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Wednesday: The Model Prayer: Part 2 — 15 Comments

  1. The model prayer is often repeated and when the saints pray otherwise virtually the same things come up again and again. One might wonder why it is necessary to persist in talking about the same things (Luke 18:1-8). Repetition is actually not necessary, but talking is. If His children cannot find new things to talk about the Father does not mind His children talking about the same things. As well Jesus just loves to hear from His bride whatever the topic (Revelation 21:2).

    As lovers may testify they will repeat the same things and listen to the same things over and over just to be near. And when they are near they cannot help thinking about pleasing each other.

    Jesus prayed constantly not because He could not get a response to existing issues or new ones kept coming up. Rather he recognized the importance of contact time. If He kept in communication with the Father He would retain an ever present consciousness of his Father’s presence. This consciousness would keep Him thinking about pleasing God and He would therefore not sin against Him.

    There are some undesirable things which are avoided even in the presence of an earthly father or spouse. When we lose the consciousness of God’s presence we easily fall into sin. Praying without ceasing is in part a safeguard against sin. When tempted to get out of line it is a good idea to reflect on Calvary, think about the Savior, and pray.

  2. At work every morning after our management meeting we all hold hands and someone prays. What I have noticed is that our prayers seldom change, they are just rattled off so we can get on with the rest of the day.
    Is this a problem? On the one hand we do face the same issues everyday - we need protection, we need forgiveness, we need the LORD's power to enable us, we need to be changed into His likeness, we need to display the fruits of the Spirit in our lives. My concern is that our prayers have become like something learned by rote with little thought and feeling involved. Like our greetings - we ask "how are you" but are not really interested in the answer.
    I would like to hear from you if you have any suggestions about how I could make my contribution to our morning prayers more meaningful.

    • Shirley
      Throughout the day keep a little notebook or diary of when you communicate with God for guidance, give Him a thank you or pray for a situation. Share that, generically if needed, in prayer each day. Your example is the most powerful witness. When it is seen that you are dialoging with God throughout the day you will be blessed and they will be discipled.

    • Hi Shirley,
      It all depends on what your issues are. Surely you want to continue to pray for those until they are eradicated. We always need God's protection and forgiveness every day, all day, so we keep those in our prayers. I'm sure your time for prayer is limited, perhaps you can take a day at a time to add a little Love and Joy, then another time pray for Peace and Longsuffering, then try some Gentleness and Goodness, don't forget to ask for Faith and Meekness, then Temperance, before long you have the fruits of the Spirits. Ask a friend to help you with this prayer, perhaps someone in management. Pray for it. Then let someone see it in you.

    • Shirley, I think the fact that you are aware of the situation is a start. I think that the Holy Spirit has assigned you, to be that voice that speaks to your co-workers. It may be helpful to focus more time in praising God for what he has already done for your company. If you had a certain problem, and God worked it out, give him the praise and mention it in prayer. If you take the time and reflect on what he has already done, it will totally make a difference in your communication and relationship with God, because you will know and see that he is totally involved in every aspect of your life.

  3. To both Hugh and Shirley it seems to me that Jesus taught us to be persistent in prayer. Even though He criticized certain kinds of repetition in prayer that were done for the purpose of show he ends the Lord's prayer in Luke with a parable teaching, "because of his persistence he will rise and give him as many as he needs" (Lk. 11:8 NKJV). Later in Lk 18 He gives the parable of the unjust judge where a widow wears out the judge with persistence over a particular problem.

    To me there is a difference between praying for something you already have the answer to as though we are looking for an excuse to get around it or have a total lack of faith in what we are praying for and praying persistently for continual need or even for something we don't see the answer to. For even Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane asked the Father for a way out several times but eventually realized that there was no other way and then capitulated to the Father's will. There wasn't anything wrong in Him doing that and there isn't anything wrong in praying repeatedly for what we need on a continual basis.

    I think if there is any problem at all it is probably when we don't progress beyond a very narrow set of wants and begin to see other areas of need.

  4. Luke begins the Lord's Prayer a bit differently than Matthew does by prefacing the prayer with, "When you pray, say" (Lk. 11:2 NKJ). According to Matthew Jesus began by saying, "In this manner, therefore, pray" (Matt. 6:9 NKJV). Other translations render it, "like this" (ESV), "in this way" (NAS), "how you should pray" (TNIV). In other words Jesus gave us a template to use in forming prayers rather than doing what we usually do by repeating the prayer word for word in a kind of meaningless repetition like the Catholics do with their rosary.

    To me doing so stagnates our thinking. It is the principles in the prayer that tells us the kind of things we should be praying about. Furthermore Luke's version is a little shorter than Matthew's that has eight things: acknowledgement that God is our Father, hallowing His name, doing the will of God, giving our daily needs, forgiving others, delivering us from evil, acknowledgement of the eternal government of God. He then closes with Amen ("so it is" or "so be it") where Luke does not.

    As a matter of custom we usually say, "in Jesus name, amen" which we most likely get from the gospel of John where Jesus tells us seven times to ask in His name. So we start by saying that God's name (His character) should be lifted up and then we end by saying that what we pray for should be done by the same name (character), "Jehovah is salvation" or "Jehovah saves" because Jesus is God. Everything in between those two book ends is stating aspects of that character as seen in the two great laws, love to God and love to one another. To us Jesus ("God with us") is everything, the source of all things, which is basically what the prayer is about.

  5. Thank you Judy, Joanne & Tyler, your guidance is helpful.
    I will pay attention to what matters to our community and pray specifically. I will also concentrate on one aspect of the LORD's prayer or fruits of the Spirit at a time and its application to our daily life.
    I agree we need bread daily so it may be the same every day.
    I need to remember that prayer is the opening of our hearts to the LORD as to a friend.

  6. I do believe that if we devote ourself daily to seeking God in His Word and in prayer find Him, our worship won't become mundane. Seek and I shall be found. Luke 11:9 runs down this line. A concious effort to find Him, will spice up your day. Model after David's prayer's. There are enough to keep you from falling into the same routine. Asking for forgiveness daily is good. Don't let a feeling of routine hinder you. Isaiah and Jeremiah have some good prayer's to put into your own words. Sister White left us with many prayers we can learn. Christ Object Lessions page 159, is one that comes to mind.
    Good Day

  7. Prayer is the key (like the above picture) in the hand of faith to unlock/open the heavenly stores of the Omnipotent. Because they trusted in God they went out without any bag, silver, shoes EVEN FOOD!...knowing that the Lord will provide after their asking. in LK22:35, Christ asked them "..lacked ye anything?" they said, Nothing" where are we in our trust? Inspiration says simple trust in God is much better than any sacrifice like fasting, tithing,name them.

  8. am so much greatful from the Wednesday lesson comments how is my prayer today afternoon that Isabellah to make a good relationship with God first then I will be filled with spirit of prayer.pray for me am spiritually dead Thank you

  9. Critical condition or time? Pray anyhow. God hears. He is our father and not our examiner. Your pain/condition can be shaped into a prayer/conversation with God.Hope this helps. Shalome!

  10. Thy Will be done for me, as to those who are taking care of me open their hearts to Your love my Father. Save me and I am saved. Into Thy hands I commend my spirit. Thank you Father.
    In Jesus name Amen.


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