Bible Studies By Deborah Hooper / last month Share Tweet Pin Share Lesson 2: Teach Us To Pray – Our Father Matthew 6: 9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. 10 Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen. The disciples had many opportunities to observe Jesus’s prayer life. What they saw led them to the conclusion that the activity they had called prayer really wasn’t prayer at all. They beseeched Jesus to teach them to pray. Jesus responded to the request by giving them the model prayer which we commonly refer to as “The Lord’s Prayer”. It is important to remember that this is a model prayer. There is an only limited benefit at best in just reciting the words themselves. Remember that prayer is an intimate conversation. It should be fresh each time and personal. The Lord’s Prayer teaches us how to pray, not what to say. Also, it is not always necessary to pray in the exact order of the model. Prayer should flow easily and the Spirit will guide you on your prayer journey. Jesus’s model helps understand the components of prayer, to make us more comfortable in our conversations with God. However we begin our prayer, we should speak to God as a child speaking to its father, for God is indeed “Our Father”. This relationship is the basis for prayer and determines everything in our communication with God. As our Father, God is eager to hear from us. He is responsible for meeting our needs and helping us grow. As a father, God must discipline us when we need it. Most of all, God wants to spend quality time with us. Because we go to prayer as a child going to its father, we go boldly and in faith. Faith alone brings answers to our prayers and know that God is our parent builds our faith by assuring us of God’s love. Prayer is the acting out of our relationship with God. Our prayer time is just as much about telling God how much we love him as it is about getting our needs met. It should be natural for us to ask God’s opinions and seek ways to please him. Spiritually, his children sit on his lap and talk intimately and freely. How do we develop this intimacy in prayer which draws us closer to God? First of all, we should drop all formality in prayer. Our prayers should be conversational. You see, spiritual growth is about an increased relationship with God. Effective prayers are prayers filled with faith in our favor with God. Prayer should be like talking with a friend. Since God is our father, he is also our provider. We can expect him to meet our needs because that is a father’s job; indeed, a father’s delight. We can be bold in presenting our requests. So when we pray, we should not hesitate to make not only our needs but our desires are known. However, we must always submit to our father’s will. If we feel we must have a red Mustang convertible and God sends us a silver Hyundai, it is not that he does not love us. He is merely being a responsible parent who gives us what we need, not what we think we need. After all the bold requests, we should always say “You will be done”. When we were small children, we thought our parents were invincible. We trusted that our parents were powerful enough to keep us safe. Some of us were disappointed in that trust. Some of us were betrayed by the very people we looked to for our safety and well being. Now we have a new parent, who is truly powerful and will never let us down. In prayer, we place ourselves in the security of our Father’s arms and we can have peace. Discussion 1. What person in your life has been the most instrumental in teaching you about prayer? How? 2. How has your relationship with God changed your definition of the word “father”? 3. What are some attributes of a good parent? How do these attributes relate to God? 4. What does God want from us? 5. Has God ever disappointed you? Has He ever let you down? Is there a difference? Exercises 1. Close your eyes and remember a happy time from your childhood. Perhaps there was no happy time with your parents, but picture a time where an adult was good to you and where you had fun. Dwell on those happy feelings. Now picture yourself as a child in Heaven, having that good time with your Heavenly Father. Every time you pray, take that picture with you to build your faith and remind you of your relationship with God. 2. Make a list of the attributes of a good parent. Beside each attribute, write a time when God manifested that attribute in your life. Thank God for his role as your parent. 3. When you pray, picture yourself on your Father’s lap. Tell him about your day. Ask for little blessings, not just necessities. Sing to him. Pretend that you are seven years old.