“This, then, is how you should pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” -Jesus (Matthew 6:9-13 NIV)
I created an acronym based on the LORD’s prayer. The acronym is PAPER and this is what the acronym means:
P = praise. “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name” When we praise God we worship Him because He is awesome, powerful, righteous and just. When we praise God we are giving him the recognition and glory He deserves.
A = alignment. “your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” When we pray we should be asking the Holy Spirit to help us align our lives up with God’s written Word. God isn’t a vending machine so don’t expect God to answer every prayer in the way that you would expect a vending machine to work. Sometimes God’s will is wait and sometimes God’s will is to trust Him and keep walking with Him, even when you don’t see any tangible results because He has a bigger plan that we might not understand.
P = provision. “Give us today our daily bread.” There is no request too big for God or too small for God. You don’t have to pray using big words or catch phrases, simply open your heart to God. Pray for yourself and others presenting your requests with honesty and sincerity.
E = exoneration. “Forgive us our debts as we also have forgiven our debtors” When we pray for exoneration we are asking God to forgive us of our sins and to help us forgive others.
R = rescue. “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” We need God to rescue us from the temptations we face. All of us face temptations and the Holy Spirit gives us the power to resist them. If you don’t ask God to help you when you are tempted, you will be more likely to give in.
If you don’t believe that God answers prayers, you will never see any prayers answered. The author of Hebrews writes: “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him” (Hebrews 11:6). You must believe if you want to receive. The PAPER acronym is simply a tool you can use to keep you centered in the LORD’s prayer because the LORD’s prayer is centered in the LORD’s will. I want to encourage you to pray, because God is willing to listen and ready to respond.