When you pray, what pronoun do you use most? Think for a moment. For most of us we probably use “I,” “me,” or “my” most often. Yet of the twelve pronouns in the Lord’s Prayer, none of these are ever used, not even once. Three times we use “Your,” the other nine it is “us,” “our,” or “we.” This is important. If we want to pray as Jesus commanded we need to change the pronouns we use. I don’t think Jesus is saying we can never pray for anything personal or private. After all, this is a public, a group prayer. However the significance remains: we are to pray for each other as we pray for ourselves.
Prayer isn’t supposed to me me-focused, nor is it to be self-centered. Every time we pray we are reminded that we are part of a family. As we come to our Father with our thoughts and prayers, we are to remember our brothers and sisters who have the same needs as we have. We are to pray for their needs as well. We aren’t to ask our Father to favor us over His other children. We are all in this together!
In the world today there is a mentality that says only the tough survive, look out for number one (myself), it’s a dog-eat-dog world so eat before you are eaten, its every man for Himself! That’s not how it is in the family of God, though. Jesus doesn’t say get and hang on to it, He says to give to others and then it will be given to us (Luke 6:38).
Are you as fervent in praying for the needs of others as you are for your own needs? Do you see your situation as more difficult than others or your needs as more important? Do you think of others and pray for their needs as well? When you read or hear about another in a difficulty, to you lift them to God in prayer? I follow the example of others and try to say a prayer for the people involved whenever I hear an ambulance. It’s not much, but it’s good to remember others.
When you include others in your prayers and pray for their needs, too, your patience, contentment, trust and faith will also grow. It’s good to know we aren’t alone in what we face, that others struggle with the same difficulties and face the same needs. Wouldn’t it be nice to know people throughout the world were praying for you when they face similar situations? Join in with your brothers and sisters in Christ, always include them in your prayers. Use “us,” “our,” or “we,” not “I,” “me,” or “my” when you pray.
(Written by Jerry Schmoyer, 2014. You can find more of his writings at http://www.christiantrainingonline.org/. If you have questions or suggestions feel free to contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org)