NKJV). In saying that He was equating the Ten Commandments with Himself when it come to knowledge. To know one is to know the other because the Ten Commandments are a transcript of God's character and that is what we are to know.

        There are a lot of things that are unimportant. For instance, Jesus told the Samaritan woman:

        Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth." (Jn. 4:21-24 NKJV)

        To ancient people the place of worship was everything like it is today with the Muslims who pray toward Mecca. Daniel likewise prayed toward Jerusalem (Dan 6:10). That is the way it was back then so much so that Naaman wanted to take back two mule loads of earth to be sure the God of Israel was with him (2 Kings 4:17). All of that is not grasping the universality of God. He is Yehovah and Allah and the Great Spirit; He is the great I AM (Ex 3:14) and the universal "El" from which a number of derivative names of God come from such as "El Shaddai" and "Elohiym" which also was the general semantic God of Canaan. The name one uses doesn't matter - it is the person we worship that matters. That is what God wants us to focus on; what He is like. Names in the Bible have meaning and they all give us a small view of what God is like.

        There is a website that lists over 900 names of God in the Bible. Even though I think they are going to extremes and overdoing it a lot I am sure that there are at least 50 legitimate names for God in scripture and every one of them tells us something about Him.

  10. Prayer a door to eternity.Prayer opens our heart to understand lots of things that we don't understand about Gods words, it sharpens our ways and prepares us for the coming of the Messiah Jesus Christ. We need to pray daily without stoping and most importantly privately. May our Living God, the Father, the Son and the Holly Spirit have mercy on us and give us wisdom to live for His will

  11. The bible says 'Our' meaning you own or we own in plural. Singular 'My'-you possess.'Our' somehow shows something near to you; at first we were near to God i.e before the fall of man..man had face to face conversation with God; what happened? Isa59:2-our iniquities have separated us from Him.."who art in Heaven" the distace is increased now. so praying out these words first we acknowledge Him that although sinners, He is our Father even though we are far away from Him, even wondered far from Him like sheep, He is still our Father, even if He dwells in Heaven. Why are we confessing this way? Because of His Holiness which is the next thing'Hallowed be your Name"

  12. Let's not forget "Our" in the Our Father. When Jesus teaches us to pray, using "Our Father" it reminds me of His humanity and my goal to be like Jesus.

    Jesus lifts us up, when He prays "Our Father" to allow us to be co-communicators with Jesus. We are included in the family unit. Jesus,Son of Man is the link between us and God.

  13. My dear brethren,I have come to realize through my own experience that prayer is indeed a persistent walking,talking and living with the Father.If there are times we find it difficult to pray,that's when we should actually pray harder.I'm glad the author has pointed out an important element about prayer,"How much more responsive would God be toward someone PERSISTENT in prayer?Such persistence isn't to change God's mind but to strengthen our trust".Trust is key in building and maintaining our daily relationship with God,Jesus Christ and the HolySpirit.Happy Sabbath to you all!

  14. My Father can be used in our private prayer. Jesus refered to God as My Father many times in the gospels. In John 17, He addressed Him as Father, meaning My Father, in my humble opinion. John 17 is Christ prayer for himself, his disciples, and us down to our present generation. "Father forgive them for they know not what they do." Luke 23:34. "Father into They hands I commend My spirit. Luke 23:43. "My God, My God, why has't thou forsaken Me." Mark 15:34.

  15. Correction They is obvesouly Thy. As in Thy Will be done. I have heard some use Daddy instead of Father, I do not condem them because they use it in context and reverently. I haven't gone to that level of comfort yet.


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