Prepare – Matthew 6:5–15
“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. “This, then, is how you should 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 today 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 the evil one.’ For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
One of my favorite autobiographies is George Müller (1805–1898), who along with his wife provided for over ten thousand orphans during their lifetime. Money was tight. Food was scarce. When supplies ran out, they would pray, and God would provide a knock on the door or a letter in the mail to meet every need. Müller recalls: “There was a day when I died, utterly died, died to George Müller, his opinions, preferences, tastes and will, died to the world, its approval or censure, died to the approval or blame even of my brethren and friends, and since then I have studied only to show myself approved unto God.” When you depend fully on God, you realize just how small you are and how great God is.
Prayer reminds us that our world shouldn’t revolve around us. Instead, our lives should revolve around God’s kingdom, God’s will, and God’s leadership. And when we pray, we access everything we need to follow Him:
• We access God’s Person, spending quality time with Him. “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.”
• We access God’s Plan, revealing our purpose on this earth. “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”
• We access God’s Provision, receiving what we need from Him each day. “Give us today our daily bread.”
• We access God’s Pardon, finding forgiveness and favor with God. “Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.”
• We access God’s Protection, keeping us close to Him. “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”
How can you depend more fully on God in prayer today?
-Pastor Steven Dunkel