This is the fourth and last article on the Lord’s Prayer. If you want to review the teachings as a whole, you can order the booklet entitled, Heart Prayer or read that chapter in Inside Out.
The Lord’s prayer is by no means the only prayer recorded for us to emulate but certainly provides our great foundation. The prayers in Ephesians are also ours to pray. They too bring our attention to God’s concern for our hearts and not just actions. In the Aramaic text, the word “understanding” in verse 18 is “heart.” Notice the request is that they receive understanding about God’s calling, God’s inheritance, and God’s power. When we pray earnestly with faith to know God, He will answer our prayers.
Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding [heart] being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to usward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power.
Christ dwelling in our hearts is central to the prayer in chapter three. We can comprehend the breadth, the length, depth, and the height of love.
For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.
Our Father God looks on the heart. He knows each of us personally and intimately. We can speak to Him in our own words and be well-assured He will respond when they are from the heart.
The Lord’s Prayer was given as an example for us to follow. Each believer should personalize this prayer and communicate with Father from his own heart.
Dr. Robert Shank, after much thought, wrote the following prayer from his mind and heart. He shared it with me not for others to memorize and follow as their own, but as an example of how God worked in his heart to personalize the Lord’s Prayer.
Almighty heavenly Father, whose glory shines over all and above all. Thank You, Father, for the strength to choose Your will over our own, by living Your Word in our lives. Thank You for our daily bread of food, clothing, shelter and spiritual needs; and for Your sufficiency in all things, that we may walk with Your will in our lives. Father, thank You for Your forgiveness for our trespasses and transgressions toward You and others; and Father also, from our hearts we forgive others for their transgressions against us. Thank You, Father, that we can and will be strong in our hearts and seek to be kind, tenderhearted, and forgiving of one another. Father, thank You that we will not be led nor assaulted by the adversary; for we need Your help to be strong against temptations, and we need Your help in delivering us from evil. For Thine is the Kingdom, and the Power and the Glory, forever. Amen.