The Lord’s Prayer
Jesus taught us how to pray when He taught us the Lord’s Prayer. He did not intend for this prayer to be an incantation or something needed to be said a certain amount of times for results to happen, this prayer was an example of how to pray. It is a great outline and every point in it covers all different things we should be praying to God about or for.
“After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.” Matthew 6:9
The beginning of the prayer calls on God and praises His Holy Name, the Bible says God is holy and the angels in Heaven pray constantly holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts. What a great way to start out a prayer by giving God the praise He deserves. We can start our prayers out this way by reminding God that we believe He is our Father and we know He is holiest of all.
“Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” Matthew 6:10
The next part of the prayer acknowledges God’s Will. The Bible teaches in 1 John 5:14 that when we ask God for things according to His Will He hears us. This is a perfect way to submit to the Will of God and let Him know we want His will to be done here on earth like it is in Heaven, so no matter what we pray to God and ask of Him it is always good to remember and honor His Will.
“Give us this day our daily bread.” Matthew 6:11
Our daily bread from God is His Word. Just as God rained down manna from Heaven to feed the Israelites in the desert during the Exodus to sustain them on their journey we need His Word to sustain us during our journey in life. The Word of God feeds us and helps us grow, you can not live without food just like you can not spiritually live without being in God’s Word regularly. God can always reveal something new to you in His Word daily.
“And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors” Matthew 6:12
In every prayer it is always good to ask God to forgive us for our sins. No that does not mean we are ok to go out and keep sinning and using prayer as a get out of jail free card. The Bible says in John 9:31 God doesn’t hear sinners. Jesus teaches us here that we ask God to forgive us as we forgive other people. If we want forgiveness, we need to forgive. Jesus says in Matthew 6:14 that if we forgive others than God will forgive us, this is very important and we can always ask God in a prayer to help us learn to forgive better and to soften our hearts.
“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.” Matthew 6:13
Finally Jesus taught us to pray to God to be lead away from temptation. We put ourselves in the line of temptation many times and it just gets worse. The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 10:13 that God does not allow us to be tempted beyond what we can handle and always provides an escape out. We should always ask God to keep our hearts pure and our mind on Him. And we always want God to deliver us from evil. This can be evil around us or evil plots and plans against us. The Bible says in Psalms 97:10 that those that love the Lord hate evil, many Christians will say this prayer and believe this but celebrate satanic Halloween. If we want to be delivered from evil we can not be participating willfully in it. And finally the prayer ends with acknowledging God’s power and glory forever since He is eternal.
This prayer is the best model prayer ever. It can be slowly said and meditated on and added to in a conversation with God. It can be a guideline or checklist to make sure we have everything important covered. Jesus was very gracious to take time to teach this to us. The one thing is for certain is that He never wanted this prayer to be prayed real fast as a recitation out of obligation to pray or a mindless repetition. Jesus condemns vain repetitions in Matthew 6:7 and says that is how the heathens pray. So be creative with your prayers to God, use the Lord’s Prayer to teach you and help you gain a more personal and fruitful prayer life with God.