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The disciples had seen Jesus do many incredible works. They watched Him turn water into wine, heal the sick, cast out evil spirits, preach a great sermon, and even raise the dead. Yet, they never asked Him to teach them to do any of those things. However, they did say, “Lord, teach us to pray” (Luke 11:1). They knew that the secret to all of His great deeds was His prayer life. He would spend long periods of time during the early hours of the morning in prayer. They wanted in on His secret of victory.
Jesus taught the disciples in Luke 11:1 how to pray. A parallel passage is found in Matthew 6:9-13. In that passage Jesus teaches five principles of prayer. Each one could be summarized as a response to a particular attribute of God. Prayer is getting to know God. As we see Him in all of His splendor and glory, we begin to pour our hearts out to Him. Prayer then becomes the greatest adventure upon which anyone could embark. I’m often asked what a person does when He prays. People often feel that they wouldn’t know what to do for thirty minutes or an hour of prayer. However, when we begin to practice these principles, often people find that they need more time to pray.
So, then how should we pray, and what are the principles that Jesus taught?
The first principle is the principle of praise and thanksgiving. Jesus opens the door of prayer in Matthew 6:9 with the focus upon God. He teaches the disciples to look at three attributes of God: a) Our Father; b) which art in heaven; c) hallowed be Thy Name. The fatherhood of God shows us the goodness of God. That’s especially important for us to understand when difficult things take place in our lives. We need to understand that God is good and only wants the best for our lives. He won’t give us a stone when we ask for bread. In fact, if the world or the devil gives us a stone, He will turn it into bread.
The phrase, “which art in heaven”, shows us the greatness of God. He’s on His throne. He has all power and authority in heaven and on earth. He is the Almighty God. But Jesus shows us the holiness of God in the phrase, “hallowed be Thy Name.” God is in a category all His own. We are the creation. He is the Creator. We are sinful. He is absolute purity. There is none anywhere in the universe like Him. Therefore, we should bow before Him in reverence. We thank God for His goodness – all of the many good things that He’s done for us. We praise Him for who He is – His attributes and character. Therefore, when we pray, first take some time to focus on who God is and what He’s done for you. Worship Him in the beauty of His holiness. Thank Him for His mighty works in our lives.
The second principle found in Matthew 6:10 is the principle of intercession. After Jesus points the disciples to the attributes of God, He then shows them the needs of the world. The focus shifts from God to His kingdom and His will on earth. As we get to know God, we will begin to desire what’s on His heart. And what is on God’s heart? That hasn’t changed in 2000 years. The world is on God’s heart (John 3:16)! We should begin to pray for people who need Christ, that God’s kingdom would come and that His will would be done in their lives. This is the most powerful kind of praying that I know because it goes straight to the heart of God. God will move heaven to earth when we come in agreement with His heart, His kingdom, and His will.
The third principle is that of supplication (Matthew 6:11). Jesus taught His disciples to bring their needs to God when He taught them to ask God for daily bread. Food is the most basic need of humanity. Jesus wants His disciples to know God as Jehovah Jireh, God – their provider. God is desiring to meet the needs of His children. He loves us and will take care of us. Every day we ought to bring our needs to God. He bids us to do that. Notice the order in which Jesus taught His disciples to pray. First, their focus is only on God. Then, the focus shifts to His kingdom coming to the Earth. We pray for others. Finally, we bring our own needs to God. The priorities in prayer that Jesus taught his disciples were – God first, others second, and our own needs third. However, most of us pray in the opposite manner.
Once we begin to bring our needs to God, then Jesus leads us to the deepest concerns of our hearts – those concerns that are spiritual needs. The fourth principle is that of forgiveness, which is a response to the holiness and grace of God. This principle, which is stated in Matthew 6:12, teaches us that we must rely upon God for His grace and forgiveness in our own lives. We must draw from that deep well of grace in order to forgive others. There are two heart problems that produce defeat in our prayer lives – guilt and bitterness. Jesus deals with both in this passage of Scripture.
Finally, Jesus teaches the disciples how to engage in spiritual warfare in Matthew 6:13. We look to Jesus as the Great Shepherd who leads our lives into a place of safety and away from the temptations of this world. We also look to Him as our victory over the forces and power of evil. Jesus is our victory. As we follow His plan of prayer for our lives, we live in victory. Look unto Jesus. Ask Him today, “Lord, teach me to pray.” You’ll find victory as He teaches you.

Matthew : Chapter 6

9)  “This, then, is how you should pray: “‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, 10)  your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. 11)  Give us today our daily bread. 12)  And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13)  And lead us not into temptation,[a] but deliver us from the evil one.[b]’

Book of the Month

Sammy Tippit told his fiancée, “I can’t promise we’ll be rich, but life won’t be boring.”
Sammy had no idea what an understatement that would become. Beginning in the bars of Baton Rouge and the nightclubs of Chicago, Tippit has shared the news of life-changing faith in Christ all over the world – including in the middle of a revolution in Romania, the aftermath of genocide in Rwanda, and war in Burundi and the Congo.
Sammy’s lifelong adventure has come at a great price. He’s been cursed, threatened, arrested, deported, and blacklisted. He’s also been personally broken, ravaged with illness, and devastated by grief.
Yet he continues to preach to in stadiums, in open fields, and via satellite technology to hundreds of thousands around the globe.  For all other books…

About Sammy Tippit Ministries

STM has been providing inspiration and help around the world for nearly 50 years. Sammy Tippit, founder and president, is a world renowned counselor, teacher and evangelist with experience serving and helping people in over 80 countries. Sammy provides materials that help people tackle a broad array of social, societal, psychological and spiritual issues. He is particularly passionate about making materials accessible to other countries around the world. Sammy is married to Debara “Tex” Tippit, and they have two children and five grandchildren.
Sammy Tippit Ministries is a registered 501c3 non-profit organization.
Contact: info@sammytippit.org

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