“One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.” He said to them, “When you pray, say: “ ‘Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation.’ ” (Luke 11:1–4, NIV84)

Prayer was a significant part of Jesus’ life–so much so that the disciples asked Him to teach them how to pray. The prayer that Jesus taught them is called by most the Lord’s Prayer (because our Lord taught it to the disciples). As we look at the petitions to the Lord’s Prayer, some striking things come out. First, in prayer we should focus on God, not us. The first three petitions deal with our relationship with God. Jesus lovingly invites us to call God our “Father” and encourages us to give Him honor and glory. He tells us that our prayers should then focus on God’s kingdom coming and His will being done in our lives/world today. Secondly, in the next two petitions we focus on God’s daily and faithful provision for our lives, and then, the need to have sins forgiven (by God and by us). Lastly, in the last two petitions we focus on our enemy. We seek to be led far away from His tempting forces and to be delivered from his grasp when contact with the enemy is made.

It is not just a prayer. I believe it is a formula for prayer. People say they don’t like the Lord’s Prayer because it becomes rote. I contend, if prayed as a form of prayer, it becomes the model of what content should be in every prayer. I sometimes pray the Lord’s Prayer by petition. I focus on one petition a day and let my mind and heart pray whatever comes to mind when meditating on that petition. I encourage you to spend more time on this prayer–if for no other reason than that Jesus Himself taught us to pray this way. Pray it as a prayer in and of itself. At other times stop at every petition and let your spirit go where it takes you as you pray. I know from experience that such a practice will be of great benefit.

Peace!

Pastor Tom

 

  1. October 4, 2011

    OK, God’s timing is always perfect! This blew me away because two days ago we began a series in 5/6 KQ called Prayer Walk Mall.

    We looked at Luke 11:1-4 and will be using the Lord’s Prayer as the model (teaching tool) to pray at a different place in the mall for the next 5 weeks:

    Praise Warehouse (we’ll learn to pray with Praise)
    Into the Gap Zone (we’ll pray for Priorities)
    Daily Food Court (Provisions)
    Forgiveness Unlimited (Pardon)
    Security Central (Protection)

    After that, on the 6th week, the kids will be going back to the challenge we also brought up yesterday … Jesus asked his disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane to pray for him but as we read in Matthew 26:40, “When he went back to the disciples, he found them asleep. He said to
    Peter, ‘Couldn’t you stay awake with me for one hour?’

    The kids were asked to consider this: perhaps Jesus is challenging his disciples, and us, to pray for at least one hour.

    Here’s something straight out of the KQ script (just reaffirming what you mentioned about the Lord’s Prayer becoming rote and how to overcome that!):

    The Lord’s Prayer is a very special prayer that you may already know … it might just hold the key to unlock the secret of how to pray for the entire hour that Jesus asks of us. Sometimes you might think that if you repeat this prayer enough, like every night before you go to sleep, for example, it becomes effective prayer. It truly can be helpful to say this prayer by itself. BUT if we take that prayer apart and look at it line by line, we find that each part of it holds the key to something very important the Lord wants us to pray about.

    Our scripture verse to memorize this week is Matthew 7:7:
    Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.

    Ask, seek, knock!

  2. October 4, 2011

    Many years ago, a close family friend and pastor preached a sermon on prayer and he suggested the following guideline:

    A-C-T-S

    Adoration
    Confession
    Thanksgiving
    Supplication

    I have always found this to me a good model too!

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