He said to them, “When you pray, say: “‘Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation.’” Luke 11:2-4 (NIV)
Yesterday, I examined the first 2 elements of godly prayer I find modeled by Jesus in the Lord’s Prayer. Those elements were praising God and the affirmation of His will.
The third element of prayer that Jesus models is making a request for our personal needs.
Our Lord wants us to recognize our needs and then request that those needs be met by Him. This isn’t an attempt by God to humiliate us. It is His way to help us recognize our absolute dependence on Him. And He delights in meeting those needs.
But we must be careful that our request includes only our needs…not our desires. There is a difference.
In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus prays that the Father would provide daily bread. Food isn’t optional…we need it to live. However, the latest smartphone is optional…a successful practice is optional.
Over time as the Lord meets certain needs and fails to meet others…we learn what truly is a necessity in His eyes.
The fourth critical element of godly prayer is the confession of sin.
Jesus has already paid the price for our sin when He died on the cross 2000 years ago, but we still need to acknowledge that sin and request forgiveness. Acknowledging our sin helps us see the areas of our life that still need work and the cleansing power of the Spirit. It reminds us that we are human…imperfect…yet loved perfectly by our Heavenly Father. Asking His forgiveness reminds us that we owe our justification to Jesus alone…through grace…a free gift given undeservedly to us. It reminds us that this born-again life was given to us not of our own works…but solely through God’s grace.
God has done it all…and freely given it to us…out of His love for us.
That’s humbling…yet comforting.
We need only to make request for our needs and acknowledge where we have fallen short.
And He promises to meet those needs and to slowly transform us into the image of His Son.
Prayer: Lord, give me today what I need and forgive my sins.