How to Pray….The Model of All Prayers
Sometimes it’s hard to pray. Perhaps there’s a lot going on in life and the words are hard to come by. Maybe it’s just that you don’t know what to say or how to say it. Sometimes it’s just a matter of finding the time.
No matter what the reason is, there is a model prayer that was given to us by Jesus that will help guide us through the very important conversations we have with Father God. Make time for prayer every day. God listens to each and every prayer we speak.
The Lord’s Prayer
When I was a kid, I remember reciting the Lord’s Prayer during church service. It always ended our pastor’s first prayer of the service. I didn’t understand everything that Jesus was saying in the Lord’s Prayer because I was a child, but the more I have studied, the more I realize that it is not just a prayer to be recited, it is the model of how we are to pray all of our prayers.
The Lord’s Prayer is found in Matthew 6:9-13: (KJV)
"After this manner therefore pray ye:
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
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."
Why The Lord’s Prayer?
Jesus spoke the Lord’s Prayer during His Sermon on the Mount. He was speaking to believers during this sermon and impressing upon them the way they should live their lives.
In Matthew 6:5-8, Jesus gives very clear instructions specifically about prayer. Before He speaks the Lord’s Prayer, He tells them (and us) how to pray:
“And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words. “Therefore, do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him." (NKJV)
I think it’s important to highlight these scriptures for many reasons, but one in particular. You may have noticed I highlighted the words “when you pray” three times in this passage.
The word “when” does not indicate a suggestion, it indicates a command. Jesus is stating “when you pray” because it is understood that we will pray and frankly, must pray. For this reason, Jesus gives us The Lord’s Prayer as a model in which we are to pray.
Let’s Break it Down
I want to do a verse by verse break down of the Lord’s Prayer so that we can better understand Jesus’ intention for giving us this model prayer.
The Lord’s Prayer follows a specific outline as to how we are to pray. First point to make is that the Lord's Prayer starts and ends with worship.
Verse 9: Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.
Verse nine calls for us to address God as holy. When we receive God, we become His children and He hears us.
As we sit down to pray, we must start with worship, praise, and thanksgiving to the Father who loves us, provides for us, and wants us to live in the image of Him.
This verse calls for us to give God the reverence that He alone deserves.
Verse 10: Thy kingdom come, thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
Verse ten reminds us that we are to support God’s plan and to take part in it. It also reminds us that we ask for HIS will to be done not our own.
We need to pledge our allegiance and obedience to all that God has ordained and pray for His will to be done. This verse suggests that we are to ask God to expand His kingdom and recognizes His sovereignty over everything to do so.
Verse 11: Give us this day our daily bread.
God knows what we are in need of before we even ask Him…but with humility and persistence, we have to ask Him for all that we need.
This verse serves as the reminder to petition to God for the things that we are in need of. It also indicates by the word “us” that we should be praying for the needs of others.
This one sentence of seven words encompasses all things that we need on earth to live, including the bread of life which is Jesus Christ.
Verse 12: And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
When we confess our sins before the throne of God, He will forgive us and have mercy on us. At the same time, we are to forgive others who have wronged us and show them the same mercy that our loving God shows us.
In fact, Jesus reiterates the importance of our forgiveness of others after He finishes the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6 verses 14-15:
“For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses."
As hard as it may be sometimes, having forgiveness is so important. Remember, Jesus paid the ultimate price for our forgiveness, who are we to withhold forgiveness to others?
Verse 13: 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.
We will break down verse 13 into 2 parts:
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil:
Each morning put on the full armor of God to aid in resisting the devil. (Ephesians 6:14-17). Remember that God does not tempt us, the enemy does and because we live in the flesh, we are tempted by our fleshy desires daily.
We have to pray each and every day for God’s strength to resist temptation. We have to be delivered from this evil and only God, through the Holy Spirit can do so.
The good news is that the Holy Spirit will see us through each and every temptation that we face, and the blood of Jesus will cover us from the sin.
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.
We should end our prayers with the same worship and praise that we start them with. Give God all the glory and honor. Every praise that you give to God goes directly to His throne. He deserves it for everything He does, has done, and will continue to do.
Prayer is such an important part of our walk with the Lord. Jesus knew that we would need a model to follow when we pray, so He gave us the perfect example in The Lord's Prayer. Remember, Jesus said "when you pray" three times, so do everything that you can to make prayer a priority in your life... it definitely changes things!
If you have any prayer requests, please leave them in the comments below. May God richly bless your prayer life.