Jesus Teaches Us How to Pray

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Matthew 6:5-15

As we continue our review of Matthew 6 to help us prepare for Christmas, recall that in the first four verses Jesus has taught us that we should help the needy in secret so that we will not be like the hypocrites who help the needy only to impress people with their own goodness. In these verses, Jesus takes a step further in this direction, teaching us to pray in a way that is acceptable to God, and not as the hypocrites do it just to impress men. Take a look at these verses in particular:

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.
And forgive us our debts,
    as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
    but deliver us from the evil one.’

Matthew 6:9-13

Isn’t this amazing? Jesus wants us to recognize God’s glory, pray for God’s will to be done, then for our own needs (not just our own wants) and then to ask Him to forgive us conditioned upon our forgiving other people. Wait; slow down… did you get that? And forgive us our debts,
    as we also have forgiven our debtors. This is a conditional statement that we are being taught to ask God for! Finally, we are to ask that God deliver us from temptation.

Jesus, then, has taught us to pray selflessly. While teaching us to pray selflessly, He has also taught us that we must forgive others:

For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

Matthew 6:13-14

So to sum up what we have seen so far, Jesus came to teach us humility, selflessness, and to forgive others, and as counter-intuitive and counter-cultural as these things are, we still celebrate His birth all of these years later. You know what? We’re only just getting started; there’s more to come tomorrow!

About Don Merritt

A long time teacher and writer, Don hopes to share his varied life's experiences in a different way with a Christian perspective.
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12 Responses to Jesus Teaches Us How to Pray

  1. trotter387 says:

    The celebration of Christ’s birth has little to do with the prayer. It does seem a little strange to link a prayer about honesty and integrity (the holiness or sanctity) with a pagan celebration.

    Let Your Name be sanctified – made holy, understood to be pure. Now there is a challenge Jesus didn’t say hide the name of God away or substitute it.

    He also said “let you kingdom come” prophetically the kingdom he prayed for is linked to Pauls words in Hebrews and Psalms the one that will bring to an end the kings of the earth. So we don’t support the political systems around us.

    This prayer is to help Christians stand out as different focused on Gods Name and his Kingdom

    A great way to meditate on what our purpose in life is everyday.

    I enjoy the Matthew 5 through 7 – look forward to more

  2. Thank you for this lovely post , the OUR Father has now new meaning for me , often as I have recited this prayer and tried to contemplate its true meaning; that meaning was not revealed to me as wonderfully as it has now reading this post. Thank you.

    Kindest Regards Kathy

  3. It’s a beautiful prayer and typical of Jesus; it has depth of meaning. Not just the words which are beautifully painted petitions, but it paints the Cross. It travels upward as we address the Father with Worship, Praise and acknowledge His Will. then downward to Earth for that Will, then across left for our sustenance, confession, victory over sin as we request protection, then across to the right as we forgive others, then upward for the Doxology (Praise) and lastly downward for the AMEN (so be it).

    Isn’t that just beautiful ~ Amen :Y

  4. Love this, Don. And the reminder that we’re praying to OUR Father – not just my Father. A great reminder that we’re all His children. Looking forward to the next few posts.

  5. Succinct. Hook this whole prayer on the cross and resurrection. God and “hallowed” – because he is holy, unlike us – we have sin. “Will be done” – God’s good and perfect and holy will be done on earth – seriously? Yes Lord! We need your good and perfect and holy will here on this defiled and sinful earth; we are sinners and God has no sin! Jesus is our daily bread broken on the cross for our sin! We cry – “forgive us our debts” – you forgave me my sinfulness and filth on the cross and give me the power to forgive others. What a mystery!!! It is only Christ in us. “Lead us not into temptation” – that we will not have faith, lead us not where we take our eyes off of Jesus dying for our sins and rising from the dead and living in that holiness of knowing Christ and the power of his resurrection. “Deliver us from evil” – from denying Christ, from not believing, from looking away from the cross, from unbelief.

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