February 5

Matthew 6:9-11 9"This, then, is how you should pray: "'Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, 10your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. 11Give us today our daily bread.

In the middle of Jesus' exhortation on the many ways Kingdom people are different from the world, He spoke on the issue of prayer. It seemed to be a popular idea that the more you prayed, the more likely God would hear you. Jesus says that the true God knows your need before you ask. Then He gives them an example of prayer. In other gospels we see that this was in response to the disciples' request to be taught how to pray.

Notice that this is a prayer to be prayed with others. The pronouns are plural. He begins by addressing God as their Father in heaven. His name is holy! His name is the sum of His attributes. God, in all His wonderful perfections, is pure and set apart. We don't make requests of spirits or of men but of the perfect Creator of all. That should give us great confidence that our prayers will be heard and answered.

Next He prays for the kingdom of God to come. He describes that as God's will being done on earth as it is in heaven. He is asking that the will of man conform to the will of God. He is asking for men to yield their hearts to the Lord of the universe. That is the only way the will of God will be done on earth, at least until He comes to establish His kingdom by force. In that sense, Jesus is asking that the Second Coming take place.

Then He asks for physical needs. Do you see the pattern up to this point? Recognize the majesty and glory of who you are praying to. Ask for His will, that is, for hearts to yield to Him. Then you can come with your physical needs. You might say this includes both physical and spiritual. You need daily physical provision, but you also need daily spiritual provision. I hope you are getting the later as you read these devotions. This alone would be a meager spiritual diet. I hope you get more than this. – continued tomorrow evening –

Consider using this as a pattern for your prayers.