man sitting by ocean_Heather Rae Hutzel_Are You Praying Wrong

 

“Our Father, who art in Heaven, hollowed be Thy name…”

Perhaps, like me, you grew up reciting this prayer every Sunday in church. I’m sure if I asked you to finish where I left off, you could. In America, The Lord’s Prayer is almost as ingrained as the Pledge of Allegiance. Even most non church-goers know this prayer.

But what if we are saying it wrong?

I recently attended a revival where the evangelist preached for over two hours on nothing but The Lord’s Prayer. And he didn’t even make it through the whole thing!

“Don’t pray out of your situation,” he said. “pray out of your position!” His sermon was staggering, and the message was clear: I had been praying wrong this whole time!

This preacher’s words made me think and challenged me to pray differently, and I’d like to pass the challenge on to you.

Our prayers can be revolutionized. They can be more effective and more powerful if we realize a few very important things:

 

1. The Lord’s Prayer is not Supposed to be Recited

The Lord’s Prayer is an archetype, not a specific formula. In Luke 11, one of Jesus’ disciples said, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.” Jesus had just finished praying when His disciples asked for His instruction. They had heard Jesus pray before; they understood that Jesus wasn’t giving them a formula to be recited but guidelines for how to approach their Heavenly Father.

 

2. The Lord’s Prayer is a Way to Conduct Spiritual Warfare

In my last post, I addressed things we should eliminate from our vocabulary. There is power in our spoken words, and while there are certain things we should be careful not to say out loud, there are other areas of our speech where we should be bolder. Prayer, as a method of warfare, is one of them.

Ephesians 6 describes the Word of God as our offensive sword against evil spiritual forces. Prayer is listed immediately after. The idea of our words being a weapon is not an analogy. There is something real that happens in the spiritual realm when our lips speak the words of our King–the enemy shudders. There is power when we choose to pray the will of God, and The Lord’s Prayer sets us up for just this thing.

Let’s take a look at the guidelines Jesus gave us and discover how we can super-charge our prayers:

 

“OUR Father…”

This phase is about declaring unity and oneness in the Church–we are all God’s children. Leading with these words, unites us as an army for the Lord. These words also humble us when paired with the other verses of the prayer. (The one we call Father is the Holy One who reigns in Heaven! Mind blowing!)

What this might look like:

“Our Father, You are the Father of all humanity. You are the King of the Universe, and yet to all of us who receive You, to those who believe in Your name, You give us the right to become children of God—children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. (John 1:12-13)”

 

“You Reign in Heaven…”

These words speak of God’s Sovereignty, not His location.

What this might look like:

“God, YOU are the one who reigns in Heaven, not man, not rulers and authorities, neither angelic powers nor principalities of darkness and light, but YOU God, YOU reign in Heaven. Heaven is Your throne, and the earth is Your footstool. (Isaiah 66:1) For in You all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through You and for You. You are before all things, and in You all things hold together. (Colossians 1:16-17)”

 

“Hallowed be Your Name…”

When we praise God and proclaim Him, something shifts in our spirit, and we enter into the throne room with God. We find ourselves in His presence. And while we may start by bowing before Him, He quickly reminds us that we are His children as He calls us into His lap.

What this might look like:

“God, there is no god like You in Heaven above or on earth below (1 Kings 8:23) Holy, holy, holy is Your name, Yahweh. Holy are You, Lord God Almighty, the whole earth is full of Your glory. (Isaiah 6:3) You are the one who was, who is, and is still yet to come. (Revelation 4:8) You are the one without father or mother or genealogy, without beginning of days or end of life. (Hebrews 7:3) You are the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. You are the Author and the Perfector, the First and the Last. (Revelation 22:13, Hebrews 12:2)

 

“Your Kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven…”

An amazing thing happens when we pray words like, “Holy are You, Lord God Almighty; the whole earth is full of Your glory.” (Isaiah 6:3) This is when the Kingdom of God begins to manifest inside of us. The first few lines of The Lord’s Prayer are about uniting ourselves to the all holy King of the universe and to the body called the Church. When we speak these things out loud they are fulfilled in our Spirit; the words come alive in us, and the Kingdom comes!

This is where we can begin asking boldly from our Father, for His Kingdom and His will to be manifested here on earth, whether it be specific areas of our lives or another’s life, in situations, etc… Wherever you want to see God’s kingdom unfold, ask for it boldly!

What this might look like:

“Let Your Kingdom come. Manifest, Lord Jesus. Let Your power take over this earth. Let Your Kingdom advance here on earth as it is in Heaven. Take back the stolen property from the enemy. This is Your creation. These are Your people. Let YOUR Kingdom come, and let YOUR will be done!”

 

“Give us today our daily bread…”

Ask your loving Father for the things you need daily to sustain your existence. Ask for the things you need to continue in the mission He gave you. Ask for today only. Don’t worry about tomorrow; instead, come to Him daily and receive.

What this might look like:

“Give us today our daily sustenance, the things we need for our physical survival, but more importantly, provide the daily bread of Your presence and Your words to us. You alone, O Lord, are the provider and caretaker for this army. Sustain us with our daily rations.”

 

“Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us…”

This is the time for repentance. Repenting is simply turning away from the things that are incongruent with God’s Kingdom; it’s choosing to walk in a different direction.

What this might look like:

“Forgive us as we do an “about-face” and repent. We turn from our old allegiances. We turn to You. Let us forgive and love as You forgive and love. You are our Commander in Chief, and we seek to please You. We seek to be like You.”

 

“Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil…”

Ask the Holy Spirit to lead you that you may not be tricked and led astray by the enemy.

What this might look like:

“Lead us, Father. Lead us on Your paths of righteousness, far from enemy territory. But when we must enter into battle, unite us as a mighty army. May the enemy tremble as we wear the name of Jesus boldly, and deliver us from his hands victoriously.”

 

“For Yours is the Kingdom and the power and the glory, now and forever more.”

Conclude by declaring what is true about God and about us!

What this might look like:

“We lift our banner high. We shout the victory with certainty and confidence: Yours, Lord Jesus, are the Kingdom, the power, and the glory, now and forever more, but because of Your great love for us, because of our positions as the sons of God, you give it all to us. The Kingdom, the power, and the glory belong to the true sons of God and the bride of Christ. Amen.”

 

Try It Out

Give it a shot. Try using The Lord’s Prayer as a guide for prayer, not a recipe. Focus on praying out of your position as a child of God instead of praying out of a situation of worry, fear, or need. Use this prayer as a way to enter boldly before God and align yourself with our Father, the King, and our brothers and sister, the Church, a mighty army for the Lord.

 

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