Getting starting praying can seem a little overwhelming. You’re talking to God, the creator of the universe. What should you say? How should you say it? What if He thinks what you’re praying is dumb? Talk about pressure! All of these things can be things that stop you from praying. So, how should we pray?
Jesus’ disciples asked Him the same thing. “One day he was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said, ‘Master, teach us to pray just as John taught his disciples.’” – Luke 11:1 (Message). The disciples came to Jesus and asked Jesus for tips on how to pray. Jesus responded with verse two, “So he said, ‘When you pray, say, Father, Reveal who you are. Set the world right.” – Luke 11:2 (Message). Jesus’ first tip on prayer for the disciples was about getting to know God. He mentioned asking God to reveal who He was. The first tip to successful prayer is knowing who God is.
Knowing who God is will really help you when you pray. Think of it this way, until you know someone, you can’t really have a deep conversation with them. You can probably think of a good friend that you can talk about anything with. You can tell them anything and talk to them for hours. You can do this easily because you know who they are. The same is true in knowing God. Once you get to know Him its easy to talk to Him. Once you know who He is and what He has done for you, it becomes easier to pray.
So, I encourage you to spend some time getting to know God’s character. Boldness in prayer comes as a result of knowing who God is. As you get to know God, you’ll feel bolder when you go to pray. Learning to pray starts with knowing who God is.
Listen: Relentless by Hillsong United
1. God of Elijah, God of our fathers. We declare that the Spirit You are pouring out on the youth of America is stronger than any rebellion and will work to turn the nation back to God. (Luke 1:17)
2. God, it is time! Raise up the sons and daughters of destiny to contend for the cultural keys of our nation. (Isaiah 22:22)
3. Jesus, You are the great freedom fighter. We declare You will arise and contend against the enemies of our children and You will save them. We declare freedom from rebellion, freedom from sexual addiction, freedom from drugs and the occult. We declare a great spiritual jail break for the youth of America. (Isaiah 49:25)
4. Father to the fatherless. We declare that You are pouring out your father’s heart and You will raise up a fathering, mothering movement in America that will raise kids from the dead and set them into double-portion destiny. (1 Kings 19:15-16)
5. You, whose eyes are ablaze with fire, we declare You will pour out Your jealous bridal love on a generation that will then cry out, “No Toleration!” to sexual immorality and idolatry. (Revelation 2:20)
6. God of revival, pour out the promised rain of Your spirit on our sons and daughters. May they see dreams and visions and prophecy. (Joel 2:28)
7. Great Shepherd, we declare that You will teach the youth of America your ways and the fear of the Lord. We declare healing and deliverance shall break out over the land and the shalom of heaven will fill our youth. (Isaiah 54:13)
8. We pray for a youth revival in which great conviction of sin and Holy cleansing takes place. (1 John 1:7)
9. We declare that a great new music and worship will arise that will be filled with truth and passion. We declare hearts, stadiums and the whole earth will be filled with that sound. (John 4:23, 24)
10. Great Martyr of the church, we declare that even as You laid down Your life for us, the young soldiers of the cross will carry the gospel of Jesus Christ to the Muslim world. (Revelation 12:11)
11. God of salvation, raise up youth that will not be ashamed of the Gospel. Let the power of the gospel blaze across out land. We call forth a great Jesus movement. (Romans 1:16)
12. Lord of the harvest, we proclaim You will thrust laborers into every cultural sphere of the harvest; the schools, the mission fields, Hollywood, politics, the streets and the inner cities. (Matthew 9:37)
13. Jesus, You were about Your father’s business at age 12. We declare your spirit of obedience will be mightily upon the young. They will not waste their teenage years, but tithe them to the Lord. (Luke 2:49)
14. God of Justice and power, raise up anointed ones that will lead the way for justice. Raise up evangelists filled with the power of the spirit—doing miracles and healing the sick. (Luke 4:19-19; Isaiah 61:1-2)
15. God for all peoples, raise up a generation who will proclaim Your gospel to every people group in the earth. Release an end-times student-volunteer missions movement. (Matthew 24:14)
16. O Lord, that an end-time church without spot or wrinkle will arise. Let their cry for the Bridegroom erupt and thunder all over the earth, “Come quickly, Lord Jesus!” (Revelation 22:17)
17. Jesus, the one anointed with the oil of joy, raise up young men and women who, although brought up in a culture of murmuring and disrespect, will be filled with joy, thankfulness, and strength of character. May they be the radiant ones known as the offspring of the Lord in a depraved and crooked generation. (Philippians 2:14-15)
18. God of our fathers, we declare a generation will arise who will live in the great shadow of history, who will receive the blessing of the accumulated prayers of the saints past, and who will take the baton with unhindered obedience and hasten the return of the Lord. (Hebrews 12:1)
19. Father of all life, You have dreamed a unique dream for every life. We cry out, “No more abortion! No more destroyed destinies! No cloned destinies!” (Psalms 139:14-16)
20. God of the church, we declare this young generation will know the love of God in such a way that they will break through religious and racial barriers, reject territoriality, spiritual pride and selfish ambition, so that the unity Jesus prayed for will be seen. (John 17:23)
21. May the scriptures be honored, loved and obeyed again in the youth of America. God, we cry for a recovery of the “absolutes” of Your word in our land. (John 3:16)
22. Jesus, lover of our souls, burn Your passions in the heart of the youth of America. Seal their affections. Let Your flame of love break unclean addictions of the human heart. (Song of Songs 8:6)
23. We declare that You Father of all fatherhood will release a fathering discipling movement that will bring a fatherless generation into the deep security of sonship and daughtership in God. (2 Timothy 2:2)
24. We declare that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ will explode in the youth of America a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the true knowledge of God. (Ephesians 1:17)
25. King of Kings and Lord of Lords, we declare You will raise up a massive young praying army across America that will pray and fast for our governmental leaders and shape the destiny of our nation. (1 Timothy 2:2)
26. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth”…in six days. You, O God, are the Creator. We declare that our children shall know You as the Creator and the day will come when they shall be taught of You even in the public places of America. (Genesis 1:1)
27. You wrote a book of all our days before we were even born. How awesome You are, Father. You have dreamed a dream for every child and written a novel of his/her days. We declare the youth of our nation will fulfill the dreamed destiny…and the curse of abortion over them and our nation will be broken. (Psalms 139:16)
28. We declare these teenagers in the Babylon of today will turn and take a stand for truth and holiness and will not compromise. (Daniel 1:8)
29. There is a generation that is marked by spiritual violence, by extreme passion, sacrifice and devotion. We pray this generation will seize the moment and turn nations back to God. (Matthew 11:12)
30. We declare this is a generation who will wrestle with You in the midst of darkness and will not give up or give in until they see You face to face and you bless them. (Psalms 24:6)
31. We declare those shadowed by a spirit of death, but desperately wanting true life will find it in the Father’s love. Bring forth the prayer anointing of Elisha and breathe life into the souls of the youth of this nation. Redeem what the enemy has stolen. Do it Lord, for your Holy Name’s sake! (II Kings 4:32-34) “The Lord gave the word; great was the company of those who proclaimed it…” –Psalms 68:11
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Recently in our youth bible study we looked at the Lords’s Prayer. This is a short section in the gospels when Jesus takes his disciples aside and gives them a model of prayer they can follow. What we found as we studied this simple prayer is that it is really comprehensive! It gives a great balance between praising God and placing requests before God.
Table of contents
- 1 What is the Lord’s Prayer?
- 2 “Our Father in heaven…”
- 3 “Hallowed be your name”
- 4 “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven”
- 5 “Give us today our daily bread”
- 6 “And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors”
- 7 “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one”
- 8 “For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours, now and forever. Amen”
- 9 Pray the Lord’s Prayer this week!
What is the Lord’s Prayer?
You’ve probably seen the LORD’s prayer before, but just in case you haven’t, here it is from Matthew 6:9b-13:
“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.’
Sometimes we say this prayer in church or may have prayed it ourselves. But do we really know what the words mean and how it can help us to pray well?
Let’s break down the prayer and have a look at each section so we can be better equipped and understand what we are saying as we pray.
“Our Father in heaven…”
This line reminds us that we are praying to our Father in heaven, how great is this?! We can call the God of the WHOLE universe our “father” because of what Jesus has done, bringing us into God’s family. This means we can come to Him as children when we pray, but it also reminds us that we need to have the correct reverence and awe of Him as a father and not just treat God like our buddy or mate.
“Hallowed be your name”
This line sounds a little odd because we don’t really use the word “hallowed” any more, but what it means is to ‘honour as holy’. So we are to honour God’s name as holy and also treat Him as holy. But this prayer is bigger than just for ourselves; we are to pray that all across the world God’s name may be honoured as holy as people come to know God and to understand who He is.
“Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven”
As Christians, we know that the life we live here on earth is not all that there is, we know that a new heaven and a new earth are coming – this is the coming kingdom of God (Revelation 21).
But we also know that God’s kingdom is being established today as people come to know Him and become part of His family (His kingdom). So as we pray this line about God’s will being done, and God’s kingdom we should remember that we are not only praying for the future but also for people to become Christians right now.
“Give us today our daily bread”
This line has a double meaning behind it. It asks for God to provide us with the daily necessities that we need (harking back to the days when God provided food for His people for the 40 years in the desert), but it also refers to God feeding us daily through His word, The Bible.
“And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors”
Even though as Christians we know we are forgiven of our sins, it is good to pray for forgiveness for it reminds us that we are sinful and constantly fall short of God’s perfect standards. We also are reminded by this line that we are to forgive others. We have been forgiven so much by God, we are to show Christ-like character and forgive those who wrong us.
“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one”
Despite us having been saved by Jesus and the victory over sin and death having been won, there is still a spiritual war happening. So we are to pray for protection from the attacks of the devil as well as praying that God help us not to wander into temptation and sin.
“For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours, now and forever. Amen”
This is an added extra bit that many churches have tagged onto the end of the LORD’s Prayer that is a conclusion to the prayer. It praises God for the power and glory that he has and will have for all eternity.
Pray the Lord’s Prayer this week!
Hopefully this little break-down might help the Lord’s Prayer to be slightly more accessible to you, and at least for you to know what you are praying for as you recite the prayer in church.
Sometimes I even like hang my prayers off this prayer, praying one line of the prayer and then praying for other things that fit under that idea. Maybe you can try something like that this week?
A Prayer for Motivation
By Dr. Tony Evans
The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. – (Ecclesiastes 12:13)
You don’t have to go to seminary to know that the two most important things that God would have you do on earth are to love Him with all of your heart, soul, and mind, and to love others as you love yourself. Understanding these authoritative principles governs your personal life. In the words of Solomon, “Fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person” – (Ecclesiastes 12:13).
Since God’s Word is the authority in our personal lives and since He has specific instructions for us to keep, where do we get the motivation to keep His Word? To the unrighteous it will be fear of judgment.
The motivation for the righteous is appreciation for God’s grace. You and I keep God’s Word out of gratitude because we recognize it’s by His grace that we are even here. All the motivation Israel needed to keep the Ten Commandments was provided back in Exodus 20:2, before the commands were given: “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.”
If you know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, He has set you free. Duty ought to rise out of devotion. He shouldn’t be begging you to keep His commandments. Not only that, the motivation comes in knowing that God only backs His own Book. If you want God’s authority and power to override your circumstances rather than continually being under your circumstances, then start aligning your personal life according to His Word.
Heavenly Father, help us to keep your commands and reflect your love to our neighbors. Give us the motivation to be the good and faithful servants you have called us to be. Help us have the passion and perseverance to get up and live out your commands every day. Let us be disciples who yearn to celebrate your glory. Amen.”
*Editor’s Note: The following is an abridged version of Our Motivation by Dr. Tony Evans. To read the full devotional, just follow this link!