Prayer is good; it is simply communication with God. But the question is what should you talk to God about? In this passage, Jesus shows us the ingredient to an effective prayer life. Jesus was a man of prayer. He prayed early in the morning (Mark 1:35) and He prayed often. One of His disciples was watching Him pray and he decided to ask Him to teach them to pray.
Most of the times, Jesus had gone away from his disciples to pray alone. Luke 5:16, 6:12 and Luke 9:18 tells us this categorically. So, if the disciples don’t know how to pray until they were taught, that may also be true of many believers today as well. One thing we must understand in case we don’t know is that the Lord’s Prayer is a model for prayers, and not the actual prayer itself. Don’t be tempted to be reciting it assuming you are or have prayed.
What Jesus simply did was to show the disciples the importance of prayer, what their prayer should contain, and the substance of it. Effective prayer sometimes does not depend on the number of hours you spend in the place of prayer, but getting the principle of prayer right is the key; even if you pray for just ten minutes. So, let’s quickly examine what Jesus said to his disciples when praying.
God is God, and also; He is a Father. The challenge today is that many people see God as God, and haven’t experienced the Father side of Him. The first thing we must realize is that as much as He is God (Deity), He is also our Father, who is interested in our spiritual, emotional and physical needs (3rd John 2). Also, each time we appear before Him, we must have the full assurance that He is more than willing and able to meet all these needs (Hebrews 11:6).
HALLOWING HIS NAME
To hallow means to give God the ultimate respect, praise and Glory that is due His name. God is a jealous God, and He won’t share His glory with any man (Isaiah 42:8). This aspect of Him must reflect in our prayer time each time we come to Him.
THE FATHER’S PURPOSE
God’s purpose must also reflect in your prayer. What are you doing so that the kingdom of God will become fully established on the face of the earth? It is God’s desire that all man be saved, and that is why he committed into your hands the ministry of reconciliation (2nd Corinthians 5:18). Your prayer must reflect and center around His will as well. Don’t just pray about what God can do for you alone, also pray and think about what you can do for God as well.
GIVE US OUR DAILY BREAD
This tells us that we must constantly depend on God for our daily supply, even when it appears that we have enough to meet our needs for the rest of our lives. What this is simply telling us is that we must be absolutely dependent on God everyday of our lives. May we never get to that point where we would feel we do not need God (Exodus 16:4, Moses, the children of Israel and Manna).
This is another important thing that must reflect in your prayer. God has the capacity to forgive sin (2nd Chronicles 7:14), and He has given us that capacity to forgive others as well. Un-forgiveness is a massive hindrance to answer prayers (Matthew 6:14-15, Luke 6:37). So, your prayer must reflect forgiveness. You must consciously forgive those who you are hurting against if you want God to answer your prayers. It may not be that easy for you to do, especially when you consider the kind of offence; but God says to forgive.
LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION
God does not tempt us! James 1:13-14 makes us understand this. What then was Jesus talking about here? Why would Jesus tell us to pray that God would not do what He cannot do? What this simply means is that God should give us the wherewithal to triumph over temptation whenever they present themselves. Temptation will surely come, but overcoming them (like Jesus did) is the essence of this prayer. Jesus said, in this world, you will face tribulations, but be of good cheers, for I have overcome them (John 16:33).
I hope you have been blessed by this short piece. Now go, and begin to enjoy an effective and result-oriented prayer like Jesus did. God bless you.