The early church father Augustine was one of the most influential theologians in the centuries after the apostles passed from the scene. One of his letters still exists in which he gives advice to a widow on the type of person she should be to pray and the types of things she should pray for. Using Augustine’s scripturally based advice, we will see how we can be more biblical in our own prayer life.
The only thing harder than asking for forgiveness is forgiving someone who has really hurt us, yet Jesus says both are essential to the Christian life. How can we receive and extend true forgiveness? Only through the grace of the Savior who prayed, ‘Father, forgive them’ on the cross.
Dependence is not an easy thing to teach independently-minded sinners. How might God impress upon us our daily need for Him as well as His gracious provision for that need? By teaching us to pray the fourth petition of the Lord’s Prayer. He is the one who meets our daily needs-both physical and spiritual-through His Son, the true Bread from heaven.
Who runs your life? Christians are quick to say “God,” but when we examine our motives and actions more closely we find that we often still try to be little gods unto ourselves. In the third petition of the Lord’s Prayer Jesus teaches us that the purpose of prayer is not to get what we want, but to learn what God wants and to tune our will to His.