Jesus taught each of us how to be a person who PRAYS (Matthew 6:9-15). Prayer is being online with God when our hearts are connected with His. In this connection, we upload our requests, and He downloads His presence, shaping our hearts and transforming our desires to be like His (Psalm 37:4). Consequently, God’s design is that we would be online with Him 24/7 where we can experience His links with others. Jesus said, “This, then, is how you should pray” (Matthew 6:9).
(1) Praise. “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name” (Matthew 6:9). Heaven had three meanings: (1) Where we go when we die, (2) the stars in the sky, and (3) the air in and around us. When we praise our heavenly Father for who He is (holy) and for being as close as the air that is in and around us, He downloads His Person and power that we can share with others.
Praise God the most where people expect it the least. Praise Him 24/7, including in your work, play, home, and church. Identify any setting where you believe that you are limiting your praise of God. Commit to lifting up God in that setting with your heart, desires, and life so that you worship Him 24/7. When you pray, praise your heavenly Father for Who He is (holy) and for being as close as the air in and around you. God will download His Person and power into your life, empowering you to link the same with others.
(2) Renew. “Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10). It was understood that after God’s kingdom came, His will would be done on earth as in heaven. Jesus ushered in God’s kingdom. As a result, this part of Jesus’ prayer calls for a renewing of our minds in order to experience God’s kingdom and will in our lives. Paul taught, “Therefore, I urge you brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God — this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:1-2). This is a 180-degree turn from our world’s standards. Jesus prayed for His Father’s will (Matthew 26:39). When we renew our minds to be focused on God’s kingdom, rather than our own, He downloads His passion so we can transfer that passion to others.
Renew your mind 24/7 to refocus your efforts toward the advancement of God’s kingdom rather than your own. Memorize Romans 12:1-2. Recite it to God, praying to Him as you seek the renewal of your mind. God will download His passion, namely His will for your life, and you will link that passion to others.
(3) Ask. “Give us today our daily bread” (Matthew 6:11). This referenced God’s provision of manna in the desert for the Israelites. It is an illustration of total dependence on God for our needs to advance His kingdom. When we ask God to meet our needs to advance His kingdom, He downloads His provision that we can share with others.
Ask God 24/7 to supply your needs to advance His kingdom through you and into others. When you pray, ask His Spirit to help you identify and provide any missing resources for you to communicate Christ to those in your life. God will download His provision and equip you to link His provision with others.
(4) Yield. “Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors” (Matthew 6:12). C.S. Lewis said that “as” was the most sobering two-letter word in all Scripture because the prayer is for God to forgive us in the same exact manner in which we have forgiven others. For some of us, this is a scary prayer. We have to yield all unsettled accounts to God, radically issuing to others the forgiveness that we have received from Him. If we don’t, then we really haven’t received God’s forgiveness (Matthew 6:14-15). When we yield all unsettled relational accounts to God, He downloads His peace that we can experience with others.
(5) Surrender to be Spirit-led. “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one” (Matthew 6:13). The Aramaic sentence structure might indicate “Let us not sin when tempted,” rather than “Let us not be tempted.” This is supported by the fact that Scripture tells us that God does not tempt anyone (James 1:13). When we surrender our hearts to be Spirit-led, God downloads His protection to guide us with others.
Surrender your heart to be Spirit-led 24/7. When you are tempted, surrender to the Holy Spirit the bait and your desires that are luring you. When you wake up every morning, pray to God, surrendering your heart to be Spirit-led. God will download His protection and guide you to link His protection with others.
Take a 30-day experiment, and be a person who unselfishly PRAYS in secret. Go into your own room at night, get on your knees if you are physically able, and (1) praise your heavenly Father for who He is, (2) renew your mind to seek His will for your life, (3) ask for His provision of your needs to advance His kingdom, (4) yield all unsettled relational accounts to Him, and (5) surrender your heart to be Spirit-led. In this pattern, pray specifically for someone who is either skeptical of or seeking God to surrender his heart to Him. The kingdom of God will break through your life in a way that only God’s intimacy can do. That intimacy will attract others to Christ in you.
Each of us is designed to be a person who PRAYS, worshiping God 24/7 in our work, play, homes, and churches. First, when we praise our Heavenly Father for Who He is 24/7, He downloads His Person and power for us to forward the same to others. Second, when we renew our minds with God, He downloads His passion for us so that we can transfer His passion to others. Third, when we ask God to supply our needs to advance His kingdom, He downloads His provision so that we are equipped to share His provision with others. Fourth, when we yield all unsettled accounts to God, He downloads His peace, allowing us to transport His peace to others. Fifth, when we surrender to be Spirit-led, God downloads His protection that we can offer to others. Christ has paid the cost for each of us to become a person who PRAYS, offering us His Spirit that empowers us to be online with God 24/7 (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).