Our Lord’s instructions for prayer

Matthew 6:9-13 is one of the best known and most beloved passages of the entire Bible.  Many of us know the words (in one version or another) by heart.

Jesus’s perfect pattern for prayer covers all our daily needs, and we can summarize all those needs with seven words: relationship, worship, mission, obedience, provision, reconciliation, and protection.

Our Father in heaven is a celebration of our relationship with the Almighty God of the Universe who has adopted us into His family.  The plural pronoun used throughout the Lord’s prayer is a perpetual reminder that whenever we pray, we are members of one family, praying for our brothers and sisters.

May Your name be hallowed is a reminder that we were made to worship God. Our lives should glorify our Lord in all that we say and do. If even such mundane activities as eating and drinking should be done to the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31), then certainly our work, finances, friendships, and leisure activities should honor Him as well.

Your kingdom come calls us to our mission on earth: we are to extend the rule and reign of the Lord.  We pray to yield our hearts absolutely to His rule and reign. We pray for His kingdom to extend into hearts of lost men and women. We also pray for the kingdom of this world to become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ.

Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven is our prayer of surrender in obedience to His perfect will.  We must continuously seek His power through His Spirit to do His will each day.

Give us this day our daily bread tells us that God wants us to come to Him daily for our provision. Our dependence is a precious gift to keep us close to our Father as we daily receive from His hand both temporal and spiritual food.

Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors is His call to reconciliation first with our Lord and then with others.  Forgiveness and reconciliation are essential if we are to be made perfect in One.

Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil is our acknowledgement that He will provide protection from an enemy who seeks to steal, kill and destroy.  We must remember that we have been commanded to dress in spiritual armor (Ephesians 6:10-20) in preparation for prayer.

In these few words, our Lord teaches us to seek our Father’s blessing in our relationships, worship, mission, obedience, provision, reconciliation, and protection.  If we follow His instruction, we cover the people of God with a blanket of prayer.

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