When asked how to pray, Jesus gave the well-known words, “Our Father…” Notice the first word – OUR. The Lord’s Prayer is not a private prayer. The words “I” and “me” are nowhere to be found. Often our prayers are self-focused, as if we are the only ones facing the difficulties we face in life and we above all others have the most difficult time of anyone. Such is not the case! We are all in this together and all fact the same things in life (1 Corinthians 10:13). Starting with the word “our” reminds us from the beginning that we are not along in the difficulties we face, the trials that come ur way and the struggles we must face. They are common to all of us!
“Our” also implies we are part of a larger group of believers, a fellowship, a community of God’s children around the world and through the ages. We are part of a family. We are not facing these things alone. We are part of a family with a common heritage, entered into by a common new birth experience. We are not to just think of ourselves when we pray. We are to lean on each other and gain strength from each other, helping others bear their burdens in life as they help us (Galatians 6;1).
When we think we are alone, we face worse things than others face, when we don’t pray for others or allow them to pray for us, when we don’t turn to fellow believers for help in times of need, then the burden becomes too much for us. Only when we join with others in praying “OUR Father” does it become more manageable.
You are not facing things that others don’t face, and you are not facing them alone. Think for a few minutes of the many implications of these statements. What difference would they make in how you pray if you truly believed them and thought of them when praying? As you pray today, apply these principles to your prayer time.
(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)