What the Lord’s Prayer Teaches Us About Prayer — Matthew 6:9-13
1. It brings to us the way we ought to regard God when we pray. Hence, when we pray “Our Father” we understand that we ought to regard Him as our father. Likewise, when we pray “Hallowed be Thy name” we see Him as holy. When we pray “Your kingdom come” we see Him as a king, our king. When we pray “Thy will be done” we see Him as our master and teacher. Then as we pray for daily bread we see Him as our provider. When we pray for forgiveness we see Him as our savior. And when we pray for leading and guidance we see Him as our shepherd and protector, the one who goes before us.
2. It shows us the spirit of true prayer. At each junction in the prayer Jesus conveys to us what the spirit of true prayer is. First of all, the word “our” in “Our Father” gives us the spirit of fellowship, and unity, and intercession, because we see that we are not praying alone but we pray with all believers who are one in Christ and in the Spirit. The two words together, “Our Father,” brings to us the spirit of fatherhood and sonship; it takes us, in our spirit, into the family of God. “Hallowed be Your name” shows us the Holy Spirit, and also the spirit of reverence and holiness. “Your kingdom come” brings to our spirit the sense that we are to be ready for His kingdom and His rule; it also reveals to us a spirit of home and happiness, of love and peace and contentment, because where He dwells in His kingdom we will always be happy. The words “Thy will be done” conveys to us a spirit of submission and obedience. For these words, we remember, are the often-prayed words of Jesus to His Father. He is our best example of one who was obedient.
When we pray for daily bread, this brings us a spirit of dependent; and also a grateful and thankful spirit, because we know that He always gives us all we need. Prayer for forgiveness, likewise, brings with it the spirit peace, because we know that this prayer will bring us back into His fellowship. Last, our prayers for leading and guidance, gives us the spirit of humility. For we know that without Him we are weak and powerless, and we so easily fall into sin.
3. It shows us the rightful place of God. It shows us that He is our Father and king who rules in heaven and on earth. It also shows us that we are dependent on Him for everything.
4. It shows us the purpose of prayer: to hallow His name, to bring in His kingdom, and to do His will.