Some people think prayer is a magic wand. We kind of wave it at something — it’s a superstitious approach — and you get what you want. God is kind of like a genie.
You rub the vase and God comes out and you pray the request — “My wish is your command!”
Some people think prayer is a first aid kit. For them, prayer is an act of desperation. It is like the sign on a fire extinguisher: “Use only in emergency.” It is a last resort. When things finally fall apart, then you pray.
The worst misconception about prayer is that, prayer is simply a religious duty. The basic motivation behind it is guilt, it’s something I ought to do. You have a sense of obligation that if you don’t pray you’ll be on God’s Bad List. As a result, you go through a meaningless ritual that becomes a rut.
If prayer has become any of these, you have missed the total point of prayer. In prayer we rely on God; prayer is our steering wheel, not our spare tire! Those who don’t pray are trusting in their own, limited resources.
I don’t understand prayer, but I believe it works. There are a lot of other things that I don’t understand. I don’t understand how I can push a button in my car and my garage door opens before I even get there. But I use it. I don’t understand how a cordless phone works. I don’t know how your voice can travel through the air, through a transmitter and amplifier and then someone can hear you clearly across town or across the nation or around the world. I don’t understand the internet, but I don’t think I could manage without it? I don’t know how. But it works.
Prayer may not change our situation, but it changes us.
Jesus taught his disciples the Lord’s Prayer. This model prayer is a template for daily change in our lives. It is a model for our life. Matthew 6:9-13
It begins with “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.” It is a statement of praise and a commitment to honor God’s name.
“May your kingdom come, may your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” We are not resigning ourselves to fate but praying that he will guide, lead, and give us the means to accomplish his purposes. We are asking him to include us in His plans.
“Give us this day our daily bread.” This is a prayer of trust; we are acknowledging that God is our sustainer and provider. We must trust God daily to provide what he knows we need.
“And forgive us our sins as we also forgive those who have sinned against us.” We must accept God’s forgiveness and release others who may have offended us.
“Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.” Ask God to help us in areas we struggle with. Ask for his protection.
“For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever! Amen. Thank God for his ultimate victory. Nothing can separate us from God’s love.
As we truly pray this prayer-with understanding-we may find it changes our lives.
Please join us each Sunday at First Baptist Church at 8:00 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. We are located at 700 Hardy Way. For more information, transportation or to request prayer call 702-346-7061 and please visit our website at fbcmesquite.com.