“This, then, is how you should pray: ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one’” (Matthew 6:9-13).
There are no better principles of prayer than those Jesus gives in Matthew 6. Many Christians have recited these principles numerous times in church services. Few have learned, however, to enter into an intimate fellowship with the Father through these principles.
Jesus taught us to open the door of prayer with praise and thanksgiving. Praise is a response to the greatness of God, and thanksgiving is a response to the goodness of God. Praise acknowledges the attributes of God, whereas thanksgiving acknowledges the deeds of God. The psalmist said, “Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving” (Psalm 95:2).
One of the attributes of Jesus mentioned in Revelation 5:5 is that He is the “Lion that is from the tribe of Judah. And the name Judah means “praise.” Jesus is the King from the tribe of praise. We need to enter into the presence of the Father by beholding the King with praise.
Lion of Judah, You are the King from the tribe of praise! Your greatness compels my heart into the throne room where myriad thousands of angels are rejoicing before You! As I think of how good and gracious You have been to me, I am filled with thanksgiving and awe! I will honor You all the days of my life!
Praise God as the great and powerful Creator who has no equal on earth or in the spiritual realm. Give thanks for the vast, eternal reaches of God’s knowledge and wisdom. Confess those times when you have not trusted in God’s leading. Commit yourself to spending more of your prayer time meditating on the depth of his knowledge and understanding. Ask God to daily make you aware of his power, his wisdom, and his great love for you.
Pray that your pastor and elders will spend increasingly more time in prayer for God’s guidance in the direction of the church, relying on the Spirit’s leading and the instruction of God’s Word (Acts 6:4).