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I am a sweet tooth and a bit of a cookie connoisseur. I especially love peanut butter cookies. The recipe is not complicated, but every once in a while I will taste something a bit different in a cookie. This will prompt me to ask, “What is your recipe?” Most people love to share that special mixture that makes their cookies special. Just a few different ingredients can make all the difference.

When asked about prayer, Jesus gave a list of ingredients. We know this now as the Lord‘s Prayer. Jesus did not just give a great formula for prayer. He told us HOW to pray. There are six key ingredients in this prayer.

  • A beloved relationship (Our Father in heaven)
  • Praise and honor (Holy is Your name)
  • God‘s will and way (Your Kingdom come and will be done)
  • Prayer for needs (give us our daily bread)
  • Forgiving and forgiving (forgive us as we forgive others)
  • Overcoming sin (lead us not into temptation)
  • (optional seventh ingredient) More praise (Yours is the Kingdom and power and glory)

If we look honestly at this list, most of us are missing a few ingredients. Our cookies could be tasting a lot better!

I remember when I first began studying the Lord’s Prayer. I made the decision to add these ingredients into my prayer life. Something amazing happened – how I prayed changed how I thought, felt, and lived. As I prayed for God‘s Kingdom will, I focused less on what I wanted and more on what the Father was doing through me. As I prayed every day for help with temptation, I found myself focusing on the areas where I fell short and trusting in the Spirit’s power to overcome. Perhaps most of all, as I prayed every day for forgiveness, I became much more willing to forgive others because I was aware of how much Jesus had forgiven me. How do you pray changes how you live. The ingredients of prayer matter.

In July, Covenant Grove will be starting a sermon series on the Lord’s Prayer. I’m excited that our church will be taking the time to look at the different ingredients of prayer that Jesus taught us. I can’t promise cookies in church, but I can promise that if we take the challenge to add the ingredients Jesus taught us into the recipe of our prayer lives, it will make a big difference.

C.S. Lewis wrote, “Daily praying and religious reading and churchgoing are necessary parts of the Christian life. We have to be continually reminded of what we believe. Neither this belief nor any other will automatically remain alive in the mind. It must be fed.”  (Mere Christianity, p.125)

What are your favorite cookie ingredients? And the bigger question, are there any ingredients missing from your prayer life? Follow the recipe given by Jesus, and you will find life much richer and sweeter.