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Pray, then, in this way…
Matthew 6:9-13

Our Father who is in heaven: How thankful we are dear Father that You have called us out of the darkness into the light to be called Your children, that You have redeemed us from our slavery to sin and adopted us into Your family and called us to be Your very own; that we who were once far away and not worthy to be called Your sons have now been brought near by the precious blood of our Lord Jesus.  Dear God in heaven, we are most privileged to call You our Father and we thank You for calling us Your children.

Hallowed it be Your name:  May it not be our name O Lord that is lifted up, but Yours alone.  For You alone are worthy to receive all glory and honor and praise, and so in everything we say and do, may it be for Your own glory and not our own.

May Your kingdom come and Your will be done, here on earth as it is done in heaven:  Not our kingdom come, and not our will be done, but Yours O God, as in heaven, so also here on earth, right here in our own hearts and lives, and not just in the age to come, but right here and now in this present age.  Shine Your light and chase away all of our darkness.  We pray for the grace to come into the light that our deeds might be manifested as having been wrought in You.  Lead us in the way of the cross—we pray for the grace to take up our cross and follow the Lord Jesus outside of the gate bearing His reproach to the holy altar of Calvary, to join Him there in the sweetest of communions, to become like Him in His death, if somehow we might become like Him in His life.  Crucify our old man of sin and put to death all the unfruitful deeds of darkness that live within us.  Drive out those former inhabitants of the land of our possession, those nations who are greater and stronger than we are.  May we make no covenant of peace with them but utterly destroy them, lest they become pricks in our eyes and thorns in our sides.

Put to death all of our pride that thinks we are something when we are nothing, and all of our greed that continually lusts for more and more.  Put to death all of our lust—may we take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ and crucify every carnal desire.  And put to death all of our envying, covetousness, sloth and gluttony.  Crucify all our selfishness and selfish ambition and self-righteousness, hypocrisy, and all our love for the world and the things in the world—the lust of our flesh, the lust of our eyes, and the boastful pride of our lives.

We pray you would break up the fallow ground of our hearts dear Father, and remove every stone of stumbling and rock of offense.  Make our hearts a fertile soil in which the imperishable seed of Your word can find a place to take root and grow up to bear the peaceful fruit of righteousness.  And root out all those thorns and thistles that would grow up to choke out the life You would form in us—all the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth, and the desire for other things: may we desire only You dear God; may we look full in the wonderful face of our Lord Jesus and may the things of this earth pale in comparison to the light of His glory, and indeed may we come to reflect that glory as we are transformed into His image, from glory to glory.

We pray too Father that you would put to death everything in our hearts that is not of love: all of our murder, malice, anger, hatred and unforgiveness, faultfinding, criticizing, slandering and gossiping, judging and condemning, complaining and arguing, outbursts of anger and impatience.  And as so much of this evil comes out of our mouths we pray that You would set a guard over our mouths and keep watch over the door of our lips; keep our tongues from evil and our lips from speaking deceit.  Indeed, may we be quick to listen and slow to speak, and may we not stumble in what we say but be perfect men who are able to bridle our tongues and so control our whole body as well.

Put to death all of our lying, stealing, cheating, fear of man and man-pleasing, all of our resistance to authority, rebellion, favoritism, vengeance and retaliation.  For we know that You would not have us to be better, that indeed this corrupted flesh cannot be better; rather that You would have us to be deader, that this flesh must die so that we might be made anew as an entirely new creation.  May the old man of sin die that we may be joined to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, that we may bear fruit for Your glory.

We pray by Your grace to die, and by Your grace to live.  May the old things pass away and all things become new.  Raise us up from the dead and seat us with Christ in the heavenly places, that we should no longer be slaves to sin but Your slaves, slaves to righteousness.  Breathe into us the breath of Your life; fill us with Your Holy Spirit.  And may the morning dews of Your Spirit water the imperishable seed of Your word in our hearts that we might grow up to become a mature tree of righteousness, to be led by Your Spirit to bear the fruit of the Spirit and so attain to the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.

May we bear the fruit of Your supernatural agape love with which You Yourself first loved us.  Indeed, may we love You in the same manner as You have loved us, even to the laying down of our lives for You.  And may we love our neighbor as ourselves with that love that is patient and kind, that does not envy and does not boast, that is not proud or rude or self-seeking or easily angered and that keeps no record of wrongs.  Fill us with Your love that does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth, that bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things—your love which never fails.

And may we bear too the fruit of joy and peace, that as we are transformed into the image of our Lord from glory to glory our unveiled faces might radiate the joy of our salvation and the peace which surpasses all understanding, which You give and the world cannot give.  Make us longsuffering, that we might demonstrate Your same patience towards others and be unwilling for any to perish, but for all to come to repentance.  May we also be fruitful in kindness and goodness and gentleness and meekness and humility after the manner of Jesus who left us a perfect example of these qualities.  And instead of the rotten fruit of our outbursts of anger which so characterized our old man of sin, may we bear the fruit of self-control.  Finally, I pray we would bear the fruit of faithfulness lest our hearts go astray and we forsake our first love to play the harlot after the world and the things in the world.  May our hearts never grow cold or lukewarm and fall away, but keep our love for You alive and growing stronger every day.

Father, I pray not just for myself but for all of our family, for my wife and my children, our parents and brothers and sisters, our friends and neighbors:  I pray we would all learn to walk in the way of the cross and die that we might live.  Help my wife to humble herself and submit to the authority of her husband, and to love our children and have patience with them, and know how and when to properly discipline them.  And help me to love my wife even as Christ loves His church, and to grant her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life.  And help each of us to raise up our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, to train them up in the way they should go, so that when they are old they would not turn from it.  Give our children a good and honest heart and put within them the desire to do good.  Guard them in innocence and purity and protect them from the evil influences of the world, from evil men, evil friends, evil media, and all the evil of the devil.  Help them in their school to do their work unto You and for Your glory.  And even now in their youth I pray You would be raising up and setting apart for each one of them a holy and godly spouse, and so ordaining their paths as to bring them together in the fullness of time.  We pray too that You would direct the interests of our children to choose godly vocations.  And regardless of the vocation You may lead them in to provide for their temporal needs, I pray that my son would be first and foremostly Your bondservant to do Your will, to know You, and to lead others to know You also; and I pray for my daughters that they would foremostly be godly wives and mothers to raise up godly children who would likewise be Your servants.

Father, I also pray for all of our family and friends and neighbors and those with whom I work and others with whom we come in contact, that Your kingdom would come and Your will would be done in their lives as well.  Grant to those who don’t know You a repentance unto life to escape from the snare of the devil who has taken them captive to do his will.  May any words of truth we have shared with them be a seed You would water and cause to sprout and grow up to eternal life within them.  And to those who do know You please lead them ever deeper into the knowledge of Your will and grant them grace to serve You with all of their hearts and to be unashamed of You and Your gospel.  Help them to discern what is best and to be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ.  Give them grace to be faithful to You and not commit adultery with the world and the things in the world, and to hearken unto Your voice and come out from the midst of the harlot Babylon and not share in her sins lest they also receive of her plagues.  For each of them I pray by name…

I pray also for our government leaders—the President and Congress, our Governor and Legislators, Mayor and City Council and County Supervisors—that they would be Your ministers to us for good.  Give them wisdom to enact godly laws and legislation in order that Your people might live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and dignity.  And may the justices throughout the land uphold justice and truth and hand down just decisions and judgments.  I pray too for my employer that You would guide the administration and governing board to make wise policies and decisions for the good of Your people who work there.  And may we with good will render service, as to You and not to men, knowing that we shall receive back from You all the good things done.

Heavenly Father, may Your kingdom come to all of the people of our city and state and nation.  May the love of our Savior compel us to be faithful sowers of the imperishable seed of Your word, that others may also know the hope of Your calling and the joy of Your salvation.  May Your word go forth and not return empty, but accomplish what You desire and achieve the purpose for which You have sent it.  May the winds of Your Spirit scatter the tiny seeds of Your word to find a place in good and honest hearts.  And though they lie dormant for a time, I pray that in Your own perfect season You would send forth the early and late rains to water them and cause them to take root and grow up to eternal life.  Like the hard-working farmer who patiently awaits the precious produce of the field, may we not grow weary in doing good, but trust that in due time we shall reap.

Give us today our daily bread: I pray for our spiritual bread, that manna from heaven to nourish and strengthen our souls and the water from the Rock to refresh and sustain us.  Open our eyes to see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ and to understand the truth of Your word just as You meant it to be understood.  Transform us in the renewing of our minds so that we may be able to discern what is best.  Deliver us from all error and deception, even the misunderstanding and lies of our own carnal hearts that are in agreement with the nature and character of Satan and that would deceive us to believe what is false.  I pray that our eyes would be good, that our bodies would be full of light, and that you would give us ears to hear what Your Spirit is saying.  Give us a nose to smell the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Christ and a tongue to taste the heavenly gift of Your Spirit, even the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come.  Give us also hands with which to be doers of Your word and not hearers only, hands that would feel with compassion and bear one another’s burdens.

We pray too for our physical bread and thank You for the manifold blessings You have bestowed upon us.  You have blessed us far beyond what we could ever think or imagine and we know that every good and perfect gift comes from You.  We thank You for the material wealth and spiritual understanding, the physical health and intellectual knowledge You have given us.  Since You have so abundantly supplied our every need we can ask for nothing else, except to be good stewards of these blessings and to be rich toward You and store up treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy and thieves do not break in and steal.  We also pray that in the day of Your fierce wrath and anger that must inevitably be poured out upon the wickedness of this world, that You would care for us and protect us and continue to supply our every need.  Keep us safe in that day and together as a family; protect us, and deliver us safely into Your kingdom.

Forgive us our sins, as we also have forgiven those who have sinned against us: For our sins are ever before us O Lord, and we are reminded daily of our own inability to be set free from the body of this death.  O wretched men that we are!  Thanks be to You in the name of our blessed Savior, in Whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.  For we know that He will set us free, that He will set us free indeed.  We confess to you our sins by name… and thank You that You are faithful and just to forgive us our sins.  According to Your will we pray that You would now cleanse us from all our unrighteousness and deliver us from the power of sin in order that we might be the holy and blameless bride of Christ having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing.  We approach Your throne of grace to receive mercy and to find grace to help us in our time of need, when we are dragged away and enticed by our own evil desires, that You would show us the way of escape in order that we may in the future be able to endure such temptation and not fall into sin.

I pray too, Father, that we would be as quick and as gracious and as merciful to forgive others their sins against us, as You are to forgive our own.  May we never hold a grudge or any unforgiveness in our hearts, lest by such standard of measure it be measured to us in return.

And lead us now not into temptation, but deliver us from evil:  For we know You are not tempted, neither do You tempt us, but each one of us is tempted when we are dragged away and enticed by our own evil desires.  And so deliver us from the evil of our own wicked hearts as we have already prayed.  Deliver us too from the evil of the world, with all of its lusts and enticements and perversions; lead us not into such temptation, but deliver us from this present evil age.  Deliver us too from all the evil of sicknesses and diseases, cancers and tumors, heart disease, colds and flus and allergies, and from all manner of injury and harm, from the sword, the famine, and the plague, the wild beasts of the field and the birds of the air, such as would tempt us to trust in men rather than in You.  May we dwell in the shelter of the Most High and abide in the shadow of the Almighty, that no evil would befall us, nor would any plague come near our tent.  We pray that You would give Your angels charge concerning us to guard us in all our ways and to bear us up in their hands lest we strike even our foot against a stone.  Deliver us from all manner of evil, and may Your grace always be sufficient for our every weakness of the flesh, an opportunity for Your own power to be made perfect in us and through us.  With Paul may we be well content in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties, knowing that when we are weak in our flesh, then we are strong in You.

Finally, dear Father, deliver us from all of the evil of the devil.  Make us strong in You and in Your mighty power.  May we fight the good fight of faith and resist the devil that he must flee.  For we know that we battle not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers and spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.  I pray to take up the whole armor of God so as to be able to resist in this evil day, and having done everything else, to stand firm.  I pray You would gird us all around with the truth in order that we would understand and know and walk in the truth, and never be ashamed of the truth but be bold to proclaim it.  I pray on the breastplate of righteousness and ask that You would guard our hearts in true righteousness, and I pray on the preparation of the gospel of peace as shoes on our feet, that we might be prepared in season and out of season as a bride for her groom in holiness and righteousness of the truth, and that we would always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks us to give the reason for the hope that we have.  I pray on a mighty shield of faith with which to extinguish the fiery darts of the evil one—faith, mighty faith, the promise sees and looks to God alone, faith even to remove mountains and stay whole legions of the enemy, the faith of Abraham to forsake our home in this world and follow You into Your kingdom, and the faith of Job, that even though You slay us, yet will we hope in You.  I pray on the helmet of salvation, and ask You to guard our minds in the knowledge of the truth which is according to godliness, and the sword of the Spirit which is Your word, and ask that You would make us workmen who are approved, who rightly divide the word of truth and have no need to be ashamed.  Finally, I pray You would even help us to pray as we ought, that with all prayer and petition we would pray at all times in the Spirit according to Your most perfect will.  May we always fix our eyes on those things which are unseen and eternal, rather those things which are seen and temporal.  For Yours is the kingdom, and the power and the glory forever.  Amen.

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