Barbara and I host and lead a weekly small group for a dozen or so folks involved in City Church in Charlottesville, VA. Our church is involved with caring for the homeless and each fall and spring we (and many other churches) open our church facilities and provide free housing for a week. Our group recently volunteered to provide dinner and conversation one of those nights. One man I spoke with (named Scott) said he was a military veteran who was trying to get back on his feet economically and spiritually. He asked me how to pray and I suggested he read Luke 11:1-13, where Jesus taught his disciples about the topic.
Luke 11 gives us the greatest prayer and safest pattern to learn how to talk with God. Outlined by Jesus, it has six topics as a model. Scott thought it was a great framework to start with.
OUR FATHER WHO ART IN HEAVEN, HALLOWED BY THY NAME
We begin by praising God for who he is: Our Father; and His character qualities: healer, righteousness, peace, mercy, love, good, kind, shepherd, helper, and so on. Bless Him with your words; sing to Him; honor and adore Him; rest in who He is.
THY KINGDOM COME, THY WILL BE DONE
Move into praying for God’s rule (kingdom) and His will to be done in your life (on earth) as things are in heaven. Pray for His rule in your life, family, ministry, church, country, nation, etc. Pause and listen for God’s voice.
GIVE US THIS DAY OUR DAILY BREAD
God wants us to depend on Him for our daily provision. The key to receiving daily bread is obedience and humility. Ask God for what you need (i.e. strength, direction, peace, food, wisdom, etc.). Ask God to bless the ministry of Chi Alpha Campus Ministries and the church.
FORGIVE US OUR SINS AS WE FORGIVE THOSE WHO SIN AGAINST US
Search your heart before God. Ask Him to reveal hidden sin. Trust his promise in 1 John 1:9 and ask for and receive his forgiveness. Then release forgiveness to those whom you have bitterness. Forgiveness come from the will, not our emotions.
LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION, BUT DELIVER US FROM EVIL
Read Ephesians 6:10-17. Put on the WHOLE armor of God each day. Ask God to help you walk in the “light” of relationship with Him and other believers. Trust God to protect you from the enemy and resist temptation. Orient yourself to living right in the power of the Holy Spirit. Pause and listen for God to speak to you.
FOR THINE IS THE KINGDOM, AND THE POWER, AND THE GLORY
This prayer began with praise, recognizing God for who He is. It closes in the same manner, but allows us also to worship Him for His acts on our behalf. Worship Jesus! Acknowledge His sovereign authority. Bless Him for being in charge. Thank Him for His ruler ship in your life, which provides care, provision, safety, leadership, etc.
Grow devotionally. Using the pattern Jesus gave in Luke 11, you can regularly pray and constantly walk in communion with God. Plus you can share it as a transferable concept with someone else and continue your effort to 2nd Timothy 2:2 it to those around you.
Love is a verb,
©2014 by Mike Olejarz