Yesterday, we looked at some steps to effective prayer. The third of these focused on reflecting on God’s instructions for life, which are very important to follow if we claim to serve Him! But these are also not always easily and diligently heard, so a useful step can be to follow a PROCESS, like that given in the ‘Hearing God Daily’ tab on my home page. Otherwise, the final steps to effective prayer from Jesus are as follows.
5. Regrets – Forgiveness needs to be asked for our own wrongdoing and that carried out against us, lest we be caught up in guilt, shame and offence.
6. Release – We need to be freed from the shackles of temptation and evil which seek to not only corrupt our actions, but also our thought processes. Jesus told His followers to watch and to pray about this (Matthew 26:41).
7. Response – The final line in the Lord’s prayer speaks of abandonment to God, to whom we cast our cares because He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7). It also implies praise and positivity, with a can-do belief that all things are possible with God (Luke 1:37).
The Lord’s Prayer gives us a framework that helps in cultivating conversation with God. This connects His directions to us with our everyday life. When we live out our obedience and share our concerns and emotions with God, then we develop a dynamic and real relationship that is life transforming. And our praying still includes the incidentals. God does care about parking spaces! In fact, each of these seven aspects of the Lord’s Prayer has merit on its own, but in the context of our ongoing relationship with Him, so that in the habit of prayer and in the hurry of prayer, our conversations with God are not acts of mere religiosity.