So in the past few days we have looked at WHO we pray to, WHY we pray and HOW to keep an intimate prayer life, but what do we actually pray?
Let’s look at the last bit of the Lord’s prayer in Matthew 6:13;
“And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.”
The first thing to establish is that God does not intentionally lead us into temptation. He is not sat in heaven, subtly leading us into destructive situations! That’s definitely NOT who He is. So what does Jesus mean when he teaches us to pray this?
Jesus is teaching us to pray “lead me away from myself”. Most of the issues I get into in my life are my own fault, they’re no one else’s, so I actually need saving from myself! I can guarantee that the same will be true for you too. We are our own worst enemies; we need God to lead us to where he needs us.
Temptation is actually where we want to go. We will all face temptations, just because we are Christians it does not exclude us from facing them, Jesus himself faced temptation. Here’s the thing, we want them. Temptation is something we want! That is why we must be asking God to lead us away from what we want, because quite often what we want will destroy us.
When our eldest son was the crazy age of 2, where he was constantly trying to make a break for it! He once escaped from the house with his cousin. They crossed the road and ended up sat on a neighbour’s doorstep! I was forever having to grab his hand as he attempted to run off play in traffic, he needed me to lead him away from what he ‘wanted’ to a better way.
This is what we must pray. We need God to lead us away from ourselves, to show us a better way, to take us away from what we want into what we need.
So prayer can be the most incredible thing in our day to day, in order to experience it as this we have to lose our religious approach and engage in a relational one. Let’s approach God as Father, understanding our need for him to establish his kingdom in our hearts and lives, fully trusting in him and never harbouring unforgiveness, then continually be asking him to lead us away from ourselves and towards him.
Following Jesus’ pattern for prayer is the sure fire way to maintaining an exciting and vibrant prayer life. Go for it!