Lord teach me to pray. Show me who you are so that my life lines up with your kingdom plans.
5 “When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners [a]so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. 6 But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.
7 “And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words. 8 So do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.
9 “Pray, then, in this way:
‘Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. 10 ‘Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. 11 ‘Give us this day [b]our daily bread. 12 ‘And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 ‘And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from [c]evil. [d][For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.’]
Reflect: What is Jesus saying about prayer in this passage?
How could you personally apply that to your prayer life? Sometimes when we pray it is difficult to find the words to express our true feelings or needs to God. Within a short amount of time, we find ourselves running out of words and wondering if we will ever become the person of prayer that others seem to be.
One way to begin to conquer that frustration is to pray scripture. Take God’s Word and pray it back to Him and using the Lord’s Prayer is a great place to start. First pray the prayer slowly as it is written. Think about each verse and what Jesus is telling you regarding who God is and is care for you. Then read the prayer and think about the topics that are represented: God’s holiness, God’s will, Your daily needs, etc. Take these topics and find other verses to pray through that relate to the struggles in your own life. This way of praying will strengthen you and will become an exciting way to pray for yourself and others. God’s plans and purposes for your life will begin to unfold in ways you never dreamed possible.
Paul usually begins his letters with the designation “apostle,” but here he describes himself and Timothy as “servants of Christ Jesus” (1). This is significant, given the servant nature of Jesus himself (2:7). For their part, the Philippians are called “God’s holy people,” or “saints,” a title used for Old Testament Israel but now applied to all those who are “in Jesus Christ”–Gentiles as well as Jews. Like them, we too are privileged recipients of grace and peace (2).
Paul regularly gives thanks to God for the congregations to whom he writes–for the way God is working in their lives. The main focus of his thankfulness here is their “partnership in the Gospel” (5). The Gospel is the message of what God has done in Christ for the salvation of the world, but the Philippians share with Paul in its ministry. As such, Paul is confident–not just because of their good work, but because of his assurance that God is at work in them. Our confidence, too, is rooted in the God who does what he sets out to do.
This week be intentional about your prayer time. Find that quiet place that Matthew 6:6 talks about and expect God to meet you there.
Lord, today I want to see you and hear your heart regarding my life.