Prayer — Own It
On more than one occasion I’ve been asked by new believers, “How do you pray to God?” I guess the easy answer is to begin with the Lord’s Prayer. You know, the one that starts with “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.” (Matthew 6:9-13) It is an awesome prayer because Jesus gave it to us as an example of the form and substance of an effective and efficient prayer to God. Jesus gave us this prayer to keep us from vain repetitions — God doesn’t answer prayers that are insincere. It is to be used as a pattern not as a substitute.
Prayer involves glorifying God’s name and accelerating the coming of God’s kingdom and helping to accomplish God’s will on earth. The important thing about prayer is not simply getting an answer, but being the kind of Christ-follower whom God can trust with an answer.
It was in my early twenties while listening to Charles Stanley, on the radio in my pickup during lunch, that I discovered a great way to pray effectively and efficiently using prayers in the Bible. It opened me up to more profound results in my personal prayer life. Dr. Stanley suggested that when reading a prayer in Scripture it would make it more personal to substitute my name or personal pronoun “I, or me” instead of “we, you, they, or them.” He was right! When I was saying the prayer personally it made me own it. What a difference!
You try it! Here is an example of one of the most powerful prayers that can move you into a person whom God can trust with an answer. Own It!
“God I ask you to give me complete knowledge of your will and to give me spiritual wisdom and understanding. Then the way I live will always honor and please you, Lord, and my life will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, I will grow as I learn to know you, God better and better.”
“I pray God that I will be strengthened with all your glorious power so I will have all the endurance and patience I need. May I be filled with joy, always thanking you, Father. You have enabled me to share in the inheritance that belongs to your people, who live in the light. Lord you have rescued me from the kingdom of darkness and transferred me into the Kingdom of your dear Son, who purchased my freedom and forgave my sins. Thank You! Amen.” (Colossians 1:9-14)
“I pray asking, God, the glorious Father of my Lord Jesus Christ, give me spiritual wisdom and insight so that I might grow in my knowledge of God. I pray that my heart will be flooded with light so that I can understand the confident hope you have given to me, you called me by name. I’m your holy child, I am your rich and glorious inheritance. I also pray that I will understand the incredible greatness of your power God, for I believe in you. Amen.” (Ephesians 1:16-19)