My previous post Divine Power touched on prayer as the means to tap into Heaven’s power and authority. In this writing, we will take a look at a well-known prayer from scripture, commonly referred to as the Lord’s prayer.
The Lord’s prayer is found in two gospels. The one often recited and slightly longer is found in Matthew 6:9-13, the other is in Luke 11:2-4. With the hopes of stirring fresh insight, I am going to focus on the condensed text from Luke and I intentionally chose a lesser-used version for the quotation below.
“Jesus said, ‘This is how you should pray:
‘Father, may your name be kept holy.
May your Kingdom come soon.
Give us each day the food we need,
and forgive us our sins,
as we forgive those who sin against us.
And don’t let us yield to temptation’” (Luke 11:2-4, NLT).
Verse one from Luke chapter 11 reveals that one of the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray. The disciples were young Jewish men from various vocations. They were not ignorant, illiterate men. They would have heard prayers in the synagogue and it is probable they received training in the Jewish scriptures. There were Greeks all around the region these men were from. Therefore, many or all may have been bilingual.
My point is prayer would not have been an unknown practice to the disciple who posed the question. So, why did he ask it? I presume the disciple heard and saw something different when observing Jesus pray. “Once Jesus was in a certain place praying. As he finished, one of the disciples came to him and said, ‘Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples’” (Luke 11:1, NLT).
The disciple may have been accustomed to more liturgical prayer or recitations from the Torah, the books of law. It’s obvious he heard and witnessed something different when Jesus prayed that caused him to question his own understanding of prayer.
The Master’s Response
Jesus answered by giving the disciples a model or outline for prayer–a prayer that teaches how to pray. What are the elements of Jesus’ prayer? Let’s dissect it and look closer after reading it again.
“And He said to them, ‘When you pray, say:
‘Father, hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
Give us each day our daily bread.
And forgive us our sins,
For we ourselves also forgive everyone who is indebted to us.
And do not lead us into temptation’” (Luke 11:2-4, NASB).
The model prayer:
• Begins with an intimate, personal, familial relationship… our Father.
• Acknowledges God’s presence… hallowed be Your name.
• Petition for God’s rule… Your kingdom come.
• Petition for physical needs… Give us each day our daily bread.
• Petition for forgiveness… forgive us our sins.
• Petition for strength to overcome temptation.
The disciple’s sincere question brought an immediate response from Jesus. Dear reader, if you struggle with prayer, follow the disciple’s example and ask to be taught. The resurrection of Jesus released the Holy Spirit who is our Helper in prayer (Romans 8:26-27). Each person can effectively pray through the power of the Holy Spirit and in the authority given by Jesus.
Father God, thank You for your kind and gentle response to the disciple’s question. Thank You for preserving history so that we too can learn to pray. Thank You for giving us the Holy Spirit–our Helper. You are wonderful and deserving of praise.
Father, hasten the day of Your kingdom. Put in Your people willing and yielding spirits to live as the disciples did, serving You at all cost.
Meet our needs this day, that we may credit You and bring honor to Your name. Show us our failures that we may confess, repent, and be cleansed by Your forgiveness. Put in us the desire to forgive others as you have forgiven us. Fill us with the same tenacity to resist evil just like Jesus did when facing Satan’s temptations. Your name be glorified forever and ever. Amen.
I am a follower of Jesus Christ, grandmother, great-grandmother, foster care parent, and trauma survivor. I enjoy sipping tea, writing devotionals, prayers, short stories, and unburdening my heart to the Lord. Check the About page if you want to read more of my story.
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Image Religion from “The Life of Our Blessed Lord & Saviour Jesus Christ” / William Faithhorne, 1693. Public domain. Picryl.com