“But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words…
…This, then, is how you should 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 today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’”
Matthew 6:6, 9-13
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Prayer is an intimate and powerful way for us to connect with God. Unfortunately, as many of us grow in spiritual maturity, we tend to over-complicate what should be a simple act. Through this prayer, Jesus teaches his disciples (and us) how to pray. Digging deeper, there's so much power held in this model prayer that has inspired me in my daily prayer life.
Breaking it down, we see that every word in this prayer is intentional and carries purpose. If you use these same principles in your daily prayer life, I believe it will take your prayers to a new level!
So, here it is, a line by line study of the Lord’s Prayer in the Bible:
“Our Father in heaven…”
The beginning of the prayer positions us as children approaching a Father, a Father who is always waiting for us to have a conversation with Him
This also reminds us that God is above all things, sees all things and knows all things. He recognises our needs before we do
Further, it’s a reassurance of God’s sovereignty above every circumstance we may find ourselves in
“…hallowed by your name…”
The word “hallowed” means regarded as holy, sacred
To call upon the name of the Lord, which is what you do when you pray, is considered sacred. When something is regarded as sacred, this indicates its importance
Prayer isn’t something we should approach as a second thought (although, there’s nothing wrong with spontaneous prayers!). Rather, the greater level of importance we give to prayer, the more we become intentional with when, how, where and what we pray
“…your Kingdom come…”
I can’t speak for you, but I know that sometimes I tend to lose sight of the bigger picture. I get caught up in the issues of life – from the significant things to the menial annoyances I may encounter during any given day
What prayer does, is it gives us a different lens, allowing us to see things from a Kingdom perspective rather than a worldly perspective
As I pray, my words shift to reflect a desire to see the Kingdom of God reign in my world, to shift the atmosphere around me and create space for God to do His thing
“…your will be done…”
Our prayers are not our own, they are God’s
When we pray in tongues, we allow the Holy Spirit to intercede for us, overcoming the flesh to bring our prayer into alignment with the will of God (Romans 8:26)
Prayer isn’t mean to advance our own interests, its purpose is to advance the Kingdom of God!
“…on earth as it is in heaven.”
As children of God, we are citizens of heaven (Philippians 3:20). Our mandate is to bring heaven to earth, to shine light where there is darkness
When we access the supernatural resources of heaven through prayer, the natural will follow – “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven” (Matthew 16:19)
“Give us today our daily bread…”
Prayer is a daily habit
Prayer shouldn’t be limited to a Sunday service, small group meeting or prayer meeting. It shouldn’t just be for when we have a need that we want God to meet
Prayer should be part of our everyday pattern of living. Just like eating and sleeping are essential to enable us to function properly, prayer is essential for spiritually equipping us for what God has for us in the day ahead
“…forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors…”
I used to read this and interpret it as the repentance part of the prayer. The thing is, we're saved by grace. When we repent and accept Jesus as our Lord and Saviour (what we call, salvation) – that’s it. God doesn’t require our daily repentance for all the sins we can remember, Jesus has that covered
I believe the purpose of this statement is to help us recognise that to genuinely come before the Lord in prayer and to allow Him to work in us, our hearts can't be hardened.
The presence of forgiveness in our lives causes a hardened heart. A hardened heart is unresponsive and incapable of change
God intends to work in and through us as we pray and intercede for others. But He requires us to take responsibility for dealing with our own stuff first. How can we minister to others if we don’t allow God to minister to us?
“…and lead us not in to temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms…” (Ephesians 6:12)
Through prayer, we are empowered to overcome any spiritual attack from the enemy. We are equipped with a spiritual weapon to fight when we face opposition in our lives
I hope the unpacking of the Lord’s Prayer from the Bible has given you much supernatural insight into the most popular prayer and that you received personal revelation for your own prayer life!