Prayer to 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. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”
This is the Lord’s prayer. Jesus taught his disciples how to pray and what to pray. Lord’s prayer signifies three important traits of true Christian prayers. First, we pray according to God’s will rather than ours. Second, we put full trust in the Lord for He decides the timing of work. Third, we pray to love God more and to make our father’s love known to people.
Pray according to God’s will. John 17 records the high priestly prayer of Jesus. Jesus said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him… And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.” Jesus prayed for the completion of His father’s will. Although such glorification ultimately led to His crucifixion, He bore the cross for He obeyed the will of His Father. Are we willing to take up our cross and follow Jesus just as Jesus did to completely obey His Father’s will? Furthermore, are we willing to take up our cross and follow Jesus despite of the high cost we should pay for doing so? The more we grow up, the harder it is to take up the cross. As we are more burdened by worldly obligations and relationships, we are more bound to reject God’s calling and stay in our comfort zone, pretending that we have done enough for Christ. However, how can we ever compare what we have done for God with Jesus’ death on the cross, the perfect, spotless righteousness? Let us recognize how undeserving are we to the gift of grace. This life is not the destiny but a gift. When we rightly view so, we will gladly lay down our lives and follow Jesus.
Wait patiently upon God’s timing and trust completely. While this is not explicitly stated in the Lord’s prayer, we can come to this conclusion by seeing Jesus’ prayer before his crucifixion. A wild contrast could be drawn between Jesus’ prayer versus Peter’s timid faith and all other Biblical characters who have fallen short to trust God completely. While Jesus obediently followed and completed the scheme of salvation, Peter was using his own power to “correct” things. We often are like Peter who did not fully trust in God’s plan. An analogy can help us grasp our issue of trust. Think of our life as an artwork of God as we are His creation. Who should hold the painting brush in order to create the most stunning work? Theoretically, we would answer God, the creator and designer of every living creature. This is only our head-knowledge, nonetheless. Our knowledge of God prompts us to render the authority of this painting brush to God for He is the one that knows how we are designed. However, we often hold so tightly to this painting brush that we simply ruin the beautiful design that God has intended for us. Thus, give back the authority of our life to Christ. Let us not splatter unnecessary paints on our canvas that stain God’s imprints; rather, let us fully trust that God works and God completes.
Last but not least. Our prayer should be about our love for others which stem from our love for Christ. As we fully trust in the Lord and have faith in Him, we should easily fulfill God’s commandments: love one another and be as one. This love points to the culminating goal of our life: evangelism. Are we still waiting till a season of life to evangelize and to love others? There is no time to wait, for the Lord’s prayer is a continuous prayer. It has been there since the beginning of time and will last till the end day when we see God face to face. This is an urgent call for us; especially to those who have unbelieving people around who we love and care for. God is calling us to use our action to manifest His love, so His will can be done on earth as it is in heaven.