By Gene Price
Pastor, Tumbling Creek Baptist Church, Gleason
Jesus reminds us of the importance of prayer. He warned not to pray as the hypocrites do, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. Now Jesus shows us the proper way to pray and this prayer is often called, “The Model Prayer” or “The Lord’s Prayer.” The first part of prayer deals with God and the second part deals with mankind. The ingredients of the type of prayer that God answers are found in this prayer. This prayer reminds us what our real needs are in this life. When real needs are determined, then we do not waste God’s time and ours in praying meaningless prayers.
The focus of this prayer is on the Father. Our focus should never be on ourselves, but always on Him. “Our Father” means we acknowledge that we are His children. It is acknowledging that God gives His children what they need rather than what they want. When we pray, our focus is off the earth and looking to our source of help.
Next, The Lord’s Prayer calls for some areas of commitment from His children. God’s name is hallowed, which means holy, sanctified, and set apart. When we come into His presence through prayer, we acknowledge that He is holy and we are committed to personal holiness as well (Matthew 5:48). “Thy kingdom come” means we are committed to participating in His work. We are to pray for the salvation of sinners and the putting down of Satan and all evil. “Your will be done” means we are committed to obedience to the will of the Father. Whatever our God wills, we pray that will be our will as well.
Following a call to commitment, the prayer calls for petition and deals with trusting God. We are to trust God for physical provision as we pray for daily bread. Daily means every day that comes, or on a fresh and new basis every day. Bread represents food in general or anything necessary to support life. God supplies our physical needs but now we are also to look to Him for spiritual needs. Forgiveness is one of the spiritual needs we desperately seek. Spiritually, a person hungers for forgiveness the way he physically hungers for food. Therefore, we are to trust God for cleansing from sin. Daily we should ask God to forgive us and search our own hearts for unforgiveness. Since we have confessed our sin and have received forgiveness, now we want to do God’s will. We are to trust God for power over temptation. There is a recognition that we are spiritually weak and need to ask God to help us in our daily confrontation with temptation. The evil one is constantly seeking whom he may devour and we pray for deliverance.
The statements about God and the petitions are climaxed by the doxology. “Yours is the kingdom” focuses on His rule. We humbly claim His name and submit to His reign and will in our lives. “The power” focuses on His sufficiency. God is the power meaning we praise Him for His omnipotence to feed us, forgive us, protect us, and preserve us. “The glory” focuses on His presence. God is the glory meaning He alone possesses the attributes of perfection, eternity, and holiness.
Every element of need in our lives is covered in these words from our Lord. The Master Teacher took time to teach us how to pray. Jesus’ prayer was intended to show us how to establish the prayer life that the Father intended for us to have with Him as His children.