Pray Then In This Way: Matthew 6:9-13
““9) Pray, then, in this way: ‘Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. 10) Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. 11) Give us this day our daily bread. 12) And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13) And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. [For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.’]” Matthew‬ ‭6:9-13‬
We now encounter an interesting paradox. Jesus just warned His disciples not to reduce prayer to meaningless repetitions, then two verses later He teaches them a repetitious prayer. Is this a contradiction or was Jesus doing something much deeper?
I believe He was not so much teaching them a prayer as He was giving them an outline to guide their praying. A close look at the Lords Prayer becomes a beautiful prescript for praying. I sometimes use it as a model to guide both personal and corporate praying.
It can be divided into the following categories:
Praise and Adoration of the Father Alignment with God’s Will Trusting God as Provider Confession and Repentance Need for Discretion and Protection Declaration of Submission and Dependency
Jesus was teaching His disciples that effective praying includes a broad range of subjects. Sincerely praying through these six categories aligns the petitioner with God.
As the praying continues, the presence of the Holy Spirit often accompanies and anoints the prayer time. These six basic categories can branch out in many directions as the Spirit leads and gives unction.
For example, praising and worshipping the Father can be accompanied with praise music and worship songs. Praying for God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven is an open door into petition for manifold urgent and current events. Asking for provision of daily bread can include a wide range of needs. Confession and repentance can lead to a precious time of inviting the Holy Spirit to search and reveal personal sin. It can open the door to contrition, reconciliation and revival. Asking for God’s protection from temptation can spill into a time of praying for spouse, family, friends, church and community to live and walk in the full will of God.
Closing a prayer time with an acknowledgment of Gods kingdom, power and glory is inviting Him to show up in your life with signs and wonders. It is equivalent to the way the disciples closed their prayer in Acts 4:29-31. Don’t be surprised if the ground is shaken as you are filled afresh with the Holy Spirit and given boldness.
As you can see, these five verses and six categories are very broad. They can guide prayer for minutes, hours or even several days during a personal time set aside for fasting and seeking God. Learn to focus and press in on God in each category.
I believe Jesus was both teaching His disciples a prayer as well as how to prayer. “Pray then in this way…”
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global