Should we only pray the “Our Father…”?
I don’t know who told you that, but it is totally untrue. Jesus gave His disciples the Lord’s Prayer, the Our Father, as an example, a template, of what prayer should be. He did it because He knew that most prayers are just a shopping list of requests. If we look at the Lord’s Prayer, we see that it starts out by praising God, and praying that His kingdom would grow on earth, and that His will would be done here in the same way that it is done in heaven. We start with the focus on God, not on ourselves and our requests. Only then is there a plea for our daily needs to be met. Following that there is a focus on our sins, asking God to forgive us, and to help us to forgive others in the same way that God is willing to forgive us. Our forgiveness is dependent on our own willingness to forgive. And then there is a plea for God to stand between us and the devil, to help us when he tempts us, and to give us the ability to walk away from his temptations. Immediately after, the focus is back on God, as we acknowledge that all the power in the universe belongs to Him, He is all-glorious, and the Kingdom of God is His. So, to summarise, when we pray, start with God, praising and thanking Him, then ask for our needs to be met, then ask for forgiveness, and the acknow-ledgement that we are responsible to let go of any unforgiveness, in order for God to forgive us. Finally, we end where we started, with the focus on God and His kingdom, glory and power, and what He has done for us. The intention of Jesus was never a word-for-word rattling off of a prayer, over and over, but an opening of the heart to God as to a friend.
Matthew 6 7 “And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words. 8 Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.”
As a proof of what I said above, look at Jesus’ prayer in John 17. Also look at some of the other great prayers in the Bible, such as Daniel’s prayer in Daniel 9; the song of praise by Moses (which is really a praise prayer), after God led them through the Red Sea and drowned the Egyptian army, in Exodus 15; King David’s many prayers in the Psalms, especially his prayer of repentance and cry for forgiveness in Psalm 51, and many others.
God wants us to have a close personal relationship with Him. Prayer is part of that relation-ship. Studying the Bible is the other part. Prayer is you letting God know all about you, and reading the Bible is allowing God to speak to you, and show you who He is. Both are essential for a good relationship, so keep praying and reading.
I hope this makes sense to you. God bless!
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