Luke 11:1; Matthew 6:9-13
In these passages, Jesus Christ is teaching the model prayer. In Luke’s Gospel, we learn that the disciples came to Jesus while He was praying. Desiring to be taught how to pray the Lord teaches them what has come to be called “The Model Prayer.” Evidently, the disciples saw something in the prayer life of Jesus that they needed.
The request, “Lord, teach us to pray,” reveals that their desire was two-fold. First, they wanted to know how to pray and talk to God as Jesus Himself did. Secondly, they desired a burden to pray. They saw the priority prayer held in the Lord’s life and they desired to be gripped by the same passion for communion with their heavenly Father.
In the words that follow, Jesus gives them the framework or foundation for praying that speaks to God the way we ought and that generates a burden for personal communion with our heavenly Father. This prayer is not to be memorized and quoted as a daily prayer, a ritual, or just before a ballgame as it so often is. It is, however, a framework around which we are to build our own prayers. It is a pattern for how we are to pray. Hence, it teaches us how we should pray.
When we pray according to God’s design and with godly desires He will hear our prayers and He will answer them for His glory. As we pray, the answers to prayer and the communion we experience with God in prayer serves as a catalyst to a deeper and stronger prayer life. Thus, this model prayer teaches us both how to pray and that we should pray often.
The Model Prayer can be broken down into sections, phrase by phrase. The Gospel of Matthew 6:9-13, “…Our Father which art in Heaven.” Prayer is about Resting. “Hallowed be Thy name.” Prayer is about Reverencing. “Thy kingdom come.” Prayer is about Reigning. “Thy will be done.” Prayer is about Resigning. “Give us this day our daily bread.” Prayer is about Requesting. “And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.” Prayer is about Repenting. “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” Prayer is about Relying. “For Thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory forever, Amen.” Prayer is about Rejoicing.
These phrases reveal aspects of prayer so simple that children can understand yet so profound that theologians awe in wonder and amazement. These verses ignite a deeper and greater burden for prayer in our own lives. The challenge is that you to take each phrase as it is outlined above and incorporate them into your prayer life every day. If we will do this faithfully, we will be praying prayers built upon the pattern for prayer given us by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We will be praying prayers that God will hear and that He will answer because they will be prayers that are prayed within the parameters of His perfect will. May this motivate us all to pray!