For the next several weeks I am going to talk about the disciple’s “model” prayer as recorded in Matthew 6:9-13. It is my conviction that this prayer model is not so much a prayer to be recited over and over again as much as it is to be utilized as a template or model for prayer.
Luke 11:1-4 also records this prayer model. I love this account because of what’s happening just prior to the Lord Jesus sharing it with the disciples. Jesus is praying at the beginning of verse 1 and one can only surmise that His prayer life is so rich, so alive, and so authentic that His disciples ask Him, “Lord, teach us to pray.” They no doubt had noticed that the Lord Jesus frequently withdrew from the crowds to pray. One example is found in Mark’s gospel:
Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he got up, went out, and made his way to a deserted place; and there he was praying. (Mark 1:35, CSB)
Consider all the things that the disciples could have asked the Lord Jesus to teach them. Lord, teach us to preach. Lord, teach us to heal. Lord, teach us to cast out demons and perform miracles. No, they asked, “Lord, teach us to pray.” Jesus responds by giving them a model for prayer.
Notice that this prayer is a “God-centered” prayer. It begins and ends with praise to God. Each phrase is God-centered.
Therefore, you should pray like this: Our Father in heaven, your name be honored as holy. (Matthew 6:9, CSB)
10 Your kingdom come. Your will be done 11 on earth as it is in heaven. (Matthew 6:10-11a, CSB)
11 …Give us today our daily bread. (Matthew 6:11b, CSB)
12 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. (Matthew 6:12, CSB)
13 And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. (Matthew 6:13a, NKJV)
13 …For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen. (Matthew 6:13b, NKJV)
Using this model for prayer has really energized my personal prayer life. My prayer for you over these next several weeks is that future posts will encourage you to pray effectively and pray often.