Some people view prayer as a means to get or avoid things in life. They lift prayers that follow the simple “please do, please don’t” or “I need, I want” model. Still, others employ a conditional prayer, i.e., “Dear God, if you do this for me, I do that for you.” Time after time, the disciples bear witness to Jesus conferring with and seeking the will of His Father through prayer. The importance of prayer became so evident to the disciples that, one day, they asked Jesus, saying, “Lord, teach us to pray as John also taught his disciples” (Luke 11:1).
Jesus replied, “Pray, then, in this way: ‘Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. ‘Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil.“Matthew 6:9-13
That eloquent beautiful prayer illustrates how our prayer ought to be structured and expressed from the heart. As it is widely known, the Lord’s Prayer has two distinct parts: The first addresses our relationship with the Father, to give praise and worship to God. Notice that Jesus did not say, “My Father who is in heaven;” instead, He said, “Our Father who is in heaven,” which was a revolutionary concept for the Jewish people of that day. The phrase “Hallowed be Your name” means how sacred, holy, and sanctified the name of God is, and at one time, people were fearful even to say it. “Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” is a personal yearning for God to establish His kingdom on earth. That will come to pass when Jesus established His millennial reign and, ultimately, when God makes all things new as foretold in the book of Revelation.
The second part is to present our petitions to God with the first concerns our daily provision, i.e., “Give us this day our daily bread.” It asks the Lord to provide us with the necessities of life, such as food, water, shelter, clothing, etc. It serves to remind us of our total reliance on God’s provisions by asking not for our weekly or monthly bread but our day-to-day needs. The prayer also reminds us that we must seek the forgiveness of sin daily, under the condition that we have also forgiven those who have sinned against us. When Jesus said, “And do not lead us into temptation,” is not to imply that God leads or tempts people to sin; instead, it sets the stage for the more powerful plea, “but deliver us from evil.”
You may have noticed that the two preceding paragraphs are not proportionate to one another; the first is longer than the second. Why? Perhaps it eludes to the fact that we should spend the majority of our prayer time giving praise and adoration to God and spend less or a minimum amount of time focusing on our needs. One thing that Scripture teaches us repeatedly is there is power in prayer and that our heavenly Father always has an attentive ear to every word we say.
Blessed is Your name above all names, and Your sovereignty reigns supreme over all creation, and we thank You for Your perfect and unyielding mercy and grace and the provisions You extend to us daily. We also thank you for sending your One and only Son, Jesus Christ, into this sin-plagued world not to pass judgment upon it, but so it might be saved through Him. We faithfully ask for the forgiveness of our sins by the cleansing blood of Jesus’s redeeming work on the cross, as we also forgive those who have sinned against us. We seek Your wisdom with great eagerness so that we might guard ourselves against temptation as we wait upon our Savior and Lord’s soon return. We ask for Your divine intervention in the healing of our land and the restoring of our people. We ask this so that our nation might return to its founding fathers’ principles and that our people might return to the truths given to us by You, our heavenly Father. We thank You, Father, for hearing our plea this day, and we rejoice in the fact that Your perfect will reigns true in our lives forever, Amen.