But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.Matthew 6:33 (NKJV)
Have you ever felt like your prayers weren’t getting answered? “God, why are you not sending me that job? Why aren’t you sending me that new car?” James says in 4:3 that we may be “asking amiss for our own pleasures” instead of seeking God first. The Lord’s Prayer, if you walk through it, always places God at the forefront. Jesus gave us a blueprint for our prayers if we’re struggling with how to pray in Matthew 6:9-13 (NKJV):
- First we acknowledge and worship God for Who He is: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed (holy) be Your name.”
- Then we pray for His will to be done: “Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
- Then we ask for our needs: “Give us this day our daily bread.”
- Then we move into repentance: “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.”
- Then we ask for protection from temptation and Satan: “And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”
- Finally, we bestow worship and honor upon God again: “For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.”
Now obviously there’s no specific formula for prayer, but if you struggle this is a great place to start! Notice how we open with worship (applying worth and honor) and only after we’ve done that do we make an ask. God will absolutely give us our needs and the desires of our hearts if we ask, however as Matthew 6:33 says, we must seek Him first. Give this prayer starter a go and let the Holy Spirit give you the words that you need to speak.
Holy God, I thank You today that Your Kingdom reigns, and I ask that You would show me Your will for my life–shine a light on my path so I can see the way You would have me go. I pray today that You would supply all that I need according to Your riches in glory; not so that I can be taken care of, but so that You can receive the glory. I ask Your forgiveness for my sin today, both those that I know about and the ones I don’t–and shine a light in the dark corners of my soul so that I know where I need to work on. Help me to forgive those who’ve wronged me or owe me a debt. As I go about my day, help me to stand against temptation to do wrong, to break my fast, to sin; set a hedge of protection around me against the enemy so that I can do Your work in this earth. Let me be about Kingdom business today; give me strength and be glorified in all that I do. In Jesus name, amen!