As a fellowship, we took a break for the Christmas and New Year season. We resumed today. As our first meeting for 2020, we spent some time to pray together.
As a guide, we used the Lord’s prayer in Matthew 6:9-13. We thanked God for the New Year and his faithfulness in keeping us as a fellowship. Then we prayed that the Lord will guide us in this New Year and enable us to be faithful servants. Above all, as a fellowship, we have been desiring to see others come to faith through our ministry and therefore we prayed the Lord to bless our efforts and our labour. We then petitioned the Lord for our individual needs, confessed our sins and asked God for his protection. Now I will briefly explain how we went about praying from the Lord’s Prayer.
Hallowing The Name Of God
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name (v.9)
We must approach God in prayer with a sense of awe. He is a Holy God and we must reverence him in prayer. So in our prayers, we thanked God and praise his Holy name.
Submitting To The Will of God
Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven (v.10).
In our prayers, we pleaded the will of God over our lives and the fellowship.To pray the Kingdom of God come is to pray the rule of God over our lives. Prayer is not a wish list but a humble plea that God’s will will be done.
Give us this day our daily bread (v.11)
Prayer gives us the opportunity to bring our needs before God. He is our Father and has promised to care for us. In Matthew 6:25-34; Jesus warns us against anxiety pointing us to the fact that God is able to take care of us. We took turns to pray for our individual needs.
Confession of Sins
and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors (v.12)
As believers who live in a fallen body in a fallen world, we have many besetting sins and prayer gives us the opportunity to bring our sins before God. We prayed for forgiveness of our sins. There are those who argue the believer doesn’t have to confess sins because they have already been forgiven. But that argument is inconsistent with Scripture (1 John 1:8—2:1). Scripture admonishes us to confess our sins even in our daily walk with Christ. This part of the prayer also speaks to our relationship with one another. We are to forgive those who wrong us.
Protection and Guidance
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil (v.13).
What this part of the prayer communicates is protection and guidance. We come to God asking him to protect us from temptation and to shield us from evil. In this wicked world, temptation and evil are inevitable. But we can trust God to take care of us. We committed ourselves to God for his protection and guidance for the year.
To conclude, I will quote the Westminster Shorter Catechism’s definition of prayer in Q.98
Prayer is an offering up of our desires unto God, for things agreeable to his will, in the name of Christ, with confession of our sins, and thankful acknowledgement of his mercies.