Everyone needs to learn how to pray. Sometimes people think that
prayer ought to be intuitive. They think that you just ought to know
how to pray naturally.
However, Jesus had to teach His disciples how to pray. What most
people know as “The Lord’s Prayer” is an example prayer Jesus
used to teach His disciples how to pray.
There are four passages that deal extensively with prayer. Let us
take a look at each of these and see what we can learn about prayer
Matthew 6:5-15 ~ The Lord’s Prayer
What are the lessons to be learned from how Jesus taught His
disciples to pray?
THE ADDRESS ~ “Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy
name”. Address God with familiarity, but respect that is deserving
of the Creator and Father of all. He is our Father, but He is much
more. Address Him as Deity, the Creator, the Maker of All, the
Father of All, Lord God Almighty, the Giver of life and all good
things, etc. See how He is addressed in the Psalms, because many
of them are prayers.
THE CONTENT ~ “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth
as it is in heaven.” The disciples were taught to seek the will of God
in all things, that was their prayer. That is our prayer. May God
reign in the hearts of men here on earth, as he reigns with the angels
in heaven. Words which seek the will of God, in contrast with
seeking the will of the one praying are what are called for.
“Give us this day our daily bread.” Those things which sustain our
physical lives are the gifts of God’s grace. Thanks and supplication
are instructed by Jesus. Any statement of thanks and/or asking for
food, jobs, weather, soil, seed, etc. are appropriate.
“Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” There is always a
need to remember the need for forgiveness. Our sins, our
trespasses, our mistakes – however you wish to state it need
forgiven. We are sinners: we falter and fail. But, the language Jesus
used to teach His disciples also includes the lesson that we will only
be forgiven as we forgive others. Therefore, we ought to pray that
we might remember to have mercy and grace, forgiving others also.
“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil:”
Guidance from above is always needed. Pray to understand the will
of God. Pray for His providential care and guidance. Pray for
deliverance from temptation and evil. God directs our lives so that
we will never face more than we are able to endure. Pray that this
may be so.
“For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever.
Amen.” All power and authority is God Almighty’s. He is worthy of
all glory and worship. Any and all language that acknowledges this
superior authority and the reign of God over all things is appropriate
1 Timothy 2:1-8
Paul instructs the young evangelist about public prayer.
“Supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made
for all men.” Any and all prayers are proper, not only on behalf of
Christians or saints, but also on the behalf of any or all people.
Whether they are good or evil, we ought to pray for them. We
should pray not only for our brethren, but even more so for our
“for kings, and for all that are in authority: that we may lead a quiet
and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.” Whether they are
monarchs, dictators, presidents or prelates, we need to recognize
that the people in places of authority in this life do have an effect
upon our lives, not only in terms of economics and politics, but also
in terms of our ability to pursue our spiritual lives. There decisions
can make a difference in how easy it is to live godly and honest lives
before God. Their policies effect our physical well-being. Pray that
they might make the right decisions. Praying for them does not
mean you agree with their decisions, or are endorsing their
principles. Pray that they may make the right decisions and operate
with the correct principles.
“For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the
man Christ Jesus.” Jesus is the only person through whom our
prayers ascend to the Father. Neither Mary, nor the apostles, nor
the saints, nor the angels in heaven are in the place of mediary
between God and man. It is Jesus, and Jesus alone, who pleads our
case before our heavenly Father. Our prayers need to reflect that
[to be continued]
"So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of
His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an
inheritance among all those who are sanctified." (Acts 20:32)
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