Jesus teaches His disciples about how to pray to the Father in Heaven so that their prayers will be answered. He instructs them not to follow hypocritical prayers of people who want to publicize their faith in God. Also, He instructs them not to pray formally with well-formed words. But prayer should come from the bottom of the heart. This prayer which was taught by Jesus was not to be memorized and retold. But it is a model prayer, the structure of which we need to follow in our prayers.
1. Matthew 6:9 – Know to whom you are praying
In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven:
Before we start to pray, we should have the assurance about the one who hears our prayer. We are not praying to an idol which cannot be able to hear and give an answer to our prayers. We are not calling unto someone who cannot deliver us from our captivity (Isaiah 46:7). But we are calling unto the God who created the heavens and the earth. He is the Most High and He lives in Heaven.
He is greater than anyone or any other power in this world. Nothing is impossible with Him (Psalm 115:3). So we can start our prayer with a strong hope in our heart that our prayer will be answered. As our God is Almighty God who lives in Heaven, we need to come before His presence with fear of reverence and respect (Psalm 2:11).
He is not a dictator so that we need to talk like slaves. But we should realize that we are talking to our Father and we are His children. We can enter into His presence boldly and call Him Abba, Father! and bring our supplications before Him (Galatians 4:6). We receive this privilege when we believe in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ (John 1:12).
Hallowed be Your name:
The name of the Lord is our strength and our weapon against all powers on the earth. The name of our God Jehovah is above all names, authorities, powers, and dominions. He alone is worthy of receiving all glory and honor. We were created to praise and glorify His Holy name (Isaiah 43:21).
I am the Lord, that is My name; And My glory I will not give to another, Nor My praise to carved images. -Isaiah 42:8
God wants His people to glorify His name. He will come to us when we praise and give honor to His mighty name wholeheartedly and He will answer our prayers (Exodus 20:24).
2. Matthew 6:10 – Submit yourself to the authority of God
Your kingdom come:
Our God is the ruler of the entire universe. There is no authority that overpowers the authority of our Sovereign God. He is the controller of each and every movement of all created things. All creatures obey His commands. He rules with righteousness and His throne stands forever and ever. He does everything according to His will.
We are delivered from the power of darkness of sin and got the privilege to be a part of the kingdom of God (Colossians1:13). In the kingdom of God, there is righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17). We need to pray for the kingdom of God to come and rule all the people on the earth. Our hearts should cry for the souls that perish without knowing about the kingdom of God. We ought to pray for the salvation of every people and tribe on this earth.
Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven:
In heaven, the will of God is fulfilled by the angels (Psalm 103:20). We have to surrender ourselves, our family in the hands of God, and ask Him to take over the control. We need to submit ourselves to fulfill the will of God in each part of our lives (Psalm 143:10).
God’s plan for our lives is always greater than our own plans for our lives (Isaiah 55:8,9). So submitting ourselves to the will of God will bring greater blessings for our lives. Each day we need to surrender ourselves as a burnt offering before the presence of God. It protects us from fulfilling the will of the flesh and make us fulfill the will of God (Romans 12:1).
3. Matthew 6:11 – Bring your supplications and petitions before God
Give us this day our daily bread:
After submitting ourselves to fulfill the will of God, we have to bring all our supplications and requests before God with thanksgiving (Philippians 4:6). It will give heavenly peace in our hearts and gives us an assurance that God will supply all our needs according to His riches in glory.
We should have contentment in what we have and thank God for all the blessings. We should not be covetous for the riches of the world and ask God for riches. Because it may make us deny the name of the Lord (Proverbs 30:8,9). But our prayers should be asking God to fulfill our daily needs without any lack as the word of God says, there will be no lack for those who seek the Lord (Psalm 34:10; Psalm 23:1).
4. Matthew 6:12 Ask God for forgiveness
And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors:
We are all sinners and we need forgiveness so that our prayers reach God and bring answers. Because our sins separate us from the presence of God (Isaiah 59:1,2). If our hearts are filled with hatred and grudges against those who did evil to us, God cannot live within us and it separates us from the presence of God.
If we want to get forgiveness from our sins and to enter into His presence boldly for our needs, we have to forgive those who did evil to us wholeheartedly (Colossians 3:13; Matthew 18:32-35).
First, we have to reconcile with the people with whom we don’t have a peaceful relationship (Matthew 5:23,24). Then if we ask God for forgiveness, He will surely forgive us and answer our prayers.
We should not think that we are holy and without sin. But we should realize our mistakes and confess them before God (1 John 1:8,9; Proverbs 28:13). When we bring ourselves before God as we are, He is faithful to cleanse our hearts as pure as snow (Psalm 51:7; Isaiah 1:18).
5. Matthew 6:13a Pray for physical and spiritual protection
And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one:
There will be physical and spiritual temptations in our lives that aim to separate us from the love of God and the salvation we received from the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross (Ephesians 5:27). We cannot be able to escape from the hidden plans of Satan to destroy our holy life with our own strength. He will give chances to disobey God and deny God through our activities.
We need a spirit-filled prayer life to overcome the tricks and plans of Satan against our relationship with God as Jesus conquered the temptation that was brought to Him by Satan (Luke 4:1-13). Only with the help of God, we can be able to conquer over his evil plans. Thus we need to pray to God to give us the strength to overcome temptations to sin against God (Matthew 26:41).
We need to ask God to sanctify us and protect us from the temptations that lead us away from God. We should surrender our body and our soul before God, so that the Spirit of God will warn us when we are tempted to sin against Him. We should seek holiness to stand boldly before God on the day of judgement.
6. Matthew 6:13b Thank and Glorify God
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
Jesus is worthy of all praises and honor because He humbled Himself to death for the salvation of the mankind (Philippians 2:11; Revelations 5:12). Cherubim and Seraphim glorify the Holy name of God all the time. He lives in midst of our praises.
When we give praise and honor to Him, He will be pleased with us and answer our prayers. We need to confess the power and authority of our God over all powers and authorities of the world (Ephesians1:20). When we finish our prayer, we need to give thanks to God for answering our prayer in faith.