Jesus taught us to pray and bring all our needs to our good Father. But what distinguishes Christian prayer from the wishing-well or bidding a genie in a bottle is the first two parts of the Lord’s model prayer.
Matthew 6:9-13 – The Lord’s Prayer
9 Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.
10 Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread, 12 and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. ”
Observations and reflections
- Try to find one word which describes what each of the three parts of Jesus’s model prayer is about
- Verse 9
- Verse 10
- Verses 11-13
- When you read the words “Father in heaven” together, what thoughts and feelings come to mind?
- What do you see in the order of the model prayer of Jesus? What do you learn from that?
- Identify the verbs (words that describes activity) in verses 11-13.
- What do these verbs imply about our relationship to God the Father?
- Bringing our needs to God our Father in prayer calms our soul. Try to couple an emotion to each of the needs in this section, i.e.
- The need for bread leads to …
- The need for forgiveness leads to …
- The need for direction leads to …
- The need for deliverance leads to …
Personal reflection and Prayer
The Lord’s model prayer has three parts: a declaration of praise, of submission and of dependence. Jesus teaches us that we start by declaring (as praise and reminder) that God is our good FATHER, and that we live to make him famous. He reminds us that prayer the process through which we bring ourselves in line with God’s will, even as he instructs us to freely ask our Father for all our needs.
Let’s pray this way today. Take your time to:
- Tell God what is good about the fact that He is your/ our Father.
- Pray that God will be known today, and ask him to help you live in such a way.
- Pray that his will be done, starting in yourself. Whatever situation comes to mind, pray “not my will, but Yours be done!” (Luke 22:42) until his peace settles in your heart.
- Freely present all your needs to your Father:
- Physical needs such as bread, clothing…
- Spiritual needs such as forgiveness, peace, joy…
- Leading and direction, to avoid falling into temptation…
- Freedom from bondage to evil such addictions, depressions, obsessions…