Prayer Principles (Not Formulae)
In an uncommon book on prayer entitled Praying Beyond God's Ability, Dr. Roy Hicks Sr. has made some significant points.
Looking at the model prayer given by Jesus to His disciples he sees that the whole venture toward God is to be enveloped in worship. "Hallowed be Thy Name....For Thine is the Kingdom, the Power and the Glory..."
Only as we worship and focus on the almightiness of God shall we come into the right atmosphere. The alternative is a focus on "I" and "Me" and a list of pressing personal needs. A small circumference for prayer indeed.
Next "Thy will be done". When we settle in His presence and ascertain His will on a matter we come into real victory ground. Remember how in Psalm 37 David tells us to delight ourselves in the Lord and He will give us the desires of our hearts. Have we seen in this process how our heart has become His heart? Will He not succeed?
"Give us this day our daily bread". Jesus here envisions all sustenance, physical and spiritual. Have we consistently chosen to feed on the good stuff? Scripture? Meditation? Dialogue with brothers and sisters in the faith? And do we do it regularly (daily) without panic for what is in store weeks from now?
"Forgive ...as we forgive those who have trespassed against us." Nothing shuts down the halls of prayer faster than bitterness, self-pity and unforgiveness. Rise above these clouds and develop practices of mercy, equity and charity. And do it where you live. That in most instances is your appointed field of service.
"Deliver us from evil". With this request the sheep knows that the shepherd is on the job. The sheep may go about his day without anxiety, wolf notwithstanding.
"For thine is the Kingom, the Power and the Glory forever..." We are in His Kingdom at this moment with jobs to be done in His strength. Intercession to be raised. Praise and thanksgiving to be offered to bless the Most High. Happy partners in deliverance and comfort. Distributors of the Bread of Life.
"So be it!" (Amen")
Let us remember also that no prayer is to become a mantra, vain repetition. The power is not in formulaic words or stubborn confessions. Rather it is in meek obedience to the principles behind the words, principles which get hold of the very heart of God.