The Lord’s Prayer. Chances are you know it. Many of us were trained to say it at a young age like our little friend Victoria. Yet somewhere along the line, it’s easy to lose sight of it’s depth and end up vainly repeating some words we memorized long ago. Or maybe that’s just me.
In Luke 11, when Jesus’ disciples ask him how to pray, there is a reason he used the Lord’s Prayer as a guide. He’s Jesus, He knows what He’s doing. Jesus wasn’t an overly wordy guy (as I tend to be) but when you see those red letters in your Bible, pay attention.
What we can easily overlook as we rattle off this 11-line prayer is the outline contained within the prayer that can guide and shape our prayer life. The commentary in my Bible says that the Lord’s prayer, “Is not a formula for repetition as it is an outline for expansion.”
(Have I mentioned how much I LOVE the notes in my Bible? They are smart, insightful, and incredibly rich.)
So, over the next few days, with a little help from my Bible, we’re going to break this down a little.
“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.”
1. The Paternal Need: “Our Father”
When we pray, we recognize we are a child praying to our Father. One who longs to listen and care for His child. One who loves to satisfy and meet the needs of His beloved.
“If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!”
2. God’s Presence: “Hallowed be Your Name”
Come into prayer with an esteem and high regard for who God is. Recognize His supreme holiness and enter into His presence with praise. Praise brings presence.
“Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.”
3. God’s Priorities: “Your Kingdom Come”
Declare that God’s kingdom priorities be established in your life—for you, your family/friends, your church, and your country. Ask for God’s kingdom and His will to move in lives and situations right here, right now.
“Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”
Our Father, thank you that you know our needs before we ask them. Thank for your the way you love and provide for us, your children. Your name is Holy and you, Lord, are enthroned in praises. We ask that you move in our lives right now. We ask that Your kingdom and Your perfect will be established here in our midst and that You will move in our lives and our situations in a way that only You can. You, God, are our Father, and you are the One that our hearts long for. Thank you for the precious, powerful gift of prayer. In Your mighty and holy name, Amen.