In this day and age, you can find a book for almost anything. Do you need help cooking? Well, there is a book for that. Do you need help building a car? There is a book for that as well. There are a plethora of books on the market, but one thing is for sure: There is nothing like God’s Book the inspired, authoritative, sufficient, inerrant Word. We know from 2 Timothy 3:16-17 that, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” And so, we have a Book that is far greater than any other book. The Bible is the very words of God, marked down on paper, to train us in all matters of godliness.
One of the most neglected spiritual disciplines many Christians face is their prayer life. If this is you, you’re not alone. The disciples asked Jesus, “Lord, teach us to pray,” and so must we (Luke 11:1). The Lord Jesus, in Matthew 6:9-13, gives us a model of prayer. He begins in verse 9 by saying, “Pray then like this.” In these proceeding verses, the Lord is not just some magical formula that we are to utter. Rather, the aim of this prayer is to teach us how we are to pray in a God-honouring way. Thus, I want to look at the Lord’s Prayer and identify the key components we should pray. From this text, you will see that there is to be reverence, response, request, and a sense of readiness in our prayers.
Reverence (Matthew 6:9)
The Lord Jesus instructs us to begin our prayers with a focus of worship. He starts by saying, “Our Father in Heaven, hallowed be your name.” The initial focus of our prayers is to be on the character of God. We are to take the time to focus our entire being on the wonders of who God is and worship Him at the throne of grace. As we meditate on the truth that God is our Father in Heaven, our souls should well up with joy, and respond by saying Hallowed be your name! We should earnestly desire that His name would be made known to all nations. treasured supremely in our lives, and throughout the nations. Thus, our prayers are, to begin with, an upward reverence towards God. As we meditate on His character and who He is, we will be led to praise and thanksgiving. Therefore, as we pray, the Lord Jesus shows us it begins with the worship of God. We are to seek Him and His face before anything else.
Response (Matthew 6:10)
Next, as we meditate on the richness and majesty of God, it will ultimately lead to a response from us. As we stand in awe and reverence before God in prayer, our hearts will unite with His will as we plead, “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” When we face the awesomeness and vastness of God, we will be humbled to the point where we pray that His reign would be extended both in the lives of His people and in the world. We are to pray not for our rule, but His! The response to God’s majesty and awesomeness is to pray for the advancement of His kingdom. Our prayers are to be gospel saturated prayers. Notice how the Lord Jesus shows us that a significant portion of our prayers are centered around worshipping God and the advancement of His Gospel! These God-centred, Gospel focused prayers are to take precedent in our prayer life, even before we come to our own requests and please.
Requests (Matthew 6:11-12)
Now that we have rightly worshiped the God of our Savior, and we have wholly surrendered to His will for our lives, we can now boldly bring our requests before Him, knowing that we are asking “in His name” and for His glory. In these two verses, we see requests for both physical needs (daily bread) and our spiritual needs. We are reminded of our utter dependence on God for even the simple tasks of eatingand that we we need Him to sustain us daily. Also, we need to seek His forgiveness and repent daily. This portion of the prayer is a time of confession before God. After worshipping Him and praying Gospel prayers, we begin to realize how unworthy we are. When faced with the reality of who God is in the Scriptures, we see how inadequate we are for such tasks He calls us to on a day to day basis. Thus, realizing this, we acknowledge our helplessness and cry out to him for help and strength.
Readiness (Matthew 6:13)
Finally, verse 13 reminds us that we are in spiritual battle. Thus, the prayer ends with an outward focus for the day, and the weeks to come. We know that we will be faced with temptations, evil, etc., this week. Therefore, we must acknowledge it, and ask our Father to keep us from the daily temptations that we will face today and to deliver us from evil.
In Matthew 6:9-13, the Lord Jesus’ model for prayer focuses on a reverence toward God, which leads to a response, request, and readiness from ourselves. May we remember all of this when we go to the Lord in prayer. May we also not onlyseek the hand of God first, but alsot seek the face of God, and daily enjoy His presence.