The Purpose of Prayer
“And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.
And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.
Give us day by day our daily bread.
And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.”
In Matthew version of this same account he records that Jesus said “when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.”
The Lord’s Prayer was never intended by Christ to be just a repeated verbatim repetition of words, but it is the pattern or blue print of prayer. Found in these few words that Christ gave are instructions and focus points of prayer.
Prayer is the highest form of worship and praise. It is all about relationship and building that relationship based upon passion and purpose.
What prayer is not; prayer is not the foundation of our wishes. So many times the seeker becomes the beggar in today’s world of takers and free loaders. Many look to God as some mystical Santa Claus that gets them out of a jam, in which they have gotten themselves into.
Bad decisions and wrong choices, lead these to look to God as some type of handy man, fixer upper. God is not our handy man that is sitting by the prayer phone, waiting for us to call, so he can run to the rescue to fix up our mess. This is the wrong concept of prayer. When we buy into this paradigm, we prostitute ourselves with the gods of this world, and only look to the Lord when we are in trouble. God forbid that any real Apostolic Christians behave in such a manner.
Prayer is all about relationship. It is the avenue in which we connect to the goodness of God and His righteousness, and many more of His attributes. Prayer is about growing in God, learning to lean upon Him and trust Him, with all of our hopes and aspirations. Prayer is the bridge that connects us to the Almighty.
Just like streets and roads that connect us to one another in other cities and other places, prayer is that connection point that spans the chasm of earthly men, to Holy God. We know that sin separates; but the blood of Christ covers a multitude of sin. We are redeemed by the blood of the Lamb; His blood is precious and it cleanses us from all unrighteousness.
Prayer is that bridge that takes us to a higher place. Just like Jacob of old, when he went to sleep near the rocks, that his grandfather had used to build an altar; Jacob dreamt about a ladder where the angels were descending and ascending. The presence of God was still lingering there, what an awesome experience Abraham had with God; that even his descendants were impacted many years later, by this relationship with Jehovah.
When we have a real relationship with the Master, we don’t have to beg God to supply our needs. The scriptures are very plain in this regard: “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33
These things that Jesus refers to, were in relation to what he had spoken about earlier in the previous verse, “Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?” When we have an intimate relationship with the Master, He already knows what our needs are. And he will supply our needs and not our wants.
So many times in prayer, people of God pray for things that prayer was never intended for. Our focus must be centered on the Kingdom, not upon those things that are considered earthly. When we discover this principle then we will witness a great empowerment through our praying.
For 2019, the United Pentecostal Church International has embraced the theme “I AM” as we acknowledge that Almighty God is the great I AM. Let us join together in prayer and fasting, believing for God’s divine intervention in all matters, for He has spoken: “Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?” (Jeremiah 32:27)
Let us put our confidence in God through prayer, for with Him anything is possible!
Pastor Gavin J. Moon