March Like Jesus
… In Our Praying – Part III
Scripture Reading: Matthew 6:5-18
Key Verse: Matthew 6:9
“This, then, is how you should pray…”
Our Key Verse today is only the first part of Matthew 6:9 because I want to focus on the phrase that Jesus starts the prayer that is commonly known as “The Lord’s Prayer”.
The Lord’s Prayer is still part of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus’s first and longest sermon. I refer to the Sermon on the Mount as Jesus’s “marching orders” for those that choose to follow Him. Whenever we consider prayer, remember these words of Jesus: “This, then, is how you should pray…”.
I have said many times that I do not believe Jesus meant that we should say this prayer verbatim and habitually with hardly a thought of what it means. I fear that this is what this prayer has become for too many people.
The Lord’s Prayer is a powerful model that we can use for our prayers. Here is the way it breaks down.
First, Jesus wants us to start our prayers realizing that we are talking to God who wants to be our loving Father. So, a good place to start our prayers is to praise God for being our Father and being so generous with us.
I often list my blessings that come to mind, remembering James 1:17:
Whatever is good and perfect comes down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow.
The second part of Jesus’s model prayer is about us remembering that we should revere our Father in Heaven: “Hallowed is your Name”. The New Living Translation says it this way: “May your name be kept Holy”.
Jesus understands us humans better than we understand ourselves. He knows how easy we allow things to fade from our memory. This is one reason Jesus wants us to make “Hallowed is your Name” part of our prayer. Never forget our God is Holy and all we say or do should be in reverence of Him.
The third part of Jesus’s model prayer deals with God’s coming Kingdom: “may your kingdom come”. Jesus said He was going away to prepare a place for us when we leave this earth (John 14:2).
I hope you know that when Jesus prepares a place, it is beyond wonderful. You do not want to miss spending eternity there!
The fourth part of the model prayer deals with God’s plan for this earth. We are to ask that God’s Will “be done on earth as it is in Heaven”. The Apostle Paul reminds us that God’s Will is good, pleasing, and perfect (Romans 12:2). Of course, we should ask for it!
The fifth part of Jesus’s model prayer is invites us to ask for our needs and desires and to seek His forgiveness and relief in dealing with temptation.
You can do no better than following the model of prayer that Jesus Himself lays out!
Father, thank You for inviting me to pray. Help me to remember to follow Jesus’s model during my quiet times with You. It is in Jesus’s Name I ask this, amen.