By Barbara Goins
“Pray, then, in this way: ‘Our Father who is in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.’
In Matthew 6:9-13, Jesus gives us a basic outline for prayer. In Matthew 7:7-8 and Luke 11:9-10, He encourages us, in our prayer, to ask, seek, knock. Then we will receive, find, and the door will be opened to us. What is more, we are instructed to have faith God can do what He says He can do. Jesus says in Mark 11:23 that we must not have doubt in our heart but believe what we ask has already been given. Also, we must forgive those who have sinned against us and ask God to forgive the sin in our own heart and life. We are instructed in John 14:13-15 to ask all in Jesus’ name and He will do what we ask. James 4:3 reminds us in order to receive what we pray it must not be in conflict with anything in God’s Word and must be within His will. We can know God’s will by studying His word.
During this “stay at home” time, we can enjoy being able to spend more time studying our Bibles and talking to God. In Matthew 6:9 Jesus teaches us how to structure our prayer. By addressing our Father in heaven, we recognize His name as holy. We pray for His kingdom to come soon and His will be done on the earth as it is in heaven. We pray for the food we need, acknowledging that God our Father in heaven knows what we need for even the lilies of the field are clothed in brilliant array and the sparrow does not toil but is fed. Our Father in heaven who created us in His own image knows what we need, but in saying it, we recognize that our Father provides it. We ask His forgiveness for our sin but only after we forgive those who have hurt us and sinned against us, and we ask our Father to keep us from yielding to temptation but rescue us from the evil one. As He tells us in 1 Peter 5:8, our “enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” Finally, we acknowledge Jesus Christ as our Savior by asking in His name as He tells us in John 14:14.
Heavenly Father, You are sovereign, holy, faithful, patient, gracious, merciful, good, perfect, always present, all knowing and almighty. You are not surprised by this coronavirus. I can see ways you have prepared me, my family and even our church for these days. I pray for Your kingdom to come soon, and I acknowledge my responsibility to spread Your gospel to those around me and support carrying it around the world until its full and final consummation. You know our needs for nourishment, personal hygiene, shelter and clothing. May each of us receive all that we need, and may we be reminded not to waste or horde because You are our Provider and You know our needs. Thank You for the many, many blessings we have received and will receive by Your hand. Forgive us for the sin in our own life. Remind us if there is anyone whom we have not forgiven for their sin against us, the hurt we experienced at their hand. We forgive them right now because You have told us that if we do not forgive them, You will not forgive us. Keep us from being led into temptation and protect us from evil. Yours is the kingdom that is forever. Thank You, Jesus, the Lamb of my salvation, the Son, the Sacrifice that takes away the sin and provides the bridge between our Father and the whosoever believers so that we may live with God in heaven for eternity. At Your name, Jesus, every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess that You are Lord. Amen.