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MATTHEW 6 (ESV)
5 “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 6 But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
7 “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. 9 Pray then like this:
“Our Father 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 our daily bread,
12 and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
14 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, 15 but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
Prayer is an expression of intimate relationship with God. Here Jesus invites us to explore what prayer is, and what it can mean to us.
Lord, I cannot say “Our”…
if my faith has no room for other people and their needs.
Lord, I cannot say “Father”…
if I fail to resemble You in the way I live my daily life.
Lord, I cannot say “Who are in Heaven”…
if my attention is focused only on earthly things.
Lord, I cannot say “Hallowed be Thy name”…
if I, who am called by your name, am not holy.
Lord, I cannot say “Thy Kingdom come”…
if I fail to acknowledge your sovereignty in my life.
Lord, I cannot say “On earth as it is in Heaven”…
unless I am truly ready to serve You here and now.
Lord, I cannot say “Give us this day our daily bread”…
without doing an honest day’s work, and
without considering the needs of those less fortunate.
Lord, I cannot say “Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors”…
if I harbour a grudge against my brother or sister.
Lord, I cannot say “Lead us not into temptation”…
if I deliberately choose to remain in a situation
where I am likely to be tempted.
Lord, I cannot say “Deliver us from evil”…
if I am not prepared to take a stand against injustice in my society.
Lord, I cannot say “Thine is the Kingdom, the Power, and the Glory”…
if I do not submit to Christ as King,
if I fail to trust You to act in my life,
or if in pride I seek my own glory.
Lord, I cannot say “Amen”…
unless I can honestly say, “Come what may, this is my prayer.”
Prayer & Journaling:
On your prayer journal, as you listen to God, write down a few thoughts, questions, words, names, drawings, or anything that has come to your mind during this time.