“Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done…For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.” (Matthew 6:9-13, KJV)
Prayer may well be mentioned more than any other subject in the New Testament. “Pray continually.” (I Thessalonians 5:17, NIV) “Devote yourselves to prayer…” (Colossians 4:2) “[I]n every situation, by prayer and petition…present your requests to God.” (Philippians 4:6) “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.” (Ephesians 6:18)
The New Testament also provides specific prayers said by Jesus and his early followers. However, with few exceptions (the Lord’s Prayer, for example), we don’t pray these prayers, at least not in public worship.
Sermons are preached on these prayers. They are discussed in Bible studies. They might be prayed in private. We ascribe names to them: intercession, thanksgiving, supplication, dedication, imprecation, expiation, petition. We just don’t pray them when we assemble for corporate worship.
It seems odd that we only want to read them or hear about them or learn their types. Odd because many of these prayers are powerful and beautiful; because Jesus and the leaders of the early church prayed them; because they are right there in the New Testament.
Let’s consider a few of these prayers in future posts. Let’s consider praying these prayers in corporate worship. It would be fine with me if each New Testament prayer were prayed exactly as it appears in Holy Scripture. However, to make it more applicable and more understandable for today, a few words or a phase may need modification. The substance of the prayer would remain the same, however.
Let’s join together in considering New Testament prayers in a new light. Let’s join together in praying them.