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23 REVELATIONS OF PRAYER IN THE LORD’S PRAYER
The Lord in His precious Word begins to teach us how to pray. We cannot pray in our own strength; we pray as we are quickened by the Spirit. Gathered with His disciples, He warned against the use of vain repetitions, pointing to the need for true Spirit-led prayer.
Commonly referred to as The Lord Prayer, Jesus offered a pattern for the disciples to follow in prayer, admonishing them with these words: “after this manner therefore pray.”
As we examine the familiar words Jesus prayed in the midst of His disciples, we can discover 23 glorious revelations about prayer.
“Our Father, which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.” (Matthew 6:9-13)
REVELATION 1: RELATIONSHIP—“OUR FATHER”
For prayer to become effective, there must be relationship and fellowship. This is revealed in the very words of this pattern for prayer offered by Jesus, for Our Father speaks of relationship and fellowship. You can’t really pray effectively until you have both in your life. Relationship and fellowship are different from each other, and effective prayer can only take place when both are present. A relationship cannot be broken unless you willfully, knowingly walk away from the faith. Fellowship requires righteousness and can be broken by sin. Fellowship means there’s communion with God, and your heart is cleansed from sin, free of hindrances that could block or interrupt your fellowship with God.
You cannot have an effective prayer life without fellowship with God. Jesus said when you pray, begin with “Our Father.” He was saying it is impossible to pray and have an effective prayer life without a relationship with God, for an individual cannot truly pray without first knowing God as Father and experiencing the fellowship that comes about as a result of that relationship. In the book of Isaiah the Lord told His people, “I want you to call me Father.” Rather than fellowshipping with Him to know Him as Father, they walked away from Him. In Jeremiah, we see Him reaching out again and saying, “I want you to know Me as Father.” Yet they walked away from Him. The Jewish people in the day of Jesus did not know God as He longed to be known. His very name was forbidden on their lips. Jesus told them to call Him Father, yet to those who heard Him this was totally foreign for He was using the word Abba which means daddy, the most intimate word for a father. When we pray “Our Father” and not “My Father,” we also acknowledge our fellowship with the saints.
REVELATION 2: AUTHORITY—“IN HEAVEN”
It is impossible to pray without knowing God’s authority. Heaven speaks of God’s authority. In prayer we recognize God’s authority over us, acknowledging He is God, He is above us, He has authority over me. Because He is in heaven, our fellowship with Him is Spirit led. As we come to Him prayer, we acknowledges our dependence upon Him to intervene and answer our prayers.
Not only do we find authority, but also dominion. We know He is our master, our authority. His is the glory and the dominion. It is impossible to pray to a God in whom we do not believe and believe that He is all powerful. We must recognize His authority and dominion over us in order to prayer effectively and in faith.
REVELATION 3: ACKNOWLEDGMENT—“HALLOWED BE THY NAME”
After Jesus said, “Our Father which art in heaven,” He gave us 7 petitions. “Hallowed by Thy name” is the first. God’s name deals with His person. When Moses said, “Let me see Your glory,” God revealed His name to him, saying “I’m the Lord, I’m merciful, I’m gracious, long-suffering.” Remember, the Jewish people knew God through 12 revelations of His name:
• Elohim, meaning creator. You can’t know the Father until you know the Creator. He’s our creator before He becomes our Father.
• Jehovah, meaning my father. The word Jehovah contains covenant in it, and therefore He becomes our Father.
• Jehovah El-Shaddai, meaning my supply and nourishment.
• Adonai, meaning my master.
• Jehovah Jireh It means two things in the Hebrew. Provider, it also means vision. My vision, the one I see. My vision. The Hebrew word Yireh is, I see or I see a vision. So when Abraham looked and saw the sacrifice, he said, “I see Jehovah’s provision.”
• Jehovah Rophe, meaning my healer.
• Jehovah Nissi, meaning my victory.
• Jehovah M’kaddesh, meaning my sanctifier.
• Jehovah Shalom, meaning our peace.
• Jehovah Tsidkenou, meaning our righteousness.
• Jehovah Rohi, meaning my shepherd
• Jehovah Shammah, meaning the presence. It speaks of God’s presence. The Lord is there.
So when we say Our Father, all these revelations become a part of that one call upon the Lord. The moment you say Father, you’re recognizing God, saying, “You’re my Master. You’re my supply. You’re my provider. You’re my healer. You’re my victory. You’re my sanctifier. You’re my righteousness; You’re my peace; You are my shepherd. You are the One I need.” In that revelation is contained relationship and fellowship. The Scriptures declare, “But sanctify the Lord God in your hears: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you” (1 Peter 3:15). We hallow God’s name by sanctifying Him in our hearts, giving Him the place He deserves in our life. When you hallow His name, you are giving Him the place He deserves in your heart and life as God Himself.
REVELATION 4: SUBMISSION—“THY KINGDOM COME”
God’s kingdom must be clearly understood. God’s kingdom is presented in Matthew 12:28, which says, “But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.”
When the kingdom comes, it brings the power of God, the overthrow of Satan and the preaching of the gospel to sinners. Jesus said we ought to pray, “Let thy kingdom come.” In other words, “Lord, use me to bring others to You, for now I know You, I acknowledge You. Help me tell others about You so they too will acknowledge You.” You cannot pray effectively unless you are a witness of Christ Jesus on earth. You see, the prayers of most of God’s people focus on self. True prayer focuses on others and on their needs, not your own. Prayer is impossible without knowing Him, acknowledging Him, and submitting to His authority.
REVELATION 5: CONSECRATION—“THY WILL BE DONE”
There is something very important about the will of God you must understand. There is a will only heaven knows, and there is a will only earth can know. God’s Word declares in Deuteronomy 29:29, “The secret things belong unto the Lord our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever…” Jesus is asking us to pray for the revealed will. What is the secret will? No human power or government can oppose the secret will of God. In contrast, men can oppose the revealed will of God and actually frustrate. Let me give you an example. You can’t stop prophecy that relates to future events. However, there is the revealed will for your life, which you can miss and reject. The Bible declares clearly in Isaiah 46:10 that no man can stop God’s counsel. “Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:” No man can stop His will. Yet, there are other scriptures that clearly state His will was stopped and opposed. You cannot truly pray without knowing His will. You can’t pray without knowing Him; you can’t pray without acknowledging Him; you can’t pray without submitting to Him; and you can’t pray without knowing His will.
REVELATION 6: OBEDIENCE—“THY WILL BE DONE ON EARTH”
As we just discovered, there is a secret will and a revealed will. The secret will of God cannot be known to us because Deuteronomy 29:29 says the secret thing belongs to God. It is the revealed will of God that belongs to you and me. It is the revealed will of God that is opposed by the enemy, and that is the will we pray be fulfilled in our lives. The revealed will is already given clearly to us in God’s Word. We know from His precious Word what His will is. For example:
• It’s not God’s will that any man should perish. We know that’s His clear and perfect will.
• It’s His will that we all be forgiven from our sins. We know that’s His will.
• It’s His will that we all be healed from our diseases. We know that’s His will and much more.
Yet, none of these promises can be ours without prayer. That’s why the Lord said we are to pray thy will be done so that we will be living in His will. Remember what the Bible says, “This is the confidence we have in Him. If we ask anything according to His will He hears us. And then we know we have petitions we’ve desired of Him” (1 John 5:14-15). So when the Lord said pray thy will be done, He was saying pray that all of the promises be yours.
Psalm 103 says that the angels obey God swiftly at the mere sound of His voice. Jesus is saying that we ought to obey God as quickly as the angels obey Him. So when we pray, ”thy will be done on earth as is in heaven,” it conveys the thought: Lord, reveal to me your will and help me obey it as quickly as the angels obey it.
REVELATION 7: CONFORMITY—“AS IN HEAVEN”
“Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” We are conformed; we are transformed into His image as we pray in this manner. In prayer, there is transformation. “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven…” is transformation. When we pray this prayer, we say, “Lord, I want Your will to be done in my life. I want to be transformed by Your promises.” You can’t pray without transformation. Transformation is the result of prayer. Ask yourself, “Do I ever go into prayer and come out changed?” That’s conformity. That’s transformation. When you say thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven, you are saying, “Lord, let Heaven affect my life.”
REVELATION 8: DEPENDENCE—“GIVE US”
When we pray give us this day our daily bread, we demonstrate our dependence upon God. In the preceding revelations, we found matters that dealt with heaven and God’s dominion and power. Now we begin to focus more on specifics that deal with our daily needs.
Prayer must have dependence upon the Lord or it’s not prayer at all. Without dependence on God nothing happens. We acknowledge our dependence upon the Lord here in prayer. The Bible never teaches independence. We are always dependent upon the Lord. That’s what poor in spirit means. Somebody who is dependent upon the Lord for everything.
Psalm 104:28 says, That thou givest them that gather: thou openest thine hand, they are filled with good. God supplies everything. You and I can do nothing without Him.
REVELATION 9: DEFINITIVE PRAYER—“THIS DAY”
Never pray without being specific. You must be specific with God. You can’t expect God to answer prayer unless you are specific with Him for God is very detailed. Look at the details He gave Moses regarding with the tabernacle. Look at the details He gave David about the temple. The specific details that we find in God’s Word tells me God is a detailed God. God does not deal in headlines, He deals in details. In today’s busy world, most of us only care about the headlines. We don’t want to take time to listen to the whole story. That’s why often our prayers are not answered because our prayers are headline prayers, because we rush out in haste. We must be specific with God. Give us this day, that’s being specific. Jesus could have said well just pray for bread. God will give it to you all the time. But, instead, He said, this day give us this day our daily bread. We acknowledge our dependence upon God in prayer as we pray give us; we make our prayer specific and definitive when we pray this day because we recognize that tomorrow we can lose it if we are not living a life of dependence upon the Lord.
We must be dependent on Him each day for without His provision, we don’t know what tomorrow may bring. We are dependent on Jesus today and every day for His blessings. Proverbs 27:1 says, Boast not thyself of to morrow: for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth. This verse says we depend on Him for our daily strength and daily sustenance.
REVELATION 10: NECESSITY—“OUR DAILY”
God has no leftovers. Daily His mercies become new, for they are new every morning. His power is new every morning. Everything is new every morning; nothing stays overnight. Not even the manna did, except on the Sabbath. Everything with God is fresh. “He daily loadeth us with benefits or blessings” (Psalm 68:19). Proverbs 20:13 declares, Love not sleep, lest thou come to poverty; open thine eyes, and thou shalt be satisfied with bread.” Work is involved in the provision; your daily supply will not just drop from heaven. Action is required on our part for our daily bready our daily bread it requires still your cooperation with the Lord by work. Jesus is not promoting laziness here by saying, “Well just pray and God will give it” . . . No, no, no, no, no!
REVELATION 11: COOPERATION—“BREAD”
Our cooperation is needed too, for even if we have to work for our bread, God’s blessings on your work are necessary. What you are saying in prayer is, “Lord bless the work of my hands that I might have bread.” So when the Lord says pray give us this day our daily bread, some may interpret it to mean, “Well that means I just don’t have to work; all I have to do is pray and God will feed me.” No, the Lord does not promote laziness in the Bible. He blesses the work of your hands. God doesn’t bless your hands; He blesses the work of your hands as they are productive. We acknowledge our dependence on God through cooperation with Him. We are dependent on Him for our daily bread, yet we know He needs our cooperation in order for His blessings to come our way.
REVELATION 12: REPENTANCE—“FORGIVE US”
Here the Lord goes from our specific needs and our dependence on Him to repentance. Prayer ought to always have repentance. Forgive us this day for our sins and forgive us our debts.
Confession and forgiveness should be a daily function in people’s lives. This is illustrated by the priests in the Old Covenant who did not wear shoes in God’s presence. This was God’s way of reminding them that they were touching dirt everyday, and that’s why Jesus said in John 13:10, he said, ye are clean save your feet. We must say “Lord, we repent of the things we have done.” We need a daily cleansing. Repentance must be a part of prayer; otherwise prayer cannot be affective. Each day we come to God and we say, “Lord cleanse me, Lord forgive me.” Forgive us our debts.
REVELATION 13: RESPONSIBILITY—“OUR DEBTS”
This revelations includes our debts, our responsibilities, and our actions. There is responsibility in prayer. That’s a part of prayer. You can’t pray without knowing your responsibilities. You’re responsible before God to live a holy life. God looks upon us as we pray and knows we are responsible before Him.
REVELATION 14: FORGIVENESS—“AS WE FORGIVE”
You must also have forgiveness in your heart towards others. You can’t pray effectively unless you know you are forgiven. When you say forgive us as we forgive our debtors, you must also experience forgiveness towards others. You can’t pray properly unless you are forgiving.
Prayer cannot be affective if you hold things against people in your heart as you pray. You must first accept that God has forgiven you and second forgive others who have sinned against you. In prayer we know we are forgiven and in prayer we must be forgiving.
REVELATION 15: GUIDANCE—“LEAD US NOT”
Lead us not speaks of guidance and a cry for direction. Direct our way toward righteousness. Rescue us from where we have been and lead us toward holiness and righteousness. Be my Shepherd and lead me in your paths for righteousness sake.
REVELATION 16: DELIVERANCE—“NOT INTO TEMPTATION”
This suggests that God would bring deliverance to your life as He prevents you or keeps you from repeating the same sin. Earlier we saw that we must ask for forgiveness daily. Now we are asking for not only guidance but deliverance. Deliverance is a part of prayer. “Lord, not only guide us but deliver us from this sin that keeps coming back on us. Deliverance must be a part of prayer, otherwise prayer cannot be affective. James 1:13 says, God does not tempt us: He tests us. So when you pray lead us not into temptation, realize that God doesn’t tempt you. God tests you.
REVELATION 17: SALVATION—“BUT DELIVER US”
Here we must know that we have protection. You cannot pray effectively unless you know you are protected from evil. Because we are protected, no curse can touch us. No evil shall befall thee. In another portion of scripture we read, And I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it. In other words, we can absolutely defeat the purpose of the enemy because we have protection. Psalm 119:117 declares, Hold thou me up, and I shall be safe: and I will have respect unto thy statutes continually. First Corinthians 10:13 says, There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful who will not suffer you to be tempted above which ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may to bear it. In 2 Peter 2:9, The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished. Psalm 94:18 declares, When I said, My foot slippeth; thy mercy, O Lord, held me up. Lord, when my foot is slipping into temptation Your mercy grabs me and pulls me right back where I ought to be. We are protected if we just believe. Lead us not into temptation, I believe also includes salvation. He delivers you from evil, He protects you from evil and the very deliverance and protection from evil brings you into His salvation. And lead us not into temptation, and deliver us from evil brings you and me into God’s salvation. We begin to experience the fullness of His salvation, meaning the blessings of the Gospel become ours. When there is protection, He becomes your salvation. Absolute knowledge that the Lord is your salvation is a part of prayer. There is no fear whatsoever; there is assurance of salvation.
REVELATION 18: RESISTANCE—“FROM EVIL”
In this revelation Jesus was not only speaking about deliverance from evil but from the evil one. When the Lord says that we are to pray, deliver us from the evil, He is telling us to resist. It’s a prayer for strength to resist the devil. The Greek says evil one. Preserve us, keep us safe from the evil one. And that’s a continual preservation. God doesn’t come and go every day. He stays with you. He said, “I’m with you always.” When I pray preserve me from evil, I’m saying Lord, give me illumination so I’ll see when the enemy comes. When I pray preserve me, I’m saying keep my eyes open, keep me wise. Give me discernment, Lord. When I say preserve me from evil, deliver me from evil, I also pray, Lord, give me strength to resist him at all times. James 4:17 declares, Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Here we see a prayer for resistance, deliver us from the evil one Lord. In prayer there must be a resistance, for how can you pray unless there is resistance against the will of the enemy? Deliverance from the evil one also demands cooperation with God. The Bible says in James 4, Submit yourself therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. You cannot resist the devil until you’ve submitted to God Almighty. Resistance is a part of prayer.
REVELATION 19: VICTORY—“FOR THINE IS THE KINGDOM”
The entire pattern of prayer closes with victory. “For thine is…” means victory. Victory is always a part of prayer. You can’t pray affectively unless you close with victory. Something else is involved in that statement: faith. When you say, “Lord, You are God,” your faith comes alive. Thine is means “Lord You are. To You belongs all the glory! To You belongs the honor! To You belongs the majesty!” That’s faith.
REVELATION 20: HUMILITY—“AND THE POWER”
“And the power” speaks of humility as we recognize God’s power. It also expresses a note of thanksgiving as we humbly bow in reverent prayer and make our requests known to God as Philippians 4:6 declares, “Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” As we acknowledge God’s power, we also recognize that we are nothing without Him, and that prayer is only answered because of His power.
REVELATION 21: REVERENCE—“AND THE GLORY”
Reverence is an essential part of prayer. When you say for thine is the glory you revere God. Without reverence you cannot pray affectively.
REVELATION 22: TIMELESSNESS—“FOREVER”
In this revelation we see eternity, for every time you pray you are touching eternity. Every time you pray eternity is touching you. Every time you pray, you are released from time and you become a part of God’s eternal purposes.
REVELATION 23: AFFIRMATION—“AMEN”
Amen means “We affirm: affirmation. We absolutely affirm what we’ve said to be powerful and truth.
Begin to follow this pattern for prayer recorded in Matthew 6, which the Lord provided for us in the midst of his disciples. His instruction to his disciples and us as His followers were specific, stating, “after this manner therefore pray.” Jesus did not provide an example of repetitious, empty words with religious overtones. He provided a pattern to help us experience an effective prayer life.