In this manner, therefore, pray…. (
God designed you with a skeleton. We are more than a skeleton, of course, but the skeleton gives shape and strength to us. So, the model prayer Jesus gave is not the end all to praying, but His teaching is meant to give strength and structure to our supplication. Jesus assumes we will pray—as naturally as a child breathing and crying out to his parents—but is concerned about the motive and manner of our praying. Perhaps this acrostic will help us grasp our Lord’s teaching and lead to praying with power.
P stands for PRAISE (
Matt.6:5-6). Prayer is not for the praise of man, but for
the praise of God. It is to glorify His
name and not ours ( Matt.6:9). The focus is not self-centered, but
God-centered. Thus, prayer should begin
with a God focus and offering worship.
R stands for REPENTANCE (
Matt.6:12, 14-25). A proper perspective on the glory of God
brings a clear comprehension of who we are—sinners in need of forgiveness.. The channel must be clear, if the grace we
need is to flow in. Thus, the psalmist
said, “If I regard iniquity in my heart,
the Lord will not hear me.” ( Ps.66:18). We experience forgiveness, however, in the
measure we are willing to forgive others.
A stands for APPRECIATION (
Matt.6:9). We have such a loving Heavenly Father. Too often we race into His presence as though
He were a cosmic Santa Claus with our wish list of goodies, when we ought to
spend time first expressing appreciation for all He has already done. This is to show reverence—to hallow His name.
Y stands for YIELDEDNESS (
Matt.6:7, 10). Powerful praying is not a result of our
twisting God’s arm—wearing down His resistance by our persistent whining. We do not come to demand our will be done in
heaven, but to determine God’s will for us that is to be done on earth. The advancement of His kingdom and the
accomplishment of His will are paramount for ourselves and for others as we
pray. Yielding to God yields results!
I stands for INTERCESSION (
Matt.6:9, 11-13). Note the pronouns, “our” and “us.” Too frequently, our praying uses “I” and
“me.” The ministry of intercession
targets our fellowman and their needs.
God has made us priests, and the duty of a priest is to bring man’s
request before God and bring God’s response to man’s need.
N stands for NEEDS (
Matt.6:8, 11). We should not conclude that it is wrong to
ask for our needs to be met. What God
requires is to have them in the proper place.
In sharing our needs, we are acknowledging our humble reliance on
God—and that is a good thing! Our prayer
is for the need and not for our greed, however.
Ask for bread, not steaks!
G stands for GUIDANCE (
Matt.6:13). If we follow our Commander, He will lead us
to victory. We are no match for the Evil
One, but he cannot stand before God!
Marching to triumph over temptation begins by kneeling in prayer. There the issue is settled. This is praying in power.