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Lord's Prayer Tip

posted Mar 6, 2017, 10:10 AM by Tim Isbell   [ updated Oct 14, 2017, 7:27 PM ]
I'm continually on the lookout for tips to enrich my prayer life. Here's a personal example of one that I developed over the past few weeks. It comes from the first few lines of the Lord's Prayer, as in Matthew 6.9-10.

Our Father who is in heaven.  Reflect for a moment on the privileged standing God offers through Jesus. Here Jesus tells me that God, the creator, and sustainer of everything, wants me to address him with the familial name that Jesus uses: Father. That's big. I don't know of any other religion that suggests such a thing. Dwelling on this thought speaks deeply to my identity in Christ and within God's family!

May your name be holy.  My kids call me "Dad," which was what I called my father. So, here I'm asking my heavenly Dad to help me show a snippet of his holiness through my everyday life. Further, I'm urging him to show his holiness to all nations and cultures. Letting this soak in impacts how I carry myself through the day.

May your Kingdom come soon.  Here, Jesus shifts the metaphor from family to the family business: building Dad's Kingdom. So I'm asking Dad to plant his values so deeply in my life that I will joyfully follow them as I live temporarily at an address in a kingdom of this world. And I'm asking Dad to continue extending his Kingdom to every corner of the world.

May your will be done on earth.  Such a statement affirms to Dad that I'll willingly accept adversity as part of my spiritual formation process - even though I may not understand it at the time. In the same way, I'm affirming that I will trust him as he extends his will throughout the whole world.

Sometimes I use this as a prelude to a longer prayer; sometimes it's enough by itself.

(Note: this perspective on the Lord's Prayer comes from my understanding and reflection on the first part of chapter 8 in Timothy Keller's Prayer - Experiencing the Awe and Intimacy with God.)

For more tips on prayer, check out Prayer Tips for All.