Not a wishing well (Prayer day 12)

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

  1. 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
  1. When you read the words “Father in heaven” together, what thoughts and feelings come to mind?
  2. What do you see in the order of the model prayer of Jesus? What do you learn from that?
  3. 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:

  1. Tell God what is good about the fact that He is your/ our Father.
  2. Pray that God will be known today, and ask him to help you live in such a way.
  3. 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.
  4. 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…


Where, To Whom, and Why to pray (Prayer day 11)

Before Jesus taught his disciples WHAT to pray, he taught them WHERE, TO WHOM and WHY (NOT) to pray.

This story of Ps Bill Hybels will greatly enhance your reflection on Scripture reading.


Matthew 6:5-9 the beginning of Jesus’ teaching on prayer.

5  “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 6  But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

7  “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. 8  Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

Observations and reflections

  1. Jesus’ first teaching on prayer is WHERE to pray (v5-6). Where should we pray, and why does that matter?
  2. Jesus’s second teaching on prayer is TO WHOM to pray. (v6)
  • What difference does it make to pray to God “our Father” vs “God our Creator” or “God our Judge”? (hint: think of the relation and role of a father to his children)
  • What is God our Father like? Write down the first ten things you know the Bible teaches about God our Father.
  1. Why should we not use many words when asking God for things? (v7-8)
  • If God already knows about our needs, what does Jesus imply about WHY we pray? (hint: prayer is not primarily about…)
  • In your opinion, WHY do you think we should primarily pray? (hint: to WHOM do we pray?)

Personal reflection and Prayer

Without a regular platform WHERE we meet God our Father in prayer, our relationship with God will be incidental and fractured like a drive-through restaurant, leaving our knowledge of God shallow.   But a regular place and time to meet our Father will ensure we stop and talk about our deeper and more important concerns, and where we evaluate our thoughts and desires in his presence – so we may know Him and become like Him (Phil 3:10).

  1. WHERE and when do you usually meet with God your Father? Does that time and place allow you to have a meaningful encounter with God?  How can you adjust it to make it more meaningful?
  2. Does your meetings with God feel like meetings with YOUR FATHER? How do you view and experience God’s presence and response to your prayers?
  3. If someone were to listen to your prayers, WHY would they say do you pray? I.e. what do you mainly pray about?
  4. Spend some time to talk to God your Father about where and why you pray. Ask Him to teach and lead your meetings, because you want to know him and become like him.