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The Scriptorium

Prayer Matrix

The framework for prayer. Luke 11.2

Luke 11 (2)

Pray Psalm 72.7-11.
In His days the righteous shall flourish,
And abundance of peace,
Until the moon is no more.
He shall have dominion also from sea to sea,
And from the River to the ends of the earth.
Those who dwell in the wilderness will bow before Him,
And His enemies will lick the dust.
The kings of Tarshish and of the isles
Will bring presents;
The kings of Sheba and Seba
Will offer gifts.
Yes, all kings shall fall down before Him;
All nations shall serve Him.

Sing Psalm 72.7-11.
(Martyrdom: Alas! And Did My Savior Bleed)
Let righteousness abundant be where Jesus’ reign endures.
Let peace increase from sea to sea ‘til moonlight shall be no more.

And let the Righteous rule the earth, and let His foes bow low.
Let nations praise His matchless worth, and all His bidding do.

Read Luke 11.1, 2; meditate on verse 2.

1. How should we pray concerning God?

2. How should we pray concerning the Kingdom of God?

Jesus’ teaching in prayer begins with rote memorization: “When you pray, say…” So important, so comprehensive, and so fraught with power are these next few words, that Jesus commands our saying them just as He has given them.

This does not mean we do not embellish and enlarge on these words, only that we do not omit them. Setting God’s Name apart for honor and glory and majesty (Greek: ἁγιασθήτω hagiastheto – “let it be sanctified”), and seeking the advance of His Kingdom on earth are not just the way to open our prayers. These provide the footprint, the foundation, even the matrix for all our prayers. All prayer is to be directed upward to God, so that all our prayers must be ultimately intended to exalt His Name, celebrate His attributes, enlarge our vision of Him, and strengthen our faith in and love for Him.

At the same time, all our prayers must likewise be Kingdom prayers, prayers that seek above all else the Kingdom and glory of God (1 Thess. 2.12) through the progress of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit (Rom. 14.17, 18), beginning in ourselves and our Personal Mission Field.

Think of your prayers not as a list but as a spreadsheet or matrix. All the columns point upward to honor and glorify God. All the rows point forward, for the progress of the Kingdom. Whatever your prayers may be, let them fall within this framework. Glorify and honor God and seek His Kingdom and righteousness in every prayer, for every person or need, and at every opportunity.

Treasures Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
This Prayer Matrix is not a movie, nor is it a mathematical chart, but it is a situation within which something else originates, develops, or is contained. And that would be how our proper prayer originates, develops, and is contained in our hearts and minds for the purpose of communicating with our heavenly, hallowed, sanctified, and perfect Father.

As we are communicating with Him, we seek first and foremost His Kingdom and His perfect will. We desire nothing more than that His will be done here on earth, in our lives, as it is always done in heaven.

It is often helpful to put ourselves in perspective as we adopt a healthy attitude toward someone else. In this case, that Someone is God. Paul, in his discourse on human relationships, speaks a word to employers and their employees. He states, “And you, master, do the same things to them, giving up threatening, knowing that your own Master also is in heaven, and there is no partiality with Him” (Eph. 6.9). He reiterates the same in Colossians 4.1, “Masters, give your bondservants what is just and fair, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven.” In both cases, the point being, we are to be kind to others because we have a Master in heaven who is kind to us and expects much from us. “The eyes of the LORD are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good” (Prov. 15.3). This is a helpful reminder as we seek fervently to hallow His name through our obedience to Him (Ex. 20.1-17).

Knowing Who He is also puts this prayer in a proper perspective. King Nebuchadnezzar had a refreshing view of God after his foray into the animal kingdom and his repentance and restoration. He recalled: “And at the end of the time I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my understanding returned to me; and I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever:
For His dominion is an everlasting dominion,
and His kingdom is from generation to generation.
All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing;
He does according to His will in the army of heaven
and among the inhabitants of the earth.
No one can restrain His hand or say to Him,
‘What have You done?’….
Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven,
all of whose works are truth, and His ways justice.
And those who walk in pride He is able to put down” (Dan. 4.34, 35, 37).

You God, are Hallowed and Holy.
Let Your Kingdom come to rule in everyone and everywhere.
Let Your will be done throughout Your creation.
Just like it is majestically done constantly and eternally in heaven. (Lk. 11.2)

“Arise, O LORD, do not let man prevail; let the nations be judged in Your sight.
Put them in fear, O LORD, that the nations may know themselves to be but men” (Ps. 9.19, 20). 

For reflection
1. What do we mean by saying verse 2 provides a “matrix” for our prayers?

2. How does the Kingdom of God come on earth as it is in heaven?

3. What can you do to make sure the will of God is the guiding force in every aspect of your life?

Therefore it is prayed here that the name of God might be hallowed by everyone together; that is, that it might be recognized by everyone everywhere that it is most just and perfect, and that by virtue of such it might be held and announced. Its excellence is so lofty, superior and more than wonderful that nothing may be united to it. François Lambert (1487-1530), Commentary on Luke 11.5

Pray Psalm 72.15-20.
Pray for the Kingdom of God to come on earth – in you and through you and throughout the world– so that righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit will increase unto the praise and glory of Jesus Christ.

Sing Psalm 72.15-20.
(Martyrdom: Alas! And Did My Savior Bleed)
Let Christ be praised and all the gold of Sheba be His right.
Let blessings to His Name be told, and prayers made both day and night.

And let the earth abound with grain, let fields His fame proclaim.
And may our King forever reign and nations bless His great Name.

Now bless the God of Israel Who wondrous works performs.
And bless His Name, His glory tell both now and forevermore!

T. M. and Susie Moore

You can download all the studies in our Luke series by clicking here.

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Except as indicated, all Scriptures are taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. For sources of all quotations, see the weekly PDF of this study. All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (Williston: Waxed Tablet Publications, 2006), available by clicking here.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
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