When Jesus was on earth, He gave His disciples the Lord's Prayer as a model and pattern for their own prayers. He told them to pray like this:
“Our Father in heaven, may your name always be kept holy. May your kingdom come and what you want to be done, here on earth as it is in heaven. Give us the food we need for each day. Forgive us for our sins, just as we have forgiven those who sinned against us. And do not cause us to be tempted but save us from the evil one.” - Matthew 6:9-13
The same goes for Christians today. Jesus taught believers to address God as “Our Father” in prayer and to speak to Him as a loving heavenly Father who is sovereign over the universe. Next, we are to pray, “may Your name always be kept holy” or other translations say “hallowed be Your name” out of worship, praise, and honor to God because He is worthy of it. But we also pray this to show our hearts long for God to be magnified and adored.
In the next verse, “May Your kingdom come and what you want to be done, here on earth as it is in heaven”, we are praying for Him to come down to earth to remove all evil forces and sin from it. When He does, He will create a new heaven and earth for Jesus to rule over, where His will be done as it is in heaven. When we pray, “what You want to be done, here on earth as it is in heaven” also shows that we acknowledge that God knows what is best, and we are surrendering to His will.
After putting God’s interests first, then we pray for Him to “Give us the food we need for each day.” We pray to God to provide for our daily needs because we depend on Him for everything including our spiritual needs. We also come to Him and ask to “forgive us for our sins, just as we have forgiven those who sinned against us.” We have to pray this petition because we cannot forgive others on our own. We need God’s power to forgive. If we are unwilling to forgive, then God will not forgive us. How can we not forgive others if God freely forgives us?
In the last line of The Lord’s Prayer we pray, “And do not cause us to be tempted but save us from the evil one.” This request does not seem to make sense because God does not tempt anyone but allows them to experience trials and tests in life. The prayer is about our struggle with sin and the inability to resist it. When we pray, we are acknowledging our dependence on God to keep us from sinning and our plea for Him to deliver us from the evil one.
Prayer of the day:
Dear heavenly Father,
We have learned more about Your holy prayer that Jesus taught His disciples. Thank you for giving us a basic understanding of it. Help us to honor You when we pray it and use it as a model for our lives. Please give us the wisdom to understand it and apply it in our daily prayers. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen!