A Prayer for all Seasons
Praying Risky Prayers (Series)
A PRAYER FOR ALL SEASONS
Matthew 6:9-13 “This, then, is how you should pray; Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts as we also have forgiven our debtors. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one, for yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever, Amen.”
Jesus gives us a model for prayer that is proper at any time, any age, any situation. Dietrich Bonhoeffer in his “The Cost of Discipleship” makes this observation about prayer; “True prayer does not depend either on the individual or the whole body of the faithful, but solely upon the knowledge that our heavenly father knows our needs. That makes God the sole object of our prayers, and frees us from a false confidence in our own prayerful efforts”. True prayer is not bound up in our “informing God” of anything, but rather in drawing close to Him to enjoy an intimate relationship, as a child to a father, which He has graciously made possible. Notice that this prayer has us first focus on God, not us – His name, His Kingdom, His will – then follows with us expressing our basic physical needs. It then goes on, however, to two risky issues; (1) “Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors”, or “God, please substitute my mercy and grace for yours” – transformational and a little scary – and (2) “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” Why would we pray that God not lead us into temptation, doesn’t He know better?? – again, scary. WHY?? What does this all mean???
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