Thursday, December 27, 2007

How I Am Applying the Second Prayer

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.

Matthew 6:9-10

The Lord's Prayer contains a tremendous request:  "Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven."  In heaven, the angels always do God's will obediently and joyfully, honoring God through their obedience.  God's saints are called to the same obedience.

Actually, the prayer that we call "The Lord's Prayer" could also be called "The Disciples' Prayer."  Jesus is teaching his disciples how they should pray--what they should pray for.  So, it is our duty to pray that God's will be obeyed.  
This is a very similar prayer to the second prayer of 2 Thessalonians.  I generally pray an expanded version of the Lord's Prayer twice during my prayer times.  I use the requests of the Lord's Prayer to sort my requests into categories.  I do this simply to keep my brain and my prayers focused.  Prayer for sanctification fits very well into the category of God's will being done.

I found it easier to pray for sanctification than thank God for the work He has already done.  For one thing, my friends and I discuss our requests more often than our praises.  I was more equipped to pray this prayer than the first prayer.  

While I was praying this morning, I remembered a word picture about prayer that I read online once.  It described God as being like a sprinter, ready to run at the start line but waiting for the gunshot before he begins.  In the same way, God, who delights in blessing His children, waits for our prayer before he will bless us.  May we never fail to pray that God's will be done and that He sanctify us.

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