When we view prayer as explained by God through the language in the Bible, we must keep in mind that prayer has always been the principle means by which man, created in God’s image, has evidenced sentiment toward Him. From the earliest times, prayer has been an integral part of the worship of God. Believers of all ages have expressed their hearts through praise, thanksgiving, prayer, and intercession to and before God. That’s why it is so important for God’s people to learn to pray.
“Lord, teach us to pray.”
As it is recorded in Luke 11:1-4, that request from one of his disciples prompted the Lord to share His prayer with us. We can find the full version of this prayer in Matthew 6:9-15 when Jesus gave the Sermon on the Mount:
"This, then, is how you should pray:
" 'Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’
For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. (NIV)
Nearly every person of Christian faith can recite this prayer from memory. The way Jesus taught us to pray is the perfect model to follow for our prayer time.
We’ll go through the steps and then give a sample for each.
Step 1: Adoration
“hallowed be your name”
The first line of this prayer is profound. The word “hallowed” means made holy, consecrated, or greatly revered and honored. His name is holy. In fact, all of his names are holy. In Psalms 103, David taught us to “bless His holy name and he then gives us five benefits that are all tied to one of His specific covenant Names: forgiveness, healing, redeemer, favor, and blessings.
We can enter into prayer through worship by revering His name. By calling upon Him by name, we recognize and honor Him for who He is.
Step 2: Consecration
“Your Kingdom come, Your will be done,”
After entering into worship, we should consecrate our body, soul, and spirit to the Father. This is when we whole surrender ourselves to God’s will.
Step 3: Supplication
“Give us today our daily bread,”
Supplication is when we express our immediate needs to God. Though He already knows, this is the part where we acknowledge our need for Him and ask Him to provide the specific things to us in order for us to do our part in moving the Kingdom forward.
Step 4: Intercession
“Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors,”
Intercession is when we stand before God on behalf of someone else. We must go before God with clean hands and a pure heart, so asking for our own forgiveness is essential. Seeking and extending forgiveness is a powerful thing. Acknowledging our sins before the Father and seeking forgiveness on behalf of ourselves and others is a freedom that can’t be described. Besides, it’s nearly impossible to hold on to unforgiveness toward someone when you’re asking for mercy on their behalf.
Step 5: Protection
“Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil,”
The struggles and temptations we face on a daily basis are real. Satan even tried to tempt Jesus Himself (Mark 4:1-11). We aren’t exempt from these daily trials, but we can seek God’s protection through prayer and the full armor of God (Ephesians 6).
Abba Father, there is none like you. I surrender my desires to you and ask that you use me as a willing vessel for your glory. Today I seek revelation and wisdom for my prayer life. Please forgive me for the times when I’ve failed to intercede for others and I forgive others who overlooked interceding on my behalf. Give me clean hands, a pure heart, and renew a steadfast spirit in me. Please spare me from the temptations of the evil one and keep me out of his grasp. Amen.
The Heart of a Woman Who Prays: Drawing Near to the God Who Loves You by Elizabeth George answers the question every believer asks--whether new in Christ or a seasoned veteran--, How can I be more effective in my prayer life? When it comes to talking to God about people and life-issues, there's always room for growth.
Have you memorized the Lord’s Prayer? If not, do so over the next few days. Pray it until it becomes a part of you.
From the earliest times, prayer has been an integral part of the worship of God. The way Jesus taught us to pray is the perfect model to follow for our prayer time.