Pray Like This…

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Pray like this

“…you can pray very simply. Like this: Our Father in heaven…”   Matthew 6:9, The Message

And so begins the most powerful and no doubt most prayed words:

Pray like this, Our Father in heaven…”  With these few words, Jesus reveals at least three profound things about prayer: How to pray, to Whom we are praying, and in What realm prayer operates.

How we are to pray

The “how” is not about formula but familiarity. Prayer is not a formal address given with the expectation of pomp and proper etiquette. For crying out loud, the scriptures are full of prayers that are precisely that “crying out loud”. Prayer is a conversation, a back and forth, a speaking and listening, a seeking and finding, asking and giving, knocking and doors being opened (cf. Luke 11). That we can have such access to God is truly a knowledge, “…too wonderful  for me” (Psalm 139:5).

To Whom we are praying

We are having a conversation with our Father… prayer with God is about a conversation between a parent and a child – with all the nuances and dynamics that can go along with such a relationship. Depending on our level of maturity, those conversation will look and sound accordingly. At times they will be the dependence of a small child, the independence of adolescence, the rebellion of the tween years… but the longer we pray, the more they take on the depths between good friends. Always our Father, who loves us beyond our comprehension, always welcoming us to slip away and pray through the night, always willing to hear our cries of the heart and speak His comfort and courage.

In What realm we are praying

Prayer effects and collides with the heavenly realms – no wonder Paul reminds us that to armor up for the battle of prayer is about a collision of cosmic proportions. There is no small prayer – all our conversations with our Father occur and effect the heavenly realms, which in turn have temporal and eternal significance. It is also the reason that we can pray with great expectation, because we are conversing with the One who will supply all our needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus (cf. Philippians 4:19). The resources are infinite as are the possibilities. God blesses us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places (cf. Ephesians 1:3). Therefore our conversations – our prayers which are embedded and empowered with the presence and power of Holy Spirit (cf. Romans 8:26-27) – effect things far beyond these mortal bonds.

In this coming season of Advent (the coming) and Epiphany (the revelation), we will be diving into these three elements of prayer and praying. Each week we will explore the depths of the petitions of the Lord’s Prayer – each petition taking us deeper into the presence, power, and purpose of God as we meet, converse, and dwell with our Father in heaven.

Pray like this… is our theme for Sunday, November 29 – Sunday, January 17, morning study, and weekly Sunday message.

Pastor Jon