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LENT: 3.18

Pray like this...

Have you ever been trying to teach someone something or show them how to do something,

and they just didn’t get it because of what they’d already seen or assumed about how it

should go? And you’d say “ it like this.”

Well that seems to essentially be what Jesus does in teaching his disciples how to pray.

Matthew 6:8-13 (NLT)

Don't be like them, for your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask Him!

Pray like this:

Our Father in heaven, may Your name be kept holy.

May Your Kingdom come soon. May Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us today the food we need, and forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin

against us.

And don't let us yield to temptation, but rescue us from the evil one. [For Yours is the kingdom

and the power and the glory forever. Amen.]

If you haven’t heard it, there’s a new song out by Matt Maher where he has essentially taken

this prayer and turned into a song. And as I hear it more and more, it continues to grow on me,

to the point that I’ve caught myself singing it a lot here lately. I’d even encourage you to check

it out.

But ultimately this prayer does several things for us...among which is that it shows us the

importance of learning to pray so that we can teach others how to pray, and that your prayer

life can always be an area of growth.

While John 3:16 might be the most well know verse of all time, the Lord’s prayer is probably

one of the most recited passages of all time. Think about it, both Christians and non-Christians

know it and can say it almost word-for-word in unison if someone starts leading it...and they

essentially do it without really even thinking about what is being said. So, it’s also worth

considering whether or not that was ever Jesus’ intent.

I think the truth behind the reality of this prayer is wrapped up in the intent of the prayer other words, why did Jesus share it? It’s was given as a thoughtful and intentional

model to show His disciples, and us, how to pray. Now that doesn’t mean it can’t be recited,

but I do think the thoughtfulness, intention, and awareness of the words being said are

key...because they then lead to something.

Did you notice the brackets around the words “For Yours is the kingdom and the power and

the glory forever. Amen”? Some newer versions of the Bible either don’t have this phrase at all

or it’s not printed in red but black...even though many of you, including me, grew up saying it.

It may come as a shock to you to learn most scholars now agree that these words weren’t part

of Jesus’ original prayer because they don’t show up in the earlies manuscripts.

It's believed that as a first or second century scribe was transcribing Jesus’ prayer, it was so

powerful and moving, that he wrote on the side, in the margin of the manuscript, the words

“For thine is the Kingdom, the power, and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.” And then as

other scribes used his work to transcribe their copies of Matthew’s Gospel, they assumed his

addition was the close of Jesus’ prayer...and thus it has made it into many versions still today.

Through this we can see the power of Jesus’ prayer when we get it right. When we get caught

up in the meaning, thought and intention of the words, it just overflows within you as it not

only leads back to, but points to God, and His Kingdom, and His power, and His glory.

As I continue to grow in my prayer life, one of the things I’ve tried to be more intentional

about these last few years is slowing down and waiting for the Spirit to speak into and through

me as I pray. And as you move through this day, my hope is that you will spend much of it in

prayer, and that you will slow down, allowing a larger space for stillness, thoughtfulness, and

being intentional about and with the words you use to speak to the Father, just as Jesus did.

May God bless your day as you seek to be more like Him.

Daily Reading: How you should pray

Matthew 6:9-13

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