Teach Us To Pray

  Jesus gave the disciples a model prayer to help them to know how prayer should be made.  We can find help from this model prayer too.   Read it in Matthew 6: 9-13

  The prayer begins by giving God His own and proper place.  The first three petitions of the prayer are for the hallowing of God’s name, the coming of God’s Kingdom and the doing of God’s will. Prayer is the attitude in which eyes and mind and heart are fixed on God.
The second part of the prayer brings the entirety of man’s life to God. We make three petitions which has to do with our present need (bread), our past sin (forgiveness), and our future welfare (help in temptation).

  Let us study this prayer in the light of what it is intended to be, a pattern for all prayer.
“Our Father in heaven”–“Father” conveys the intimate, personal relationship of man to God.  We become His children not by natural birth but by spiritual birth.  “Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God – children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.”   John 1:12-13
Our relationship with God is not as an only child but as a family. It is “our” Father. No one is a Christian in isolation. No man has an exclusiveness on God.
His elevation above man “who is in heaven”. This is God’s world, but not His home.
“Hallowed be your name”–God is to receive the praise, honor, glory, reverence He deserves. His character is to be exalted.
“Your Kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”  We belong to God when He is king of our lives. The Kingdom of God is not a territory, it is the reign of God in the lives of obedient believers. To do God’s Will is to know and be obedient to the revelation of God’s truth, through Jesus and the Apostles, recorded in the New Testament of the Bible. We do not know God’s will outside of His divine revelation.
“Give us today our daily bread“–Our physical body, as well as our soul, is to be fed. “Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”   Matthew 4:4
We are to eat daily of the material and spiritual bread.
“Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors”–to pray this prayer, a sense of sin is a prior requirement. To ask for forgiveness of sin, is in itself, a confession of sin.  It has been said, “to be conscious of no sin is the greatest sin of all.”  God’s Word states: “If we claim to be without sin, we  deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”   I John 1:8-9
God’s forgiveness rests on a condition. We must forgive others of their wrongs, sins against us. We must forgive as God forgives us. One pays a terrible price for an unforgiving spirit.  May we know that only the forgiving can be forgiven. As Paul wrote: “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”   Ephesians 4:32
“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”–This cannot mean that God tempts us, for God tempts no man to sin.  This is a cry for help, that we be not overwhelmed by the deceptiveness of Satan. A Christian knows that there are places he or she ought not to go, people they ought not to be with, and things they ought not to do. It could be translated, “Keep us from flirting with temptations.”
“Yours is the Kingdom and the Power and the Glory forever, Amen”–These words are not found in the latest and best Greek manuscripts, but certainly not wrong, as it speaks of God’s ultimate victory. We must end as we began–by praising God.  

  We mistakenly call this divine blueprint for prayer the “Lord’s Prayer”.  It is not His prayer, it is ours to guide us in our prayer life. Christ did not give this prayer to be used in mere formal repetition but to become a standard, pattern, for our praying. Therefore, we are wise to seek to address Deity in the way that the Son of God, Jesus, taught us to pray.

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