Keeping in mind that The Lord's Prayer is not a recipe for answered prayer, it must be mentioned that the reverence and respect Christ teaches here echoes His own teachings later on in the same chapter. For many, the focus in prayer is on themselves, on what they want, on what they think they need, on how they feel a situation should be handled, etcetera. Praying this way is actually quite selfish and leaves no room for God to move in His own sovereign will. Many of the formulae taught in prayer workshops are aimed at getting precisely what the pray-er wants, rather than what God wants.
The idea of seeking what God desires is not only foreign, but contrary to the name-it-claim-it and word faith teachings still going around out there.
My Pastor once referred to this mindset as having a business relationship with God. I would go one step further to calling it a consumerism or materialistic relationship with God. The business mantra “What's in it for me?” places “me” squarely up front and centre, with God standing outside the circle dressed in servant whites seemingly waiting on the next demand by Sir Lord and Lady Human. The common analogy is that of treating God like the proverbial genie in the sky, or as I often refer to the concept, a slot machine in the clouds. Pull the lever and pray you get the jackpot!
A person coming to The Lord's Prayer with a self-centred focus will tend to focus on the “give me” bits and skim over the “Your will be done” bits. Consequently, in today's society, truly coming to an understanding of the nature of this prayer is a challenge. This prayer takes the focus off the person and places it on God. It turns the concept of prayer into a conversation and a respectful conversation at that. It turns the concept of a prayer closet into intimate alone-time with just you and the Lover of your soul spending time in each other's presence, talking about what is on your hearts, etcetera. This is a prayer of relationship.
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