Hi Friends! We are on our sixth part of the BASIC series. Watch this short video clip on prayer:
Pastor Chan makes some challenging points about prayer, doesn’t he? Do we sometimes approach prayer in a completely wrong way? Today, I want to go through a few passages with you, and let’s ask ourselves some important questions from the BASIC.Prayer study guide. Take some time to read through the following verses and don’t be afraid to confront yourself with the hard questions.
And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it. — John 14:13-14
- How have we typically viewed what it means to pray in Jesus’ name? Is it simply a formulaic way to end all of our prayers?
- As Pastor Chan explained in the video, what is the significance of praying in Jesus’ name?
- Do our prayers always line up with Jesus’ mission in the world? Are we willing to change the way we pray as a result?
Next, we have a passage which we don’t usually pay much attention to in terms of prayer. But I think when we take a closer look, we see that it offers some important words of wisdom – and even caution.
Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. Go near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools, who do not know that they do wrong. Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few. — Ecclesiastes 5:1-2
- How do you typically approach your prayer time with God? Do you think of prayer as a time to come into God’s temple — into God’s throne room?
- Where does listening or even respectful, worshipful silence fit into your prayer life?
- Have you ever perceived danger in coming to God to make empty promises?
- How could that change the way we pray?
The Lord’s Prayer
As a final exercise, I hope you will take some time to read and meditate on the Lord’s Prayer as found in Matthew 6:9-13. How many times have we said the Lord’s Prayer without thinking about what we’re really saying? As you prayerfully read through the passage, I hope some of these questions will give you food for thoughtful contemplation.
Our Father in heaven …
- What is the significance of the word our in the Lord’s Prayer? Why does it say our and not my?
- Have you ever considered prayer as an activity that Christ wanted us to do together?
- What is the significance of the word Father here? Do you relate to God as your Father?
… hallowed be your name …
- Do you see God’s name as sacred?
- Do you see it as an honor to be able to address Him?
- Do you approach God in such a posture?
… your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven …
- Have you thought through the implications of these words? When we pray these words, do we sometimes forget that we are actually telling God that we want Him to take full control of our lives – that we are asking Him to take the throne?
- Is this what you really want when you pray these words? Or do we sometimes pray this and then live our lives as if we are on the throne?
Give us today our daily bread.
- Have you considered that this means that we are asking God to provide for our daily needs and that we are trusting Him to take care of our long-term sustenance in His own way and in His own time? In other words, we are saying that we are okay with not knowing what the future holds…
- How would you respond to God if He visibly provided for you only on a day-to-day basis? Would you be okay with that?
- How do these words contrast with what our culture preaches we should expect? Do we often hear that we should pray for “bigger barns” and “larger storehouses” as opposed to day-to-day provision? (See Luke 12:16-21)
And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
- When we pray this, do we realize that we are basically saying, “God, I want you to forgive me in the same way that I have forgiven my brothers and sisters”?
- Have you prayed these words while holding onto anger and resentment toward another person?
- Do you want God to forgive you in the same way you forgive others? Does that idea scare you?
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.
- Have you ever prayed these words at the same time that you knew you were actually clutching onto areas of temptation in your life?
- Do you think we could be in danger of being presumptuous or hypocritical when we do that?
(Videos and quoted materials taken from http://basicseries.com/)