“In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father 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 forgive our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen” (Matthew 6:9-13).
How often have we prayed the Lord’s Prayer without realizing the deep significance of what we are praying? Each phrase is extremely important!
The Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6:9-13 is the most well-known prayer in the Bible. We see in these verses the model prayer given to us by Jesus Himself. The greatest teacher on prayer shows us how to model prayer based on what God is like and on the nature of the Kingdom. First mentioned in the Gospels in the Sermon on the Mount, this prayer gives us guidelines and an order in how we should pray.
In order to grow strong in prayer, Jesus is telling us what we must know and keep central as we pray. It’s not a prayer that we must learn and pray by rote. Instead it’s a model guide and sums up what we need from God and what He wants from us. Jesus points out six requests we should pray. The first three requests are on God’s glory and the next three are on man’s need. This model prayer will help us become more skillful, competent, and comprehensive in prayer.
Jesus starts with a strong focus on who God is to us. He’s our Father in heaven. If we want to have a passionate prayer life, we need to have a right view of God. We need to see Him as our heavenly Father. We need to take the time to think about Who we are praying to.
“The attention at the beginning of these petitions is on the exaltation of God and His concerns. In the initial phrases of the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus fixes our gaze not on ourselves but on God.” R. C. Sproul
God is both powerful as the transcendent Creator and King, and He is also very personal as a loving and tender Father. A big problem is that we often have a low view of who He is or a low view of who we are. God longs for a relationship of deep partnership. We must run from the idea that God is impersonal or distant and harsh. This is simply not true. He is majestic but at the same time, deeply personal. He is “our” Father and sees us as a family. He wants us to pray for our whole family, not just for ourselves.
God wants us to see His sovereignty and majesty within the context of this amazing intimacy. We must see His heavenly glory, but we must also see Him as a loving Father. If you want to see more of this majestic and beautiful Father, study Revelation 4:2-8. These verses will give you twelve details of the Father’s beauty and throne.
Jesus wants us to pray for God’s glory in Matthew 6:9-10. Here He gives us three requests.
- Pray for God’s name to be hallowed – He wants us to hallow and acknowledge His majestic name as holy on earth as it is honored in heaven. God’s name is His person, authority, and character. He is to be revered and highly respected.
“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name” (Matthew 6:9).
-Pray for God to break in with power and cause people to acknowledge who He really is in all of His splendor.
-Pray that He receives the highest place in our hearts, lives, and worship.
-Pray that His glorious name will stir awe and holy fear in us.
-Pray that He would help us to honor His name and His greatness.
- Pray for His Kingdom to come – This request asks for an increase of His Kingdom where His Word is obeyed, His will is done, and His power is expressed. We see the power of His Kingdom when the sick are healed or the demons are cast out (Matthew 11:5; 12:28).
“Your kingdom come” (Matthew 6:10).
The kingdom of God is manifested here on earth partly in this age and fully when Jesus returns to earth (Matthew 3:1-2; 4:17, 23; 6:10, 33; 10:7; 12:28, etc.) This is a prayer for God’s saving power to be greatly increased openly on earth in every nation. He wants us to be Kingdom-minded in our lifestyle and attitudes toward each other, instead of being focused only on our territory or sphere of influence.
- Pray for God’s will to be done – This includes our personal obedience in relationship to His kingdom purposes. We must obey His commands and His Word. Pray that God’s will is fully realized on earth as it is already in heaven.
“You will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10).
Jesus wants us to pray for our personal needs in Matthew 6:11-13. He gives us three requests to pray regarding our personal needs physically, relationally, and spiritually. These prayers show us our dependence on God.
- Pray for our daily provision – This is for daily direction, provision, and protection; our daily natural needs. We pray for these things to enhance our relationship with God and to thank Him.
“Give us this day our daily needs” (Matthew 6:11).
- Pray for forgiveness – This relates to our relationship with God and people. If we have been freely forgiven, we gladly forgive others. We are freely justified by faith but we ask forgiveness to restore our fellowship with God (1 John 1:9).
“And forgive us our debts, as we forgive others” (Matthew 6:12).
- Pray for deliverance from evil – We pray that God leads us to escape from evil and delivers us from tempting situations. When Jesus urged the disciples to pray that they wouldn’t enter into temptation (Matthew 26:41, Luke 22:40), it refers to an intense temptation where demonic activity is heightened, lusts are aroused, and circumstances are optimum for sin. Pray before the storm of temptation hits. We must be conscious of the pitfalls of evil.
“And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one” (Matthew 6:13).
Several versions of the Lord’s Prayer end with, “For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen” (Matthew 6:13). Here the prayer comes full circle and closes with a reminder that all things originate in God. We end with worship and gratitude to the one who deserves all praise and glory.
During this year let’s ask God help us apply this model prayer in our personal prayer life in a deeper and fuller dimension than ever before. He invites us on a higher road into the deep riches of the mystery of our salvation and profound walk with God.
“For the Lord’s Prayer is not so much a command as an invitation: an invitation to share in the prayer-life of Jesus himself… It becomes one of the high roads into the central mystery of Christian salvation and Christian existence.” N.T. Wright
Intercessors Arise International
International House of Prayer (IHOP) KC Staff