How to Pray #1 – The Basics (The Lord‘s Prayer):
“But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.” (Matthew 6:6).
I love to pray. But, what is prayer? Prayer is talking to God and developing a personal relationship with Him. In teaching on prayer, the most logical place to start is the Lord’s Prayer. Martin Luther said, “For to this day I drink of the Lord’s Prayer like a child – drink and eat like an old man; I can never get enough of it. To me it is the best of all prayers, even above the Psalms, though I love them very much.” Whether you are new to prayer, or have spent many years walking and taking with Jesus, this is always a good foundation to build upon. Here it is…
“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)
Jesus gave us this prayer as a GUIDELINE for how to pray, and what things to pray about.
1. PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH THE FATHER
“Our Father in Heaven.” The first thing Jesus teaches us about prayer is that prayer is talking to God, who is our Heavenly Father. Jesus died on the cross so we could become children of God. The confidence we have in prayer is that God, as our Father, is a good God who loves to bless His children with good things. Jesus said, “How much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him.” (Matthew 7:11b)
2. PRAISE AND WORSHIP
“Hallowed be Your name.” When we pray, not only do we recognize that God is our Father; we also recognize that He is our GOD. We are praying that God’s name may be honored by us and all people. As our God, He is worthy of our worship and praise. So we declare, “Your Name is holy.” Worship is an important part of prayer.
3. PRIORITIES (GOD’S)
“Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.” Here we are praying first of all, that the gospel may be preached in the entire world, and believed and obeyed by us and all men. And secondly, we are praying that the kingdom of Heaven would invade this earthly realm. We are saying, “God, I want YOUR priorities in my life, in my family, in my nation, and in the world.”
4. PROVISION OF OUR NEEDS
“Give us this day our daily bread.” Jesus our provider, told us to pray daily that God would give us all things needful for our bodies and souls. Jesus said, “Therefore do not worry, saying, what shall we eat? Or what shall we drink? Or what shall we wear? For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” (Matthew 6:31-33).
5. PARDON FROM SIN
“And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” One of the most awesome and powerful things God has made available to us in prayer is forgiveness. In this petition, we are asking that God would pardon our sins for Christ’s sake, and enable us to forgive those who have hurt us. The Bible says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9).
“And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” Jesus also gave us a promise of divine protection and deliverance from sin and evil.
7. PRAISE AND WORSHIP
“For Yours in the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.” We begin our prayer with worship, and we close by returning to worship. We proclaim to the Lord that “You are the powerful, glorious king. Thank you, heavenly Father, for hearing my prayers.” A final thought should be made about prayer. The best way to learn to pray is simply by praying. So what are you waiting for? Pray!
Pastor Chris Jordan