“This, then, is how you should pray: “‘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. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one." Matthew 6:9-13
Several months ago a friend asked me a sincere question, "What is the purpose of prayer if God already knows how it will turn out?"
That was when I decided I would study a put together a sermon series on prayer. My study led me to the Lord's Prayer where I find four purposes for prayer in those several verses. Those purposes will be the basis of a four week series "Why Should I Care About Prayer?"
Before I talk about these purposes of prayer I want to say that The Lord's Prayer is not just a prayer to be repeated in a rote fashion. In fact, two verses earlier in verse seven, Jesus had cautioned against vainly repeating memorized prayers,
The Lord's Prayer is a pattern for how to think about God and how to think about ourselves in relationship to God. And the way to think about yourself in relationship to God is - well - in relationship to God! Praying is one of the primary ways to develop and deepen a relationship with God!
As I study the Prayer I see three goals for prayer: to know God, to grow in God and to show God through living a holy life.
What are those four purposes for praying?
You should pray to worship - “This, then, is how you should pray: “‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name......"
You should pray to know His will - “your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven......"
You should pray for your wants - "Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors......"
You should pray for spirital warfare - "And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one."
Let me ask you this, "Which of those is not important to your spiritual life? Which one of those can you afford to not pray for?" Because if none of these are significant to you then you don't have to be concerned about prayer.
However, if those things are important to your spiritual relationship and growth, prayer is priority one!