Today, right about the time this newsletter hits your inbox, The Stone Table will be hosting its first ever business prayer gathering. The Stone Table is a global missions organization rooted in the marketplace, so why are we hosting a prayer event?
Our heart is to inspire, educate, and mobilize marketplace believers to see themselves and their marketplace work as part of God’s Kingdom work in the world. If we are going to see the Great Commission fulfilled in this generation, we need all followers of Jesus fully engaged in embodying and proclaiming the gospel in every sphere of life.
We believe prayer is a vital marketplace skill.
Yet for many Christians, myself included, prayer has often felt ethereal, mysterious, and illusive. We want to help help put some “handles” onto this vital Christian practice and engage it together with other marketplace believers.
At our prayer gathering, we will be using the Lord’s Model Prayer as a guide for praying together. It’s one of my favorite ways to pray (I mean, if Jesus said “pray like this,” we should probably pay attention right?). Many of the historic Church fathers, including Martin Luther, used this method. Before freely praying through his own list of needs, Luther would pray through each segment of the Lord’s model prayer from Matthew 6, putting them into his own words.
It might sound something like this:
“Our father in heaven, hallowed be your name.”
You are God and we are not. Today we put you in your rightful place and worship you for who You really are. You are both our loving father and the holy creator of the universe. Help us to experience and embrace the glorious tension of those two realities.
“Your kingdom come your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
We want to want what you want, Lord. Let your rule and your ways become our reality today. Transform our affections and desires to align with yours. And when we are stubborn and oblivious, let circumstances sovereignly redirect us back toward your ultimate ends. Come Lord Jesus, come.
“Give us this day our daily bread.”
We are totally dependent on you today Lord. Anything truly beautiful that comes out of our lives will be 100% sourced in you. Give us what we need today – wisdom, finances, relationships, grace – to do everything you ask of us. And we’ll be back tomorrow, dependent as ever, for your daily provision once again.
“Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.”
We are broken and rebellious Lord, and desperately need grace from you. Help us to receive that grace and offer it to one another. May we be “forgiven forgivers” today, lavishing on others that glorious forgiveness you are lavishing upon us.
“Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from the evil one.”
There is sin in us and sin all around us Lord. Protect us from the brokenness inside us and the brokenness all around us. Save us from the complete chaos of a life separated from you.
“For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.”
You are at the center, we are at the periphery. Everything revolves around you. You are the hero of the story. Thank you for inviting us into that story, and be glorified through us today.
Do you see how this simple approach to daily prayer can make the ethereal more tangible? Each segment of the Lord’s Prayer gives us “handles” to grab onto. Sometimes I can get lost in each phrase as prayers for my work, my family, friends, current events begin to flow through the prayer structure that Jesus taught us. Give it a try.
At the end of the day, the best way to pray is to just pray. Some days we might feel it more than others, but every time we pray something supernatural happens in us. Prayer is the tangible expression of our dependence on Jesus. Like any discipline, it’s the consistency that makes the difference. If you struggle to pray, you can even pray about that! His grace is longing to meet you there.
I hope this helps you become more prayerful this year. If you have an approach to prayer that works well for you, share it with us as a reply to this email. We may share them in future newsletters to help encourage others to stay tethered to Jesus in prayer.
Accelerating the Great Commission through the Marketplace,
Erik Cooper | The Stone Table