If you’ve ever wondered if you’re praying “right,” let me just state I don’t believe there is a “right” way to pray. Prayer is simply communication, between you and God. Still, Jesus has much to tell us about prayer:
“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. This, then, is how you should pray:
‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from the evil one. For thine is the Kingdom, power, and glory forever, Amen.’” (Matthew 6:5-13)
The Disciple’s Prayer
Verses 9-13 are commonly referred to as “The Lord’s Prayer,” but I think it should be called “The Disciples’ Prayer,” because Jesus was showing us how to pray. Notice the elements of this prayer:
- “Our Father in Heaven” – He gives us permission to call Him Father and wants us to approach Him as a child would His loving father.
- “Hallowed be Your name” – We honor God and esteem Him in His holiness. We revere Him and praise Him.
- “Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven” – We surrender our will to Him and desire what He desires.
- “Give us today our daily bread” – We look to Him and thank Him for meeting all or daily needs.
- “And forgive us our debts (sins, trespasses), as we also have forgiven our debtors.” – We come to Him with a repentant heart, confessing our sins and forgiving others who have sinned against us.
- “And lead us not into temptation” – By asking God to keep us from temptation, this implies that we will not deliberately place ourselves in situations we know would tempt us.
- This “Disciples’ Prayer” is not a formula, but a model. It teaches us about God, our relationship with Him, and how to talk with Him. Pray simply, personally, and in faith believing.
Personal Application: Spend time simply talking with the Lord each day. Bring Him all your requests in every situation and thank and praise Him for who He is and for all He has done in your life.
Wendell Morton and Jim Grassi, D. Min.
We cherish any verse in Scripture that reminds us to keep focused and intentional about evangelism and discipleship. “But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.” 2 Timothy 4:5