The Lord’s Prayer is also, after its address, a series of requests. We ask that God’s rule will be extended, that our daily needs will be met, that forgiveness will be extended by us and to us, and that we’ll avoid moments of trial. Notice all these requests are matters of immediate importance to any disciple.
Now prayer is more than asking for what we want, since God is not a cosmic vending machine, and the universe is not simply there to meet our desires. But that does not mean we must pray for non-personal or for spiritual matters and leave out our actual concerns. This kind of prayer is unsustainable. We must pray for what we care about, and as we interact with God, the circle of our concern will grow and expand toward the largeness of his love. We must ask as a child does a parent, or a friend does a friend. Dallas Willard defines prayer as “talking to God about what we are doing together.” God is concerned about our concerns—and that they coincide with his.
Great God, I ask you to deepen my praying. Let it be honest and real. Widen the circle of my concern toward those you love and value that are currently marginal to me. Help me gain a new sense of partnership with you, every day. Amen.