"3 Keys to praying the Lord's Prayer with power."
Anyone attending an AA meeting is exposed to the Lord's Prayer. Sadly, not many in church or AA know much about what they are saying.
Not understanding what we are praying undercuts faith, an essential ingredient of effectual praying. We might as well be saying la, la, la, la.
This post suggests three keys that will release us to pray this prayer with faith and power.
Key 1. Power is released when we see; Prayer is first about God and his kingdom project.
The initial petitions of the Lord's Prayer prioritize God and his kingdom not us, and our needs. God, of course, cares deeply about our needs but unless our will is reordered by his will our prayers will likely be self-centered. So the priority in Prayer is that God's loving will "is done."
Putting God first in our prayers releases power because it aligns us with the Father's purposes. Ordering our lives according to God's loving will produces in us blessing, joy, and contentment. Jesus said it this way:
"But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these other things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:33).
Second, and even more critical, praying in harmony with God's purposes creates an atmosphere of faith that produces powerful kingdom action.
Finally, when we assert; "hallowed be your name," we are worshipping the one true God, who is holy. Such worship engages us with God's formidable Presence, erases, unbelief, and encourages us to walk in holiness and humility as God's children. "Be holy for I am holy, says the Lord." (I Peter 1:16)
Key 2. Power is released when we know the God to whom we are praying.
If God is our Father, as Jesus implies, we are invited to join God's project to save the world, but more than that, we are God's children. Jesus permits us to call God "OUR Father," thus sharing his personal relationship with the one he called "Abba" with you and me.
"Abba" means Papa or Daddy and carries all the tenderness and intimacy those words imply. We are no longer slaves, but sons and daughters working with Dad in the family business. (John 15:14,15) We join Jesus, our Elder brother in praying the rule of God into the world as it is in heaven. If that doesn't release faith and power, check your pulse.
Key 3. Power is released when we grasp the entire prayer is in the plural.
Lead "us" not into temptation.
Who is “us”? Everyone Jesus has ever called into the family of God. That makes for a massive prayer meeting! Most of us know there is power in agreement. So when we pray the prayer Jesus gave us, we not only join the Trinity but Christ-followers taking the prayer on their lips all over the world, and perhaps the saints, gone before us! (See Hebrews 12:1)
Yes, God cares for our needs, all of them. Abba wants to be generous and give us everything we need to join him in his kingdom enterprise. More than that, God wants us to live joyfully as any good parent would. But remember it is not just about me, but us. When I pray for bread, I'm also praying for those starving in Haiti, or Eastern Europe. When I cry out for the forgiveness I desperately need, I also ask God to forgive my brothers and sisters all around the world. We are part of something bigger than our individual lives, more significant than our families, larger than the U.S.A.!
Since we find ourselves at war with powers and principalities who take their orders from Satan (Ephesians 6:10-20), Jesus tells us to pray for "protection" for ourselves, and our family members around the world.
The prayer ends with worship to God, the king who has all power, honor, and glory. That is, this God cannot lose, which, when grasped by faith, releases still more power! Amen!