One day he was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said, “Master, teach us to pray just as John taught his disciples.” So he said, “When you pray, say: Father, reveal who you are. Set the world right. Keep us alive with three square meals. Keep us forgiven with You and forgiving others. Keep us safe from ourselves and from others.” Luke 11:1-4
I know this is a version that probably doesn’t appropriately explain this prayer, but stay with me here. Jesus was teaching us to recognize and honor the Father. He’s more then just a Father who cares and watches over us, He is a creator. Jesus wanted us to search out and know God as He knew God.
We’ve made our world (the place we live and those we know) so big, but in reality our world is very small compared to the entire universe which God has created. Just pause and think on that for a moment. If the planet earth is one of the smallest created, how much smaller is our ‘world’ and how tiny are we? Yet God not only knows us, He knows our name and the very hairs on our head, yet hears us when we cry out for help and longs for relationship with us.
The part that should be emphasised in this passage is the word ‘when’. Jesus didn’t say, If you pray, He said when you pray. And it’s not praying exactly like this, it was meant to be an outline, the things we should be praying about. Not repetitive prayers memorized, but personalized dialog.
“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.” This was Matthews version.
Prayer is conversation and conversation is two sided. I come to God to speak and listen, to hear and be heard. It’s not just talking about me, myself and I, but to get instruction, revelation, direction. It’s also about obedience. Not just being listeners, but doers. If we talk and hear but don’t do, we complete the cycle of insanity, expecting things to be different but continuing to do them the same. Change begins with me doing what I’ve been instructed to do.
Great and Mighty God, how awesome and wonderful You are to me. Your great plans are so big, yet You’ve included me. Today I will call and You will answer me. Not in ways I’m expecting, but in new and amazing ways that I’ve not yet discovered. I will walk in forgiveness and will not take up offense. Just as you’ve forgiven me, I will also forgive others. I’m excited with the promise of provision, it’s simply more for me to share with others. May Your Kingdom be established on the earth through us, Your people. Thanks for protecting me from the schemes and plans of the enemy. I know he is lurking, but his plans will not succeed for I trust in You. It’s in Your name and for Your glory, Amen.