Thoughts on the Lord’s Prayer

Posted: June 1, 2012 in Uncategorized

(sharing my notes from Wednesday Prayer Night)

Image

Looking at the Lord’s Prayer, we can see a pattern that Jesus Christ gave on how we ought to pray. Most of us with church background (Born Again/Baptist/Catholics) would be able to recite the Lord’s prayer. However, we should learn from the prayer rather than just babble it out loud (or recite without really understanding). Sometimes, we pray hurriedly (such as…Lord, thank you for the food). I ran across an article that gave an acrostic on the word, PRAY (Praise, Repent, Ask, Yield). I also searched for the discipleship manual and saw that there is an acrostic fro prayer which is ACTS (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication). I guess there are more acrostics for those who wants to have one but then we have to look back and check on what Jesus taught his disciples on prayer. 

PRAISE

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name…

As a kid, I love receiving awards, medals and citations (I am competitive even as a child!). I would go to my parents and would show them my award (even if it is “just most behaved” or first quiz with one mistake). I would run to them when I receive stars in my paper. That is what praise sounds like for a kid.

I also remember telling my dad how good he looks in his shirt (wow…ang ganda ng shirt, kasing blue ng dagat!) or my mother’s hair (ang ganda! parang spaghetti!). As a kid, I didn’t really know what it meant to praise. I just blurt out my thoughts out loud.

That is what it meant to praise. It is telling how good the score was, or how awesome the artwork is, or how great the person looks like. Praise is simply bringing the attention back to God and saying, “God, you are awesome!” Praise is recognizing God’s character. It shifts attention from ourselves back to God. You see, God created us with a desire to praise so that we can praise Him.

REPENT

Forgive our sins as we forgive those who sinned against us…

As a kid, I remember failing to do what my folks has asked me to do. Many times, I failed to follow instructions, or did not do a simple household chore that would lead me to have a strain in our relationship. I would not be able to look at them in the eye if I know I’m wrong. I would not be able to initiate a conversation if I committed something I know they did not want me to do.

The same way with God. When we have sinned, we can’t look to God and pretend that the fault did not exist. We can’t presume that everything is going to be alright and we live our lives as if nothing is wrong. The sin we did would eat us up. It would continue to strain our relationship until we repent (or confess) before God and say, “God, I made a mistake…I’m sorry.”

Repent means confessing our sins (I made a mistake) and inadequacies (I can’t do it on my own). To repent is to be humble before God. And guess what, God is slow to anger, abounding in love. He is a God who forgives. All we need to do is come to Him and repent.

Back to my illustration as a kid. I rarely repented. I usually confess only when I am caught red-handed or if the evidence is there but otherwise, I would always try to pretend that nothing is wrong. But you know what? Confession is good for the soul, and usually after “the talk”, my parents would hug me and the relationship is restored. There are consequences but let’s save that for another time.

I guess that is the problem. Most of us would not repent nor confess before God. And we act like a child pretending our parents will never catch us. God knows what we did. We can’t hide it from Him. We strain the relationship when the door is open for us to come before Him and talk to Him directly.

Ask

Give us this day our daily bread… 

I remember my dad giving “baon” or allowance. He would not give us an entire year of allowance but rather, he would give us sufficient for the day. Then when we reached high school, he would give our allowance good for the week and we would learn to budget the allowance.

I also remembered Pastor Omar’s preaching that his daughters would ask him for anything thinking that daddy can buy whatever they asked for. He said it took some explaining but still his daughters would ask him (oh daddy…can you buy me an iphone please?)

Asking God is similar to a child asking his dad for his allowance or something a child wants. God knows our needs and we in return should ask because we know He can provide. But again, this would be dependent on our relationship with God. The more we know Him, the more we understand what He wants us to have. A child can ask for a brand new car but the father would not give it because the child is underage and not ready to drive yet. A child of God  can ask the Father to give something but then God also would not grant it if it is not aligned to His will or timing knowing that answering the prayer would only be disastrous to His children.

Growing up, we try to be independent, although we know our parents can still provide for us. And sometimes, that is how we pray. “God, this request is too petty, I would not pray for this but I’m going to work for this instead“. “God, nakakahiya naman i-pray ito, maliit lang to, kaya ko to“. We tend to take pride in what we can accumulate for ourselves rather than ask God for it.

The point is this…praying is based on the relationship we have with God. We can’t ask God if He isn’t our Father. He is not obligated to answer our prayers but He can if He wills it. If we know the Father, then we know what to pray for. That is the reason we see prayerful people getting their prayers answered because they know what to ask for. They learn what God wants and what God doesn’t want.

Be child-like in prayer. Learn to ask God.

By the way, The word used most often in New Testament for “prayer” is ASK and not the word PRAYER.

Yield

Your will be done…

Finally, we should learn to yield. To surrender. We have to allow God to do what He wants. A kid cannot impose his demands on his parents, nor can we demand God to answer our whims. We are, after all, just requesting in the basis of our relationship with God. He still has the prerogative to answer our prayers…or not.

So let’s pray together. Let us PRAY.

Praise. Repent. Ask. Yield.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s