This past Sunday, we finished our sermon series for our middle school ministry entitled All Access. Because of the death and ressurection of Jesus we have complete and total access to our God; since we have complete access what does our prayer life look like? The third and final message was all about "How to Pray."
We commonly recite the words that Jesus taught when his disciples asked him how to 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 this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil." - Matthew 6:9-13
Jesus taught the disciples this prayer; it is loaded with significance for us as we pray. Here are a few of the observations that we spent time discussing on Sunday.
Pray with confidence. When we approach God in prayer, we approach him confidently as his children. We have no rights to call God our father, but because of Jesus we know that we can go to God as father and we can be confident that he loves us, provides for us, and will do what's best for us.
Honor God's name with words and actions. We need to remember that not only is God our father, but he is holy. We honor God in our prayers with our words and we also do the same with our actions when we do what is right. When we pray we should be worshipping him and our actions when we are not in prayer should match the words we use when we do pray.
Needs > Wants. Daily bread is not about asking God to provide for our needs. When we pray to God we should pray that he would provide for our daily needs and also thank him that he has given us our daily needs like a house, a family, food, and clothes.
Confess. Confession is an essential part of our prayer life. We all sin, therefore, confession should be a part of our prayers.
Ask for help. No matter how motivated we are to change things and no matter how badly things get around us, we cannot simply will things to change. We need God's help. We pray that God will help protect us from evil, keep us from temptation, and to help do what is right.