Luke 11:1-4 – Now it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.” So He said to them, “When you pray, say: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us day by day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”
John 8:31 – To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.
Following on from my last write up on the lessons from model prayer of Jesus, the next step in effective prayer is content. The foremost content of the prayer of Jesus is relationship with and worship of the father. This shows that the prayer of Jesus is not need driven; it is love and worship driven. Our prayers should be firstly because we want to love on the father and worship Him. The next content of the prayer was the desire to see the fulfillment of the kingdom and the purpose of God. Jesus put the father first in His prayer. So his prayer is driven first by a love relationship, worship and the establishment of the Kingdom of the father.
So how does this apply to my daily life and how do I adjust my prayer life to line up with this? Remember, developing an effective prayer life is a skill to be acquired by hot pursuit. So you need to intentionally develop an ongoing love for the Father and the fulfillment of his purposes starting with your thought life. Be consistently vocal to the Father about your love for him and your appreciation of his love for you both when you feel like it and when you don’t. Invest substantial part of your prayer time to worship Him and seek his opinion and direction on things. Cultivate a habit of waiting for God to speak to you and listen to Him as well. Avoid dominating the conversation. Effective conversationalists are said to be the best listeners. So develop the habit of listening for God both when in devotion and when you are going about your business. Remember, prayer is a two-way conservation and not one way. When was the last time you prayed? Who did the most of the talking? What was God’s input in the conversation? How did you react or what did you do with what He told you? This sounds very simple, but it is vital to whether or not your prayer will be effective. It is not what you know that sets you free; it is what you do with what you know.
The next content of the prayer of Jesus requests for the supply of material need, spiritual need, social need and supernatural deliverance. It is clear that Jesus wants us to involve God in every area of our lives and get divine intervention in each area. In the Jewish culture, there is no division in the lives of the people into secular and spiritual as we have in our culture today. All their life is deemed as spiritual as a whole because God is involved in it all. Anything you cannot discuss with God is not worth doing or getting involved in.
Praying effectively requires intention and consistency to develop. It depends on how much you want it. That is what determines how quickly you will develop the skill.
For further Study
1 John 3:1-3, John 1:12
Personal declaration for the day
I will listen to hear what God is saying to me.
Questions for you to reflect on
Who does most talking in your time of prayer?
Who does most of the listening in your time of prayer?