Many people misunderstand the Lord’s prayer to be a prayer that we are to repeat word for word. It has been memorised by countless people throughout history and is often recited corporately. Rather, the Lord’s prayer should be understood as an example and as a model, of how to pray. Not that we are tied up to the use of this only l, or of this always; yet, without doubt, it gives us the “ingredients” that should go into prayer.
PETITIONS IN RELATION TO GOD AND HIS HONOUR
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.” (Matt. 6:9): Jesus begins His exemplary prayer by acknowledging God the Father. God is our Father, meaning He cares for us. God resides in Heaven, which implies He is above us (Isaiah 55:8-9) and He is the one to whom our prayers should be addressed to. We hallow His name, meaning we declare that He is holy and praise Him for who He is. This opening line, therefore recognises that God is both our Father and our King. He loves us, and He is far greater than us (Revelation 1:6).
“Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” (Matt. 6:10): is a reminder to us that we are to pray for God’s plan in our lives and the world, not our own plan. We are to pray for God’s will to be done, not our desires. That is, after acknowledging the character of God, we are to pray for His purposes. God cares for us and is greater than us. (Jeremiah 29:11), we are to submit our will to His (Matthew 26:39, 42; Acts 21:14).
We are to trust that His way is better and pray that His will be accomplished on earth. (Psalm 37:4-5)
PETITIONS IN RELATION TO HUMAN CONCERNS
Give us this day our daily bread.” (Matt. 6:11):
We do not only desire God’s will on a grand scale, but also on the smaller scale of our lives. (Prov. 30:8). We look to Him for our daily needs; – spiritual, practical, relational, emotional, and physical. (Matt. 6:33)
“And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” (Matt. 6:12). Our biggest need is to be forgiven. Without God’s forgiveness we are dead in sin. (Ephesians 2:1). With His forgiveness, we are made alive in Christ. (Colossians 2:13). Because we are forgiven, we are called to forgive (Matt. 18:28-35, Mark 11:25). Forgiveness restores our fellowship with God and others. With forgiveness, we can obey the command to love God and love others. (Matt. 23:37-40).
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil…” (Matthew 6:13a). This final request demonstrates a heart that is eager to please God. God will not lead us into temptation (James 1:13); He is not the author of evil. This prayer is an agreement with God that we do not want to sin against Him (Luke 22:40). It is a plea for help in achieving victory over sin and a request for protection from the attacks of the devil (Psalm 141:4, 9). We pray to be aware of the evil that tempts us and to readily see the escape that He has provided us (1 Corinthians 10:13). Temptation in this verse may also refer to trails of our faith. (1 Peter 1:7; 4:12).
We can conclude our prayers with a remainder of God’s sovereign control, His great power and that our life is for His glory. “…..For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.” (Matthew 6:13b)
The Lord’s Prayer is a model provided by Jesus for how to pray
RCCG UK AND IRELAND SUNDAY SCHOOL MANUAL EDITION 2020/2021