Posted On January 30, 2015

Editors note: The purpose of this series is to help our readers think through what prayer is and how they can improve their prayer lives.

The Lord’s prayer is a prayer He offers for His disciples to pray. One of the things that really strikes me about Jesus’ model prayer is just how God-centered this prayer is. The Lord’s Prayer contains six humble requests, the first three are God-directed and the last three involve human needs. This is very similar to the structure of the Ten Commandments, which first begin with our vertical relationship to God and then end with our horizontal relationship with our fellow man. It’s similar to the way Paul constructed his letters to the churches: he often began with who we are in Christ before fleshing out how that affects the way we live.

A.W. Tozer said this (and I paraphrase), “The first thing that comes to your mind when you think about God is the most important thing about you.” I hear a lot of Christian says things like, “I don’t worry about theology.” Well, yes you do. Everybody has a theology, whether flawed or otherwise. Sadly, most of our theology begins with me. We start our prayers with what we think we need and then, if we have time, throw in a few God cliques. Theology begins where the Bible begins with God. You will notice that the first words of the very first book of the Bible begin like this, “In the beginning, God.”

It’s easy to subtly devalue God by our prayers and our life. We say things like, “I don’t imagine God is like this.” Or “The God I worship doesn’t do this.” But if God is truly God–that is to say if God is sovereign, powerful, holy, compassionate, just–then it behooves us to not define God on our terms, but to bow before the God who is already there.

How does this affect our prayer life? Why did Jesus say to start our supplications with God? Because the way we view God affects the way we live. How much we reverence God informs the respect we have for our fellow man. And beginning with God in our prayers filters out the frivolous. It considers prayer as an act of worship, an acknowledgment that we are, indeed, not God. That God is God.

It means our prayers are in God’s will. It keeps us from destructive theology. It prevents us from saying foolish things like, “God told me to (fill in the blank)” when really it was our own fleshly desires that spoke. I once had a person tell me, with a straight and somber face, that God was telling her to divorce her husband of 15 years and go marry a convicted felon. Um, God won’t tell you to do something against His sovereign will.

Praying God-centered prayers takes some discipline and practice. I’ll admit that this is a struggle for me. I often want to begin what I think are my own needs rather than letting my Father in Heaven shape them. But there is something refreshing about beginning with God. It reminds us of the awesome miracle of access to the throne room of Heaven, purchased at great price by Christ on the cross. It reminds me that God takes great delight in hearing my prayers and meeting my needs, needs He knows well before I know them. It comforts me to realize that I do, indeed, have a Father in Heaven with a hallowed name.

Related Posts

The Priests on Earth

The Priests on Earth

Hebrews 8:4–5, “Now if he were on earth, he would not be a priest at all, since there are priests who offer gifts according to the law. 5 They serve a copy and shadow of the heavenly things. For when Moses was about to erect the tent, he was instructed by God, saying,...

What It Means That God Is The King Of Glory

What It Means That God Is The King Of Glory

On today’s episode, a listener writes in and asks Dave, “What Does it Mean That God Is the King of Glory?” What you’ll hear in this episode The King of Glory and the Shekinah Glory. Psalm 24 and the Ark of the Covenant. Jesus the King of Glory. James and the Glory of...

Discussion On Romans 1:21-22

Discussion On Romans 1:21-22

Join Andy in episode seven of the By His Grace Bible podcast as he looks at Romans 1:21-22 in his series through the epistle of Romans.

Something to Offer

Something to Offer

Hebrews 8:3, “For every high priest is appointed to offer gifts and sacrifices; thus it is necessary for this priest also to have something to offer.” A return to the old covenant was attractive to the original audience of Hebrews because it would have made their...

0 Comments

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Weekly Roundup 3/4-3/9/2013 - Servants of Grace - [...] Prayer that starts with God by Daniel Darling https://servantsofgrace.org/2013/03/06/prayer-that-starts-with-god/ [...]

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Share15
Tweet
Email
Reddit
Share