“Lord, teach us to pray.” – Luke 11:1
In part 1 of our study about prayer, Jesus tells us and gives us examples of ways that we should not pray. In this study, Jesus teaches how to pray and gives us an example or a prayer model that we should follow. This prayer is a pattern that His disciples should follow and should not be taken lightly. Wiersbe explains that, “Jesus did not give this prayer to us to be memorized and recited a given number of times, but to keep us from using vain repetitions.” As Disciples of Christ, we should not use this prayer as a substitute but as a pattern for our lives. There are 6 petitions in this “Model Prayer.” The first 3 have to do with God’s glory, and the last 3 have to do with our needs. This study will focus on the first 3 petitions.
1. Matthew 6:9, “In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.”
- First of all, we should note that Jesus says “Our Father.” We should always remember that He is the Father and we are a part of a worldwide family of believers. (Wiersbe)
- When we bring our attention to the Father at the beginning of our prayer, we take the focus from ourselves and place it onto Him. Our prayer will become centered on Him and His holiness.
- “Hallowed” means honor, revere, sanctify, or holy. Jesus is saying that we should always keep God’s name holy, and we should not use it in a derogatory or offensive way. Exodus 20:7 says, “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.” Our Father has done so much for us, and we should always respect His name and use it to bring honor and glory to Him. We can hallow God’s name not only through our mouths but through the lives we live. When we live out of love for Him, we can glorify His name. How are you revering God’s name?
- “To know that God is, to know what kind of a God he is, to be constantly aware of God, and to be constantly obedient to him – that is reverence and that is what we pray for when we pray: ‘Hallowed be thy name.’” – Wm. Barclay
2. Matthew 6:10a, “Your kingdom come.”
Kent Hughes explains this beautifully. He says that when we pray “your kingdom come,” we pray 3 things:
- First, we pray for the final and ultimate establishment of God’s kingdom. We pray for the day when all creation will freely call Him “Dearest Father” – “Abba.” There is an almost martial, triumphant ring to “your kingdom come.” Come, O Lord!
- Second, we pray “your kingdom come” so we will be conformed to His will in this world. As we pray this, we hand ourselves over to the grace of God so He may do with us as He pleases. Your kingdom come in my life. Use me for Your kingdom.
- Third, “your kingdom come” is a prayer that God’s rule will come to others through us. It is a prayer for Christ to work His revolutionary power in a fallen world. Your kingdom come in my family, my job, my city, my nation.
- When we pray this, we depend on a big God. Are our lives big enough to pray “Your kingdom come?”
- “He who testifies to these things says, ‘Surely I am coming quickly.’ Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!” (Rev. 22:20) Maranatha! Are your eyes turned toward the coming of His Kingdom?
3. Matthew 6:10b, “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
- Jesus explains that we should fully and completely direct our obedience to Him just as the angels do. John Piper explains that in Heaven, there is nothing but obedience to the will of God and that we should pray that earth will be filled with those who do the will of God the same way the angels do in Heaven. “Praise the LORD, you angels, you mighty ones who carry out his plans, listening for each of his commands. Yes, praise the LORD, you armies of angels who serve him and do his will!” (Psalm 103:20-21) How much more could we accomplish for the Kingdom if all believers prayed and obeyed in this way!
- Even Jesus carried out the will of the Father when he went to Calvary for us. “Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” (Luke 22:42) Through His mortal flesh, He dreaded what was going to happen to Him, yet He wanted to carry out the will of the Father. Sometimes, it may seem that what God wants us to do is hard. But God has a purpose for what He asks of us. The path may seem rough and rocky, but God wants to accomplish His will and purposes through you. We don’t have to do it alone. He will be standing there to guide us and lead us through. Will you lay aside your plans and purposes and allow God to lead you to greater things through His will?
As you study these verses, take a deep look at how you revere God when you pray. Don’t just ask Him for things, but praise Him just for who He is! He is worthy of our deepest praise, worship, and love.
Lord, may our lives and prayers reflect you in a way that we are always seeking your will, awaiting your Kingdom, and praising and revering your holy and wonderful name!