What is typically known as “The Lord’s Prayer” could more accurately be referred to as the “Disciple’s Prayer.” The true Lord’s prayer would more likely be the one in John 17 – Jesus’ high priestly prayer. If we would pray as Jesus taught us in Matthew 6:9-13, what is traditionally known as “The Lord’s Prayer”, it would revolutionize our lives, the church and the world in which we live.
Prayer should be the very heartbeat of the Christian life and of the church. The early church began with prayer preceding the Day of Pentecost. “These all with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer” (Acts 1:14 NASB). Just prior to the lame man being healed Peter and John were on their way to pray (Acts 3:1). When Peter was locked up in prison “Prayer for him was being made fervently by the church to God” (Acts 12:5 NASB). Prayer should be the heartbeat of all we are and do.
The Lord’s Prayer is as follows,
“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. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.” (Matthew 6:9-13 NASB)
Let’s take a close look at this very powerful prayer:
I. Pattern of prayer. Jesus begins His instructions on prayer by saying, “Pray, then, in this way” (Matthew 6:9 NASB). Jesus was not teaching us to pray this verbatim. It was not something we are to quote in prayer, as we often see done. This was a pattern for prayer, an outline for the way we pray to be filled in by us. Quoting this prayer as is would take seconds whereas using it as a pattern or outline could become quite lengthy.
I use this in my prayer time. I include myself, my family, Ministrymaker Ministries and all the pastors and ministries associated with Ministrymaker. As I cover each category, I then begin to focus on specifics. In using this as a pattern, my prayer time can last anywhere from minutes to an hour or more.
II. Paternal praying. “Our Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 6:9 NASB). Our prayer is addressed to our Heavenly Father. Jesus said, “In that day you will not question Me about anything. Truly, truly, I say to you, if you ask the Father for anything in My name, He will give it to you” (John 16:23 NASB). We begin praying to the Father in Jesus’ name.