Last week our seven year old son said something after the Lord’s Prayer that I have been thinking ever since. It was nothing earth-shattering but profoundly true nonetheless. He said that the Lord’s Prayer was a practical prayer. Indeed! I just had never thought about it that way. Jesus wanted us to pray practical prayers.
“The world is full of so-called prayer warriors who are prayer-ignorant. They’re full of formulas and programs and advice, peddling techniques for getting what you want from God. Don’t fall for that nonsense. This is your Father you are dealing with, and he knows better than you what you need. With a God like this loving you, you can pray very simply. Like this:
Our Father in heaven,
Reveal who you are.
Set the world right;
Do what’s best—
as above, so below.
Keep us alive with three square meals.
Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others.
Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil.
You’re in charge!
You can do anything you want!
You’re ablaze in beauty!
Yes. Yes. Yes.
(Matthew 6:7-13, MSG, emphasis added)
We are to bring our concerns to God. We are to ask for bread, forgiveness and protection. We are to surrender to him and praise him forever. Prayer is to be simple and practical, honest and real. But we need to also trust that prayer is practical. It does make a difference.
We do have a prayer-hearing God. We do have a God who is in charge. Just like Jesus approached his Father we are to approach our God in prayer. Just like Jesus taught us we are to bring our lives to God. Just like Jesus was empowered by his Father we will be strengthen for our journey.
Prayer is practical. If I do not pray, coincidences do not happen. If I do not pray, I am weak. If I do not pray, I am lost. It’s not that God loves me any less if I don’t pray. It’s about my own well-being. If I pray, I am spirit-filled and alive. If I do pray, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. If I do pray, I am tuned to the whispers of the Holy Spirit.
Why do we still skip praying? Like in the morning when you’re running behind….why do you find time to make and drink coffee but you are willing to skip your prayer time? Prayer is much more needed than anything else in our schedule.
Make prayer part of your routine. It takes only five minutes to surrender to God, be centered on Christ and become fulfilled with the Holy Spirit. The rest of the day will flow so much smoother. Because prayer is practical.
Thank you, God,
for giving us the gift of prayer.
Enable us to make prayer such an important part of our routines
that we would never go without.
Because we need you.
Teach us to pray
practically and simply.
Show us what it means
that prayer is practical.
In Jesus’ name,
Q4U: How does prayer affect your life?
Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you pray practically and practice prayer as if your life depended on it!