The Lord’s Prayer (and prayer in general) really only make sense inside a life that’s involved in God’s life. A life in relationship with God and on mission with God.
If prayer seems superfluous to your life, it’s likely that you lack a sufficient sense of being on mission with God. If you don’t really need to pray, you tend not to pray. Dallas Willard said that trying to claim the promises of Jesus without intentionally following Jesus is like trying to cash a check written out to someone else: it only works sporadically. The great and precious promises are for disciples.
Following Jesus as a disciple always leads us beyond our (merely human) capacities. He leads us beyond our reliance on “flesh” and into faith, which is participation in God’s life and partnership in God’s work through the power of the Holy Spirit. This kind of life naturally leads us into the vitality and necessity of prayer.
If prayer has gotten a bit stale, if you find yourself not wanting to pray, perhaps there is a step of obedience you’ve been avoiding? Where is God leading you to step out in faith, trusting him beyond what you can accomplish in your own strength?
For me, prayer hasn’t felt “warm and tingly” for quite a while, but at the same time, I find it to be more and more vital for me. If I miss a few days because I’m traveling, for instance, I notice my soul shriveling ever so slightly. So even though I’m not feeling super “energized” or excited by prayer, I seem to be receiving something on a deeper level that I can’t fully explain.
And so it causes me to want to return to the well of prayer every morning and evening. It has become daily sustenance for me. Not a luxury but a necessity. I am more aware than I used to be of my complete inability to do anything of worth in God’s kingdom in my flesh.
A sense of being on mission with God keeps me aware of my need for God, and prayer keeps me connected to the Source of my life.
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