DAY 30 - Praying to the Right God - Tom Pauquette
Praying to the Right God
Matthew 6.13: [Jesus said] For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever, Amen.
The disciples asked Jesus to teach them how to pray. In His model prayer (Matthew 6.9-13), Jesus taught them to begin and end with a certain form of praise. He began, Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your Name. The word hallowed means holy. Jesus is teaching us that all good prayer begins with a surrendered recognition of the holiness of God.
The holiness of God is, in essence, the combined total of all of His individual attributes (righteousness, purity, wisdom, mercy, judgment, omniscience ). Holy is what God is. When we pray, Holy is Your Name, we are beginning with a surrendered recognition of the full nature and character of God Himself. It is very much meant to be an expression of worship.
At the end of the model prayer, Jesus taught His disciples to finish with the praise expression, For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever, Amen. The prayer comes full circle. Riveting our attention on three of Gods many attributes which contribute to His holiness; Jesus calls us to praise God for His own motivation for even hearing, let alone answering, our prayers. God hears and answers our prayers so that His kingdom will be established on earth as it is in heaven. God hears and answers our prayers so that His loving and mighty power can find avenues of expression in His creation. Ultimately God hears and answers our prayers for His own glory. Whatever God does, He does to glorify Himself (see, for example, John 2.11). Thats a good thing a very good thing.
Jesus teaches us to begin our prayers in praise so that we are sure we understand the nature of God. He is holy. That is the sum total of His self-designed character. Jesus teaches us to conclude our prayers in specific praise so that we can, among our other things, check our own motivations. Believer, why are you praying today? Are you praying so that Gods kingdom will break in on the affairs of the earth? Are you praying so that you will be available as an avenue of Gods power to be displayed in His creation? Are you praying so that the glory of God will be evident to all?
The power of prayer is unmistakable. Lets be sure to begin and conclude our prayers with the kind of praise Jesus taught us in the model prayer. If the beginning and the end are authentically the way Jesus taught us, what happens in between will have a way of righting itself.
Have a power day!
Tom Pauquette is the Senior Pastor at Vineyard Christian Fellowship in Grove City