Monday, November 15, 2010

The Lord's Prayer

Question: Why doesn't Berean put more emphasis on the Lord's Prayer? Please teach the Lord's prayer, or at least speak of it.

Response: The Lord's prayer is a wonderful model for prayer. When the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray, he offered what is commonly called the Lord's prayer, as an outline for the basic components important in our prayer times. We are encouraged to worship, submit to God's will, make our requests known to God, pray for guidance and harmony in our earthly and spiritual relationships and give God the honor He is due. It truly is a great road map for prayer.

There is no biblical indication, however, that Jesus ever intended for this prayer to be regularly or corporately recited. It really isn't a prayer to be prayed, as much as simply a model for praying. Jesus warns against simply repeating prayers. Our prayer times should be marked by authenticity and relationship with God. While there is no harm in reciting the Lord's prayer, prayer should take on a much more personal expression as we communicate with God and learn to listen for His voice.

If you really want to see the Lord in prayer, read John chapter 17, as he prays for the disciples as well as for all those who would come to faith in Jesus. His heart and passion is much more clear in this text and time would be well spent using this prayer as a model at least as much as the traditional Lord's prayer is used.

Praying Scripture is always good, as long as it doesn't become a religious form. The Lord's prayer is a wonderful text for guidance and encouragement in prayer. Reciting it is healthy but not a necessity. Prayer, communing with God, is what is absolutely necessary in the life of the believer.