Key Scripture: Matthew 6:9–13 Pray then 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.”
For the rest of this month’s prayer guide we will look at prayer in the Bible—namely, Jesus’ instruction on prayer and Paul’s prayers. If you would like to learn more about prayer, please see the March 2020 prayer guide. There you will find highly practical teaching on what prayer is and how to incorporate prayer into your daily life. As we have stated in our church transition, spiritual disciplines (such as prayer) are not a means to themselves. They are a means or a tool by which we look more like Jesus everyday as we engage in these habits. We don’t drift towards holiness; so if we want to be like Jesus, we have to make up our minds to be intentional about doing certain things and developing certain habits that will help us be more like Christ. Moreover, as Dr. Ewart taught us, we must be:
Defined by the Word, Devoted to Prayer, and Dependent on the Holy Spirit.
The Lord’s Prayer is embedded in the center of Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5–7. As we recall from last month’s prayer guide “the character and conduct described here (in the Sermon on the Mount) are a description of those already in the kingdom.” Jesus has come to teach His followers. Consequently, the instructions for prayer are for those who recognize Him as Lord and Savior. In v. 5 Jesus says, “And when you pray ...” indicating that His followers will pray. A prayerless disciple was inconceivable (Quarles).
The Lord’s Prayer gives six petitions in two parts:
- Verses 9–10 focus on God: God’s name, kingdom and will.
- Verses 11–13 focus on man’s needs: man’s daily bread, sin debts and deliverance from evil.
It is the prayer of the prayer guide team that as we walk through the Lord’s Prayer (and Paul’s prayers) your prayer life will be broadened and strengthened. As we move through Jesus’ teaching, try incorporating what you learn into your own prayer time.
Questions to Consider: Do you have a regular time of prayer built into your week? What do you pray about?
- Father, thank You for teaching us how to pray. Help me learn and grow in my prayer time.