Learning to Pray: A Model Prayer

Matthew 6:5-13, and Luke 11:2-4 - The Lord's Prayer

How do you pray? How are we supposed to pray? God speaks to us through his Word and we can talk to God by means of prayer. God has promised to hear his people who live righteous lives and prayer is the way in which we communicate with our Lord. Let’s consider the subject of prayer today.

How to Approach God: We want to discuss how ignorant and sinful creatures, such as man, are to come before the Most High God and how they are to pray in the acceptable way, according to his Word, in order to obtain from Him what they need.

The entire Word of God is of use to help us in prayer, but the special rule of direction is that form of prayer which Christ taught His disciples, which we often call, “The Lord’s Prayer.” It was furnished by Him to teach us both the manner and method of how to pray, and the matters for which to pray. It should be regarded by Christians because Christ knew both our needs, and the Father’s good will toward us. He has supplied us with a simple manner in how to pray. Every part of true prayer is included in this model prayer.

And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask any thing according to His will, He heareth us. 1 John 5:14

Knowing His Will: We cannot know His will if we are ignorant of His Word. Christ did not give this prayer to Jews as Jews, but to His disciples. It is addressed to “our Father,” and is therefore to be used by all the members of His family. It is recorded not only in Matthew but also in Luke, the Gentile Gospel. After His resurrection, Jesus told His disciples to teach believers to observe all things whatsoever He had commanded them. So this prayer, the “Lord’s Prayer,” is for believers today, and everything in it is needed by them. It is the duty of believers to use the Lord’s Prayer continually, as a pattern, and sometimes as a form when they pray. There are seven petitions in this prayer, and they are divided into two groups of three, and four. The first three relate to God and the last four relate to our own daily concerns.

The First Three Petitions: Relate to God

1 - Hallowed Be Thy Name: The words “Hallowed be Thy Name” means the desire that God’s matchless name might be reverenced, adored, and glorified, and that its fame might be spread abroad and magnified.

Pray With Adoration: After this manner therefore pray ye.” When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Luke 11:2

We are to pray with reverence, humility, seriousness, confidence in God, and concern for His glory, and love to mankind.

Let them also that love Thy name be joyful in Thee. Psalm 5:11

The name of the Lord is a strong tower. Proverbs 18:10

The Divine Name: The divine name sets that God has revealed to us concerning Himself such as the Almighty, the Lord of hosts, Jehovah, the God of peace, and our Father are among many titles he has chosen to disclose Himself to us.

Give unto the Lord the glory due unto His name. Psalm 96:8

For us to hallow or sanctify His name means that we give God the supreme place, that we set Him above all else in our thoughts, affections, and lives.

Notice how our blessed Savior spoke to God in the garden the night before the cross;

Now is My soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save Me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour. Father, glorify Thy name. John 12:27, 28

Though it was necessary for Him to be baptized with the baptism of suffering, the Father’s glory was Christ’s greatest concern.

2 - Thy Kingdom Come: Among the means for promoting God’s glory, none is as influential as the coming of His Kingdom. So we are told;

But seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. Matthew 6:33

Even though men ought to glorify God’s name upon earth, yet of ourselves we cannot do so.

God’s Kingdom Must First Be Set Up in Our Hearts

God cannot be honored by us until we voluntarily submit to His rule over us.

What the Father’s Kingdom Is:

First: His universal rule, His absolute dominion over all creatures and things.

Thine, O Lord, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is Thine; Thine is the Kingdom, O Lord, and Thou art exalted as Head above all.

1 Chronicles 29:11

Second: It is the external sphere of His grace on earth when Jesus will come and rule for one thousand years upon earth.

And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Fithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. Revelation 19:10

Third: It is God’s spiritual and internal Kingdom, which is entered by regeneration.

Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God. John 3:5

The nature of this reign is summed up in three characteristics:

For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. Romans 14:17 

3 - “Thy will be done:” This clause may present a difficulty to some, who may ask, “Is not God’s will always done?” In one respect it is, but in another respect it is not. Scripture presents the will of God from two viewpoints: His secret will and His revealed will.

God’s secret Will is the rule of His own actions:
In Creation - in Revelatiion 4:11
In Providence - in Daniel 4:35
In His Grace - in Romans 9:15

That which God has decreed is always unknown to men until revealed by prophecies of things to come, or by events as they transpire. On the other hand, God’s revealed will is the rule for our actions: God having made known in the Scriptures that which is pleasing in His sight. The secret will of God is always done, equally on earth as in heaven, for none can stop or hinder it. It is evident that God’s revealed will is violated every time one of His precepts is disobeyed.

We do the will of God when, out of a due regard for His authority, we regulate our own thoughts and conduct by His commandments. This is our duty, and it should be our fervent desire and diligent endeavor to do so. We mock God if we make this request and then fail to conform ourselves to His revealed will. Since our Lord placed these three petitions that relate directly to God’s interests first, this should indicate to us that we must pray to promote the glory of God, to advance His Kingdom, and to do His will before we are permitted to pray for our own needs.

The Last Four Petitions: Relate to Our Daily Concerns

  • Give us day by day our daily Bread
  • And forgive us our sins
  • And lead us not into temptation
  • But deliver us from evil

Our physical needs are supplied to us by the kindness of the Father. One of these concerns our bodily needs, and three relate to the concerns of the soul. This teaches us that in prayer, as in all other activities of life, temporal concerns are to be less than spiritual concerns.

Matthew Henry, a well-respected biblical commentator has pointed out that the reason this request for the supply of our physical needs heads the last four petitions is that; “our well-being is necessary for our spiritual well-being in this world. In other words; God grants to us the physical things of this life as helps so we can carry out our spiritual duties.”

4 - Our Daily Bread: Refers primarily to the supply of our bodily needs.

With the Jews, bread signified the necessities and conveniences of this life such as food, raiment, and housing. With the use of the specific term bread rather than the more general term food there is an emphasis teaching us to ask not for dainties or for riches, but for that which is wholesome and needful. Bread here includes health and appetite, apart from which food does us no good. It also takes into account our nourishment: for this comes not from the food alone, nor does it lie within the power of man’s will. It is with God’s blessing on it, that it is to be sought.

Concerning our food the Apostle Paul wrote;

For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: For it is sanctified by the Word of God and prayer. 1Timothy 4:4-5

The Wisdom writer wrote;

Give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me: Lest I be full, and deny Thee, and say, Who is the Lord? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain. Proverbs 30:8, 9

  • First, by asking God for the daily supply of our temporal (earthly) needs, we acknowledge our complete dependency upon His bounty.
  • Secondly, we should plead this petition every day, because what we have will profit us nothing unless God blesses us.
  • Third, love requires that I pray this way, because this petition comprehends far more than my own personal needs. By teaching us to pray, “Give us this day our daily bread,” the Lord Jesus is instructing love and compassion toward others.

You may ask, “How can God be said to give us our daily bread if we ourselves have earned it?” First of all, God must provide all that is necessary for there to be food, or clothing or ANYTHING. God must give it to us because our right to it was forfeited when we fell in Adam. 

He must bestow it because everything belongs to Him.

The earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof, the world, and they that dwell therein. Psalm 24:1

The silver is Mine, and the gold is Mine, saith the Lord of hosts. Haggai 2:8 

Therefore will I return, and take away My corn in the time thereof, and My wine in the season thereof. Hosea 2:9

5 -And Forgive Us Our Sins: For we also forgive everyone that is indebted to us.

We are taught that without forgiveness all the good things of this life will benefit us nothing. A man in a cell on death row is fed and clothed, but what is the best food and clothes worth to him as long as he remains under sentence of imminent death? {MAN SHALL NOT LIVE BY BREAD ALONE, BUT BY EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDETH OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD. Matthew 4:4}

“Our daily bread doth but fatten us as lambs for the slaughter if our sins be not pardoned.” - Matthew Henry.

The truth is our sins are so many and so grievous that we do not deserve even one mouthful of food. Each day the Christian is guilty of offenses that forfeit even the common blessings of life, so that he should ever say as Jacob; I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies... which Thou hast shewed unto Thy servant. Genesis 32:10

Folks, none of us are worthy, as this scripture well states but we become saints of God when by faith, we accept the Lord Jesus as our Savior. Jesus encouraged us to live in faith. If we trust God’s providence to provide for our bodies, should we not trust Him for the salvation of our souls from the power and dominion of sin and from sin’s dreadful wages?

Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. Romans 8:12-14

We should daily confess our sins and seek to always please our Heavenly Father.

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:8-9

6 - Lead Us Not into Temptation: With past sins being pardoned, we should pray fervently for grace to prevent us from repeating them.

We cannot rightly desire God to forgive us our sins unless we sincerely long for grace to abstain from the like in the future. We should therefore make it our practice to beg earnestly for strength to avoid repeating them. The Bible says;

Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth He any man. But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. James 1:13-15

But when we do fail, as we all have and will we need to accept the responsibility of our actions and then confess and repent immediately. We want to avoid at all costs doing what Adam did when he not only sought to blame someone else for his sin, but he tried to blame GOD; The woman whom Thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. Genesis 3:12

Yes, it’s unfortunate that we are living in the day when so many fail to take responsibility for their actions. We need to stay in God’s word in order to have the knowledge and strength to avoid the daily temptation we all have to sin.

There are two ways to be tempted the scriptures teach:

1-To tempt means when God tests us as when God tested Abraham.
And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am. And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of. Genesis 22:1-2

2-To tempt to do evil. When we read that Satan tempted Christ, it means Satan sought to bring about His downfall, morally impossible though it was. To tempt is to make trial of a person, in order to find out what he is, and what he will do. We may tempt God in a legitimate and good way by putting Him to the test in the way of duty. Like when we await the fulfillment of His promises like this one in Malachi;

Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. Malachi 3:10

But often it is God who permits Satan to tempt by assaulting, or harassing us in order to humble us in order to drive us to Him. In the end He is glorified as he manifests His preserving power more fully to us during the trials we all experience as a Christian. But this DOES NOT mean God is tempting anyone.

God DOES NOT Tempt his children! PLEASE get this! It is man who is tempted by his own desire.

The advantages that the Devil gains over us are by means of the flesh and the world, for they are his agents. So, this is a prayer for deliverance from all of our spiritual enemies. Yes, it is true that we have been delivered from “the power of darkness” and translated into the Kingdom of Christ - Colossians 1:13. And that Satan no longer has any lawful authority over us. However, our adversary has an awesome and oppressive power: though he cannot rule us, he is permitted to assault and harass us.

My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. James 1:2, 3

It is our duty to avoid those persons and places that would allure us into sin, just as it is always our duty to be on the alert for the first signs of Satan’s approach.

7 - But Deliver Us From Evil: For we are to supplicate not for ourselves only, but for all the members of the household of faith. Galatians 6:10

It is to be carefully noted that in each case the pronoun is in the plural number and not the singular – us and our, not me and my. How beautifully this demonstrates the family character of true Christian prayer. For our Lord teaches us to address “our Father” and to embrace all his children in our requests. We can see a symbol of Christ’s intercession on high by the way the high priest’s breastplate had the names of all the tribes of Israel inscribed upon it – So, too, the Apostle Paul enjoins “supplication for all saints.”

For we are to supplicate not for ourselves only, but for all the members of the household of faith Galatians 6:10.

Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching there unto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; Ephesians 6:18

I pray not that Thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that Thou shouldest keep them from the evil. John 17:15

So, let us seek to live each day as though we knew it was our last one on earth. Let us set our affection on things above. Colossians 3:2 My friend, if we follow the instruction of the Bible, which includes the use of the Lord’s Prayer as it was intended, then may we sincerely pray, “But deliver us from evil.”

Father, what a wonderful model prayer you have given us. To instruct and inform us how to get our prayers answered, and that our prayers might be acceptable to you. We pray that all will consider the Lord’s Prayer when they approach your throne of grace. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen, Preacher

Country Preacher Ministries, Inc.  |  352 Snake Road, Lumberton, NC 28358  |  Phone:  910-738-3132
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