How The Lord's Prayer Can Teach Us to Pray (Part 1)

Friday, August 31, 2018

Do you find it difficult to pray? Do you know how to pray? Jesus taught us how to pray in His word. Learn what the Lord's Prayer can teach us about how to pray today.

Prayer. Some dread it, some do it only when they are at their wits-end, and others pray constantly. Some people pray only when they are alone, others love to go to group prayer meetings for hours on end. And while there isn't a set way that we have to pray, God has revealed a few things about prayer to us through his word.

In Matthew 6:5, Jesus says this:
"And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full."

The reason for this, was that the Pharisees (the religious rule-makers of Jesus's day) were often praying just for show. They were loud. They were arrogant. And truth be told, they really weren't saying much when they prayed. Instead, they just used big words and tried to sound religious and intelligent. But their hearts weren't searching for God- they were searching for attention. We are not meant to pray that way.

But Jesus made sure to give us an example of how to pray before He left this earth. He showed us a practical way to talk to God, without becoming like the Pharisees. Keep reading to learn what Jesus taught us about prayer, and how we can apply that to our lives today.

* Note: This is a 3 part series on the Lord's prayer. You can find part 2 here, and part 3 here.

praying the Lord's prayer to draw closer to God

The Lord's Prayer

Do you know the Lord's Prayer by heart? Is it something you memorized as a kid but stumble through now? Is it something you've never heard of before? Or is it that you know it, yet haven't ever thought through what it means because it's become so routine?

The Lord's Prayer is found in Matthew 6:9-13. It goes like this:

“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 also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil..." (ESV)

 Our Father in Heaven

It may sound like a no-brainer, but when we pray, we are talking to God- the Holy creator of the universe. Believe it or not, this is so important to establish. There are plenty of people out there who believe that all paths lead to God. They think that Buddha, Muhammad, God, and Oprah can equally lead you to heaven. But in the Lord's prayer, Jesus isn't praying to Oprah (what a relief! 😂)- He's praying to God, His Father!

But then, there's even more to it than that! You see, since this is Jesus teaching us to pray, He is showing that the Christian has been given the right to call God "Father" through His saving grace.

In Deuteronomy 32:6, we read:
"Do you thus repay the LORD, O foolish and unwise people? Is not He your Father who has bought you? He has made you and established you."
God is our Father. He has given us more than we deserve and he establishes us as his children even though we stumble and fall. This is the God to whom we pray. How awesome is that!?

Hallowed Be Your Name

To say something is "hallowed" is to say something is "holy" or "to be revered". God's name is holy. God is holy. God doesn't want us to make light of who He is or what He is about. So when we use His name in vain, when we aren't reverent when we speak of Him, or when we treat Him like He is just a good buddy, we aren't really in line with the truth. We are meant to cherish, treasure, and honor the name of God, not water it down to nothingness.

Don't get me wrong...God is our friend, our good Father, our most cherished Ally- but God is also pure, just, perfect, and holy. He is far above us and infinitely better than us. He deserves worship, praise, and respect.

What does The Lord's Prayer teach us about praying? #faith #christianity #prayer

Your Kingdom Come

When we pray "Your kingdom come" we are beckoning God to bring about the time when His purposes will be fulfilled, when His way is all there is, and when we are living with him in Heaven. Praying "Your kingdom come" means that we are asking God to send Jesus back to create a perfect world that will last forever, and to officially rule over all things. We know from scripture that these things will eventually happen, but Jesus is teaching us to pray for them to happen. He wants us to long for that time.

In Titus 2:13, Paul says that we should be waiting "for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ". And when we long and wait for the hope we have in Christ, we are holding our breath until we get to see Jesus face-to-face, and live in perfection with God forever!

But somehow, we lose sight of this. I know I do! When I was younger, I always said, "I hope Jesus doesn't come back until after I find and marry my husband". Now, I think things like, "I hope God lets me grow old with Taylor before He comes back". And while growing old with my spouse would be a beautiful thing, I have to realize that it is absolutely nothing, compared to what heaven and being with God will be. And when I take a look at what I am longing for, I quickly see that my hope is in the wrong place. Because hoping in God and wanting His kingdom to come, means that we value Him, His presence, and His purposes above all else.

More To Learn

Friends, there is so much more to cover in The Lord's Prayer, so I have decided to break this up into a series of posts for you. Today we covered "Our Father in Heaven", "hallowed (holy) is Your name", and "Your kingdom come...". I hope you will stick around and learn with me, as I believe that learning about the Lord's Prayer is crucial to understanding the things that God desires us to pray for.

Do you pray The Lord's Prayer occasionally? Tell me in the comments.

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Praying the Lord's prayer

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