When the disciples asked Christ how they should pray, Christ gave them what has been termed the “model prayer”. It serves as a guide to how we should pray and what we should be praying for as followers of Christ through God’s Will. Although The Lord’s Prayer is short, it covers everything we need to concern ourselves with.
“And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples. And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth. Give us day by day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.” (Luke 11:1-4)
We pray that God’s will be done, which means no matter how devastating it may seem, we must accept whatever God hands us. We pray for healing, that God destroy some illness with no known cure, and when we are not healed we cry to God of the injustice. But if it is according to His plan, which we agreed to follow, then it becomes “just” because God allows it to continue.
We cannot fathom the wisdom of God’s actions, and we must be willing to accept whatever answer He gives. That is the hardest thing for most people to accept, the “why” of God’s actions. Many have fallen from belief because their prayers weren’t answered as they expected, but it can never be as we expected because we cannot know the mind of God, (Isaiah 55:8-9). All we can do is accept that He is in control and that even the evil in the world has its purpose in God’s plan. (Proverbs 16:4)
We pray that God gives us our daily bread, that He will provide all our needs, acknowledging that God’s will is supreme in our lives, that we know He will not forget us. Our physical needs are food and water for the body, shelter from the cold, and faith that God will come through for us every time. As Christians we may not have everything the world offers, but we do have the necessities of life that can get us through the journey.
A big part of our prayer life should be thanking God for every thing of beauty that we behold, every breath we take, simply being thankful that we managed to get through another day with life still clinging to us. Most don’t thank God enough, yet we owe Him everything.
We need to pray for forgiveness as we journey through this world because so often we stumble along the way. By acknowledging that we are sinners and asking forgiveness for our shortcomings, we can learn to forgive others who have hurt us in similar ways, and can live lives that are pleasing to God.
When we pray for financial gain, what are we praying for? Financial gain is nothing. If you had control over all the money in the world what good does would do sitting in a vault in some obscure off-shore bank? That money is as worthless as a $100 bill sitting in the forest under a tree where no one can even see it. It holds no value what so ever, if it’s not being used.
The world is in constant pursuit of gain, he who has the most is chief among us, and that is the driving force of the world–to have more than your neighbor, control more of the people around you, forcing others to conform to your own desires and denying them the means to achieve what you have because you don’t want anyone to be better than you.
As Christians we must strive to help one another along the way. There is no place in the body of Christ for stinginess, for accumulating personal wealth oblivious to the needs of others. Instead of storing up riches for their own sake, they should be helping others who are in need. When Christians see someone suffering and they have the means to ease that suffering, they must give up a little of their own gain to help. We must learn to live humbly and help as many as we can along the way.
The best witness we have is to live as Christ intended, giving with open hearts and not grudgingly, knowing that God will provide for us even when we give up our last two cents to help someone with nothing. We must be willing to give up all we have to follow Christ, but being willing does not mean that we will be called to give up everything, each person is asked to give according to their own measure of faith. (Romans 12:3)
When you pray how do you follow Christ’s instructions given when He gave His disciples the “model prayer”?