Matthew 6:9-13 King James Version (KJV)
9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. 10 Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. 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.
Familiar – very familiar. I would venture to say every one reading this can recite this prayer by heart. In many of our churches it is spoken by the congregation every Sunday. After all, Jesu did say this prayer is for us, right?
Yes, He did. It is not that He commanded us to recite this prayer exactly as it is written in this Matthew account. Luke’s account of the same prayer (Luke 11:2-4) leaves out the last line of praise. When Jesus is quoted in Matthew, He says “after this manner therefore pray”. In Luke’s rendition, which was most likely at said at a different time than Matthew’s, Jesus is talking only to the disciples. Luke uses the words “When ye pray, say…”
The difference in the language is interesting to me. In Luke, Jesus says to use these specific words – and we do. We pray this prayer exactly as Jesus gave it. Matthew’s rendition was given during the Sermon on the Mount, where Jesus is instructing the crowd in the ways of the Kingdom of God.
What I am trying to get at is that this prayer is not only a prayer we should pray because we follow Him. It also gives us a pattern of prayer that would be good to incorporate with every prayer we utter. Pray in this manner can mean with the same words, or it can mean like this, which to me indicates the patter of prayer Jesus used is a good outline to follow.
In this post we will take a look at that pattern. I believe following this pattern can enrich your prayer life because, after all, this is the pattern Jesus gave us!
Our Father – Relationship is the first part of prayer. God is our heavenly Father, Jesus is our Lord and Savior (and so much more). We begin our prayer by acknowledging our relationship and calling out to the one who we are addressing the prayer to.
Which art in heaven – Direction. We want our prayers aimed in the proper direction, acknowledging Him as supreme in all things. He is the one who sits on the throne, high and lifted up.
Hallowed by the name – Praise. Praise should always be a part of our prayer. Praise for who He is, not what He’s done. I love the Psalms because David always either begins or ends with praise – ever time. Our prayers should be the same – enter with praise. I will enter His gates with thanksgiving and praise!
Thy Kingdom come – Anticipation of His response, His answer, His reply. Anticipation of a future heaven, a future walking in His ways, a future filled with hope and love. When the Kingdom comes, we will know His presence in a greater way then ever before. We thank Him for the answer before it comes because of this anticipation.
Thy Will be done – Submission – Not my will but thine be done. This should always be a standard statement in our prayers, whether for us or someone else. I hear people praying so often for healing, financial help, deliverance and various other things and I do not hear them say God’s will be done. If even Jesus had to pray “Thy will be done” how much more should we? Granted, all those things are promises that God will provide, but do I know if He wants to provide them at this time? Or is this trial meant to build me and grown my faith, so I need to go all the way through? It is far better to pray that God will strengthen someone until God decides to deliver them from it. Thy will be done!
on earth as it is in heaven – Desire. Imagine if things were on earth as they are in heaven! No more sickness, no more pain, no tears, no death, and no sorrow. We desire for all these things to pass by us, and God will bring that in His time and in His way. All things are done in heaven by His grand design – let the same be true in you and in your prayer life. As you pray, allow your words to take on heavenly meaning and purpose.
Give us this day our daily bread – Supplication – asking God for His provision and His grace. He knows what you need each day, and He is never in short supply. The biggest need we have is food for our bodies. The biggest need we have for our souls is grace. God gives us grace for each day – only enough for that day. That is why we should never worry about tomorrow! Give us THIS DAY!
Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors – Mercy – The whole thing applies! As We Forgive! We need His forgiveness daily – every time we mess up somewhere. But the prayer is very specific – as we forgive our debtors. This should be part of every prayer asking God for forgiveness and mercy, and forgiving others in the process.
Lead us not into temptation – Guidance. I need guidance every day. Guidance to do my blogs and poetry, guidance to set my schedule, guidance to get done all that needs to be done. Daily I should ask God to direct my steps and keep me away from temptation. If temptation comes, this prayer asks that we not be lead into it. Stay outside of it, not in it!
But deliver us from evil – Deliverance – If I should get caught up in something I should not be, He promises deliverance and salvation. Like anything else, we need to ask. Asking before we get there is the best, so making this a part of our prayer is so helpful. If I should wander off the path, Lord, bring me back onto it and deliver me from my wanderings before they happen!
For thine is the Kingdom – Faith – Faith that He is in control. Faith that He is Master of all and can touch any situation. Faith that this is His Kingdom and He knows all that goes on within it. Faith that He can supply all my needs because He is the King who sits on the throne. Pray in Faith, nothing wavering.
And the power – Humility – He has the power not me. I am but nothing before Him. I need to humbly bow before Him, allowing His power to fix the situation, not my measly human power. I can do nothing to defeat the spiritual enemies at work against me. I come to Him, broken and needy because He has the power.
And the Glory – reverence and awe– Nothing of me, Lord. Let all the glory come to you, not me. When you deliver me, I will give you the glory. I will tell others my God delivered me. I will tell others my God healed me. I will tell others my God took away my problem. He gets all the glory!
Forever – Eternally – for all time – We end with praise forever. Our prayers should always end acknowledging His power, His authority, His glory, His answers to our faith. Every time we talk about our prayers being answered, we acknowledge Him – forever. Not just one time or two or twelve, but forever.
Relationship, direction, praise, anticipation, submission, desire, supplication, mercy, guidance. Deliverance, faith, humility and reverence for all time. This is the pattern of prayer we should learn to practice. Not a demanding prayer of do this for me, or do that for them. A prayer that lifts His name, gives Him the glory and puts our requests before Him.
Another way to look at prayer is one I saw a long time ago. I am not going to take the time to go through all the steps, but I believe this is another good pattern to follow in
our prayer times. There are many examples of this out there, but I particularly like this one from Sculler\’s Weblog, Sorry the quality is not better, but I think you can read it OK
This breaks down the prayer time into sections. Each section signifies a portion of our prayer time. It is good to know the many things we should do while we are praying.
There are many ways to pray. I pray the suggestions above will help each of you get into a deeper prayer life than you already have, and that you learn to incorporate all that Jesus incorporated in the prayer we all know so well.
We are getting close to the end of this study, and I pray it has been a blessing to you. The next post will be about Where we should pray. I hope you’ll stay tuned!
This is so helpful, thank you!
Blessings, Hayley 🙏
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You’re most welcome. I’m glad you find it helpful!
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The hour of prayer clock-face was adapted only slightly from Dick Eastman’s book: “The hour that changed the world.” I enlarged it, and inserted it onto cheap clocks – several are still ticking in homes of a previous church family.
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Thanks for the background info. Nice to know they are still running