Now it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.” So He said to them, “When you pray, say:
Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us day by day our daily bread.
And forgive us our sins,
For we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us.
And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.”
The disciples of Jesus came to Him while He was praying, asking for a lesson in prayer. They had seen Him pray always, and they knew that His robust prayer life was the secret behind the miracle power at work in His life. His fervent prayer life gave Him power to exercise of demons, sicknesses and nature.
Our Lord responded saying:
Our Father in heaven: This signifies approaching God on the basis of intimate relationship. Only children can call the master “Father”. Only those who have come to the saving knowledge of God through Jesus Christ can call God father. This is the first step in prayer that produces power. You must turn back to God.
Hallowed be Your name: This is worship. Our prayer must include worship. Though children of God, we must devote ourselves to worship, service and praise of His name. To worship means to submit yourself to God’s will and His plan. Paul in Romans 12:1 that the church ought to submit their bodies onto God as a living sacrifice. It is called a sacrifice because our own fleshly desires are against what the Spirit wants, but in doing this, we desire to put God’s will first. He calls this sacrifice a spiritual act of worship.
Your kingdom come: Jesus before His ascension said to His disciples, “the Kingdom is within you” (Luk.17:21). He was referring to the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of those who believe. There is a work of sanctification by the Holy Spirit (2 Thess.2:13). Through this, we live our lives with a view towards the end, when Jesus will be returning as King over all. 1 John 3:3 says, “Everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.” Our prayer must be made with this view that there is an end coming, so we prioritize God’s kingdom in all that we do.
Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven: God’s will is that everyone becomes saved and comes to the knowledge of truth (1 Tim.2:4, 2 Pet.3:9). Heaven is a perfect place, and God desires that the earth be perfect just like heaven. Every good thing that is in heaven he desires for His people on earth. Through faith and prayer we make our requests to God on the goodness of what His Word says, that we may enjoy heaven on earth.
Give us this day our daily bread: After you have put God first in worship, devotion to His kingdom, and saving of souls, then you can ask for your own daily bread. This refers to your daily needs. God is committed to providing our needs, but we need to put His will and His desires first. When we make God’s desires our desires, He will in turn give us the desires of our heart.
And forgive us our sins: When a person becomes saved, God wipes away all their sins of the past. Sin breaks the fellowship of God with man. Following salvation, it is not expected that there be any sins in your life.
See what 1 John 1:6-9 says:
If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
If there has been opportunity for sin, either by commission or omission, we can trust God’s Holy Spirit to reveal this sin to us so we can confess it and make the necessary amends.
…as we forgive those indebted to us: God expects that there be no grudge in your heart as you approach Him in prayer. We are instructed by Scriptures to love one another as the mark of the new life we have in Christ Jesus (Joh.13:35). Unforgiveness is deadly. When we hold unforgiveness against another person, we defile our own selves, and it stops the flow of God’s power to us (Heb.12:15).
And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one: God is the one who keeps us from the afflictions of the evil one. James 4:7 says “submit yourselves to God, resist the devil, and he will flee from you”. Your submission to God’s authority in the place of prayer will commit Him to protecting you. There are temptations that we face daily in the world around us, but through prayer we receive the strength to overcome and be victorious against the schemes of the enemy. Prayer fortifies us against the plans of the enemy, while we are led by the Spirit of God to the fullness of our destiny.
About The Author: Moyo is the editor of the online Christian magazine, Eden Life Magazine, featuring articles on faith, relationships and finances. The site also provides has a free daily devotional at www.edenlifemag.com.