Now Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when He finished, one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.” And He said to them, “When you pray, say: Father, hallowed be Your Name. Your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread, and forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation.” (ESV)
This prayer is usually taught from Matthew’s Gospel. There are minor differences, showing us this prayer is a pattern and not a recipe to follow exactly. Notice also the priorities that are shown here. We are to come with humility, hunger, and a deep desire to meet with our Lord.
Consider the following:
- The Privilege of Prayer
a) A true Christian has a Father-Child relationship with God! He will not deny us good!
b) Consider how the Psalms help in nurturing this closeness to God.
c) We have a personal Father God.
d) But He is also Sovereign.
- The Pre-Eminence of our Father in Prayer
a) Shorter Catechism Q4 – all the aspects of His Name & Character.
b) We go to people for help – how much more can we go to Him!
c) We seek His special presence when we pray, to be in touch with the Heavenly Throne!
d) We pray that His Kingdom would come: Externally in society, that in all we do as Christians there would be order and justice, but also that people would be changed internally and come to a saving faith in Christ.
- The Provision of God our Father
a) We ask for our daily physical needs first – fully dependent on Him only.
b) Then Spiritual provision – forgiveness – our greatest need.
c) The forgiveness we continually ask for is so we may have restored fellowship when we sin. This isn’t justification we ask for continually, its sanctification.
d) We need to also forgive others. Repentance in the offending party can result in a restored relationship, but where there isn’t repentance we still need to be kind and let go of bitterness and resentment, leaving it to God.
e) All sin is against God ultimately. He only can forgive sin and its guilt.
f) If you have experienced His forgiveness, let it go when you are sinned against.
- The Protection of God
a) God has no impulse or desire for sin or for us to sin. The devil does though.
b) Yet God does try us – for our good.
c) In the same trial God is allowing you to be tested so you can be purified, while the devil wants you to fall.
d) Always remember though that God will help you to be strengthened!
This pattern is so helpful since we know when we pray like this, we are praying as God wants us to!! May we use it!