By Jamie Harms
I take great comfort in the fact that in Luke 11 the disciples asked Jesus to teach them how to pray. Although they physically had been walking with Jesus, praying was not something that came naturally but was learned. In His patience and kindness, Jesus responded to their request with a simple prayer that we refer to today as The Lord’s Prayer.
The Lord’s Prayer was given as a teaching tool that was not necessarily meant to be quoted word-for-word each time we pray but as a scaffold for our prayer time. Each sentence in the prayer acts as a mnemonic device in which each brief sentence suggests a different aspect of our prayer time. As we look at each sentence, we see a pattern for how we can structure our prayers as Jesus did.
We see from The Lord’s Prayer that we can start our prayers to the Father by praising Him for who He is because He is our Lord and King. When we pray submission, it often takes the form of thanksgiving as we accept and receive what He has given us, knowing that it is all for His glory. Thanksgiving is followed by requests for provision of our daily needs in which we recognize that we also need to confess our own sins and forgive others just as we have been forgiven. The Lord’s Prayer ends with us praying for eyes to see the world around us as it is and for deliverance, while we are this side of heaven, from the evil one.
This is not a magic formula to make our prayers lives instantly fruitful and fulfilling, but it does help us start the conversation with our Jesus as we learn to talk with Him. I would encourage you to spend some time reading and memorizing The Lord’s Prayer this week and then transitioning from the words on the page to the prayers of your own heart. May God encourage your hearts as you spend time talking with and listen to Him this week.