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Why did they want what he had? Ephesians 6.18

Oh, I suppose I first started praying when I was about three years old, trying to copy what I saw my mom doing, and what I was learning in Sunday School. Over my growing-up years, I learned more about what ought to be contained in my personal prayers, and about how the prayer that Jesus taught his disciples serves as a great model for my own prayers. While I like praying the The Lord's Prayer alongside other believing folks, I believe it is meant to serve as a framework, even a jumping off point for our private times of prayer. [Mind you, we are looking at why Paul wrote “pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.” Ephesians 6.18] What is the big deal about prayer?? Talking with folks the world over, I know that having a meaningful time of daily prayer is challenging. We are not consistent. We get bored. Bored with what we say, bored with the activity, distracted by more interesting things, but this ought not be so! What is the big deal about prayer? you ask. Talking to God is a privilege, it is a gift; it is empowering and the most important thing we can develop in our lives! The disciples had front row seats to Jesus and his dailiness; they saw that because prayer was important to him, he made it a priority. Jesus would go off by himself to spend time alone praying to the Father. Hmmm, go with me to Israel in your mind, imagine with me that you were there--you saw Jesus walking down the hillside after spending hours seeking the Father... did his face show it? Was anything different about him? Picturing the Garden of Gethsemane at the foot of the Mt. of Olives with its many stately ancient trees where Jesus and the disciples often went to pray or the untouched hillside above the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee, I can see my Lord approaching--just as they would have... 'his face--what would have shown? I think Jesus' countenance would have been one of peace. Surely Jesus' 12 men saw the difference prayer made in him; hence the reason they asked him to teach them to pray. They wanted what he had. Let’s take a look at the ‘our Father’ or ‘The Lord’s prayer’. Notice the focus is first on God, then us, then back to God. Our Father who art in Heaven Hallowed be your name. This causes us to look up, to acknowledge first that there is a God who oversees all... and the 'our' because we as a community of believers in Jesus Christ share a relationship together with our Heavenly Father. Kinship. And just as Jesus honored the name of God the Father, so do I: Lord, you are worthy to receive glory, and honor and power.1 Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Lord, we know your kingdom will one day be established forever, wrongs will be righted, evil stamped out, but until then, use us to bring your kingdom to earth by being your agents here - in our homes, our families, our neighborhoods, workplaces, schools, playing fields, etc. Give us this day our daily bread. Father, please supply our needs today, we humbly ask: food, water, shelter, jobs. And thank you, dear Lord, that you have sustained us to this day; you have breathed the breath of life in us daily. May we never take a day for granted for it is one more day to serve you --oh, and one less as well. Teach us to number our days.2 Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Father, please forgive me of my sins--when I think too highly of myself and choose my way above yours. Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!3 Father, thank you for the reminder that You will forgive me in the same way I forgive others... yikes! I make a choice right now to forgive those who have wounded me so deeply; I release them to you, Lord. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Father, temptations are everywhere, help me to rely on your Holy Spirit to choose righteousness or evil, the right way over the wrong, the better way over the lesser, yea, even to choose the beneficial over the permissible.4 For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory forever! For you are Lord over all - powerful and mighty God of the Universe and I give you glory now and forever! Amen. A set-apart time of prayer each morning connects us with our loving Father. Just as the disciples saw how it set the course of Jesus' actions each day, so it does with you and me. Oh sure, you can pray on the fly throughout your day; but first, meet with your Father in the quiet that you may be empowered to charge the day. "The Prayer" Charlotte Church, Josh Groban - Prayer is powerful! Christine p.s. pictured are two of my grandbabies. 1 – Revelation 4.11 2 - Psalm 90.12 3 - Psalm 139.23-24 4 - 1 Corinthians 10.23

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