Teach Me to Pray – Who Art In Heaven


Lesson 3: Teach Me to Pray – Who art in Heaven

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.

Our Father is a Heavenly Father. This means that God is not flesh and blood, but a Spirit. Although we are flesh and blood, we are created in his image. We have a spirit within us which and communicate with our father and feel his presence. It is our spirit, and not our intellect, that we use to fellowship with God in prayer.

Because God is spiritual, prayer must be spiritual. We must learn to listen to the Spirit within us using our spirit. To do this, we must learn to recognize the voice of the Spirit and how to respond with our spirit. This process is called faith, and faith is the method of converting fleshly emotions and needs into a spiritual language.

You see, there is a barrier to our relationship with our Father. Although he is totally Spirit, we view the world through our bodily senses. Our human spirit has difficulty bypassing those senses. Paul said that communicating with and sensing God was like viewing a reflection in a mirror. We cannot see clearly. Oh, one day we will have a spiritual body and this barrier will be removed. Until that glorious day, we use faith..

Faith is the tool we use to cross the barriers between flesh and spirit. If we walked by sight, we would be certain of God’s will every time we prayed. We could see him frown or smile and hear his words clearly in our ears. However, until we see our father face to face, we walk by faith and not by sight.

What is faith anyway? Is it just a mental belief? Faith is much more than that. Faith is a certainty based on a relationship. Faith comes, as the Bible tells us, by hearing the Word of God. In other words, God gives us a promise which we believe because of who God is. When we have a clear Word from God, we can have faith that will hold us through any storm until the answer comes.

Since faith is essential for prayer and faith come by the Word, then the Word is essential for prayer. Each time we pray, we must bring to God’s attention the promises he has already given us and stand boldly on those promises as we bring our needs to him. We must also seek a fresh Word. Thus we must pray with our Bible open.

This is one reason why we pray for the same thing more than once. As we pray, we are not simply repeating the same request over and over like a whiny child. Rather, we are seeking to understand the Lord’s will in each of our needs. Each time we pray about something, we meditate on the Word and listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit. Each day we show our faith by acting on what the Word has shown us. When our will and His are identical, our faith loses the power of God into our lives.

Another reason faith is so essential for prayer is that we cannot see into the spiritual world. As soon as we pray, God responds. In Heaven, the answer is formed immediately. Our miracle is prepared and waiting. All it needs is for our faith to reach the proper level. But we cannot see what is taking place in Heaven. So as we wait, we believe nothing is happening. We need to release our faith to stand on the Word we have received and be convinced that though we cannot see what God is doing, it must be finished in Heaven and released by faith into the physical realm.

Repeatedly praying about the same need does not necessarily indicate a lack of faith. Certainly, if our prayers are filled with doubt and anxiety, we do ourselves no good. But if each time we pray about something, we quote the word and declare our faith, then we lose God to work, first in Heaven, then on earth. We build our faith as we assert that our need is already met in the spiritual realm, even though we might not yet see it.

The spirit realm is God’s realm. What he does there is perfect. When we pray, and our prayers reach Heaven, they are transformed into perfect prayers – ones that align with the perfect will of God. To perfect our faith, God will refine and teach us his will, in order that our will may align with his and be released first in the Spirit and then on the earth. We should expect God to change us before he answers us.

When we pray, we should not put God in a box by only giving him one way to answer us. Spiritual answers are perfect answers. God may surprise us by the direction from which our prayers are answered.

I have a dear friend who was experiencing mysterious health problems. She and I prayed together for miraculous healing. On her next visit to the state’s charity hospital where, since she, was uninsured she went for medical treatment, she had a long-awaited appointment with a dermatologist for what she thought were allergies. That dermatologist recognized the symptoms of thyroid disease and began to treat her personally. At a charity hospital, my sister was getting the treatment of a specialist for free! She was getting her thyroid medicine for free because she was part of a study and did not have to wait the long hours necessary to get in the regular clinics. Immediately her health improved.

But my friend did not want free medicine. She wanted the attention that came with a supernatural event. So after a young evangelist came to town claiming that no one with faith need ever be ill, my friend threw away her medicine, claiming instant healing. And, you guessed it, her symptoms returned. You see, God had answered her prayer; just not the way she preferred. We have to trust that spiritual methods beat ours every time.

In summary, prayer is a spiritual activity, loosed first in Heaven. Because we are earthen vessels, we must use faith to bridge the gap between Heaven and earth. We want to bring Heaven down and transform the earth into the spiritual. Spiritual prayer is effectual prayer.


1. What are some aspects of our human nature which hinder our hearing from God?

2. How does the Word of God give us faith?

3. How does continually praying for a need produce faith?

4. How do we learn God’s will in a specific situation?

5. What are some ways that people limit God?


1. Start a prayer journal. List everything about which you pray and the dates. Note each time you pray for the same thing and record what has changed since the last time you prayed about that. Those changes are faith in action, changing carnal prayers to spiritual ones. Especially note in your prayer journal HOW God answered each prayer as opposed to what you expected.

2. As part of your daily prayer, pray a portion of scripture. Meditate on each verse until it becomes meaningful to you in a practical way. Listen for the voice of the Holy Spirit leading you into truth. Write down what you have learned and list ways to put these truths into practice that same day.

3. Begin making “faith statements”. After you have prayed over a need, begin acting as you would if you knew the answer was on its way. Use wisdom – don’t write checks when the money is not in the bank, but practice speaking about the problem as though it were in the process of being solved. Remind yourself each time you feel anxious that in the spirit world, the answer is being worked out and when it is done, it will materialize.


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