The Lord’s Prayer is a beautiful tool that teaches us how to pray. However, it is not a magic chant that Christians should mindlessly repeat. Jesus made an important distinction before saying this prayer. He said, “pray in this manner,” not literally pray these words. The Lord’s Prayer is a model or template for us to follow.
Before teaching His disciples how to pray, he first taught them how not to pray. He told them not to be like hypocrites do when they pray in public but rather pray in secret. He also told them not to use vain repetitions because they are not heard by the number of words or their eloquence. God knows what we need before we ask Him.
Matthew 6:7 “And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.”
Jesus taught that how we pray or our method reveals our hearts, attitudes, and knowledge of God. It shows that we believe He is sovereign and in control of everything. To pray acknowledges that we know that we need God because we can’t do it on our own, but God is able. Prayer helps us to relinquish our control and place our needs in the hands of the Father.
The Bible tells us that only prayers uttered in faith are heard by God. The scriptures also tell us that our prayers are heard and answered according to God’s will. Sometimes it may seem that our prayers weren’t answered correctly or quickly enough. I have found that if I wait long enough, I realize that God’s answer was perfect and right on time. The Lord’s prayer teaches us to pray with an attitude of faith, assuring that our prayers will be heard and answered according to God’s will.
Hebrews 11:6 “And without faith, it is impossible to please God, Because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”
Today’s prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for sending your Son to teach us how to pray. Lord, I believe that you are sovereign over everything that concerns me. Help us to have humble attitudes and hearts that are focused on you.