The Lord’s Prayer – often quoted and memorized by many, yet how often do we truly take time to ponder the depth of meaning in the familiar words?
For the next few weeks, using the study “The Lord’s Prayer” by The Daily Grace Co., we will be looking closer at this prayer spoken by Jesus Himself.
Memory Verse: “But when you pray, go into your private room, shut your door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees you in secret will reward you.” (Matthew 6:6)
We began with reading the prayer in its entirety as found in Matthew 6:9-13. Prayer is simply defined as communing, or communicating, with God.
Jesus gives us this prayer as a model of how we should be praying:
“Instead [of just reciting], the primary intent seems to give us a model for how we are to structure and organize our prayers.” (The Lord’s Prayer, page 9)
Jesus wants to teach His disciples, and all of us, to expect from God, to talk to God, and to worship God in our prayers.
The study asks: As you read these verses, what line of the prayer stands out to you the most and why?
I read today’s Scriptures in The Message so as to read words not so familiar to me. It was these words that stood out to me:
“Our Father in heaven,
Reveal who you are.
Set the world right;
Do what’s best””
as above, so below.”
When it seems like so much is going awry in the world, and there are so many varied opinions on everything, these words gave me direction in praying for our country and our world.
Prayer: Father, set the world right. Reveal to the world who you are. Do what is best here below. Do what only You can do. In Your Name I pray, Amen.
Mid week, we read Matthew 6:5-6. Here Jesus is teaching us how not to pray. The study points this out about some who were praying:
“While they seemed to be praying with postures towards God, they were focused on themselves. They desired to be seen by man, rather than by God.” (The Lord’s Prayer, page 17)
I’ve always admired and been blessed by those who pray eloquently and move me. How easily pride can slip in. It has made me wonder if the ability to pray so beautifully made them feel worth.
The last sentence of the study is something I will be pondering for much of the day:
“May our prayers reflect an unbending devotion to the only One whose approval truly matters in light of eternity.” (The Lord’s Prayer, page 18)
The study asks: How does this Scripture challenge the intentions of our hearts in both public and private prayer?
May our prayers be genuine and heartfelt whether they are uttered in public or in private. May there be no difference based upon where or whom we are praying. We pray to and for the One.
We brought the first week to a close with reading reading Matthew 6:9:
“Pray, then, in this way: ”˜Our Father, who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name” (NASB).
First Jesus told the disciples how not to pray, and now we are told to “pray then in this way” (NASB).
Jesus models an order for us:
- First, we acknowledge who God is, giving Him glory.
- Then our needs are to follow.
We are to humble ourselves before Him, revering Him, giving Him the glory before letting our needs be known.
Our hearts will tend to want to make our needs known first, and then give Him thanks. The study brings this powerful reminder:
“Only when God has been given His proper place will all other things fall into their proper places.” (The Lord’s Prayer, page 26)
How do you typically structure your prayers? Are they focused on God or yourself?
If I am honest, it depends. It depends on the needs in my life, how pressing are they, and sometimes even on the amount of time I have to give to prayer.
My prayers need a bit of restructuring for sure and I am grateful Jesus shows us just what is needed.
is to be set apart in our hearts and prayers,
bringing a reverent order to our prayers.