The Culmination of Prayer
Text: Matthew 6 : 1 - 18
How should one conclude a prayer? Jesus taught His disciples that a prayer should be concluded on a high note! We may speak of the conclusion as “the culmination of prayer.” Let us ponder how Jesus taught His disciples how they may end their prayers.
“For Yours is the kingdom and the power
and the glory forever. Amen.”
How wonderful it is to end prayer on a high note! What should we be focusing on as we conclude prayer? Let us recall what Jesus taught His disciples about prayer.
1. Commencement of Prayer – Focus on God on His throne.
2. Consciousness of the Sanctity of God’s Name.
3. Concern for God’s Kingdom.
4. Commitment to do God’s Will.
5. Confidence in God’s provision.
6. Confession of sin.
7. Coveting God’s protection from the devil.
Many things may be covered in prayer! It is only right that prayer should be concluded on a very high note! The petitioner’s thoughts should dwell on the Person of God in all His power and glory! Then great confidence will come to the heart and he would be able to say “Amen” at the end of his prayer. (The word “Amen” is simply an “assent”. The lips agree with the heart’s prayerful focus. As the heart dwells on the greatness of God, so the lips cry out “Yes! So let it be!” This is the essence of the word “Amen”).
EXAMPLES OF PRAYERS THAT CONCLUDE ON A HIGH NOTE
Let us look at some examples of how prayers ended on the note that Jesus suggested.
1. Focus on the Majesty of God
“O Lord, our Lord,
How excellent is Your Name in all the earth.
Who have set Your glory above the heavens!
O Lord, our Lord,
How excellent is Your Name in all the earth.”
Psalm 8:1, 9
2. Focus on The Power of God
“Be exalted, O Lord, in Your own strength!
We will sing and praise Your power.”
3. Focus on the Glory of God
“Lift up your gates, O you gates!
Lift up, you everlasting doors!
And the king of glory shall come in.
Who is this king of glory?
The Lord of hosts,
He is the King of glory.”
DEEP THEOLOGY IN “THE LORD’S PRAYER”
Quite obviously, there is deep and profound theology to be found in “The Lord’s Prayer”. The rich and dynamic theology behind The Lord’s Prayer would argue against it being used as mere recitation in public/personal worship. The suggestion that The Lord’s Prayer be seen as a pattern or a model upon which supplication is to be made stands.
A CHALLENGE TO DEEPEN ONE’S RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD
As we consider the teaching of Jesus on prayer, we cannot but realize that the only way in which one can practise what He taught would be to firstly work on one’s faith-relationship with God! A number of things can be done to improve this faith-relationship with the Lord. Three things may be highlighted.
1. Faith is increased through a deeper knowledge of God.
2. Faith is strengthened significantly when applied in prayer
3. Faith is enriched through each and every season of prayer
There is so much we can do to strengthen our faith-relationship with God. If we value God at all, we would spare no effort to develop our faith-relationship with Him.
PRAYER MUST NEVER BE ALLOWED TO DEGENERATE TO MERE FORM
Jesus had to address a major problem in prayer in His time. It had degenerated to “mere form”. Words were uttered, but no dynamic relationship with God existed! May this never happen to us!