The disciples asked Jesus to teach them how to pray and he tells them they should pray like this:
Our Father in heaven,
Your name be honored as holy.
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
And do not bring us
but deliver us from the evil one.
(For Yours is the kingdom
and the power
and the glory forever. Amen)
Prayer is such a vital and important part of every believer’s life. I wonder if our family, friends, and team members would see in us a prayer life that would cause them to ask us how to pray? The disciples saw this in Jesus.
A few things stand out to me about this prayer. It isn’t a long prayer, there are many things not included in this teaching but we can know that Jesus was telling us the essentials in having an intimate prayer life.
There are many life and leadership lessons for us to learn from this model prayer. Here are a few I see:
1. An intimate relationship with God.
Our Father. Describes a personal relationship. We pray to our God as Father. A good Father’s relationship with his children is loving, protective, and joyful. We approach God with this kind of intimacy, a beautiful gift of grace. We lead and life differently when we know that our Father hears us when we pray.
2. A submissive relationship with God.
We honor God. We submit to Him. Surrender. He is holy and we honor Him for who He is. This submissive relationship will make all the difference in every other relationship we have. If we don’t learn to submit and honor God, we will never lead well.If we don't learn to submit and honor God, we will never lead well. Click To Tweet
3. It is about God’s will.
This is a tough one for us to remember. We do so much in life and leadership that appears to be advancing our will, our goals, and our dreams. Jesus reminds us that ultimately all of life is about God’s will. It is a beautiful thing to remember and to pray – His will on earth as it is in heaven. Perfect peace. Perfect love. Perfect joy. Learning to pray for God’s will in all that we do will keep us anchored in the ebb and flow of life.
4. Daily needs.
Praying daily. Praying daily for specific needs. Praying daily for food. How easy it is to forget that we need God daily. Bread is a basic food but in it we find nutrients for energy and for life. It is a simple thing to pray for but a profound truth to remember. God is the great provider and we desperately need Him daily to meet our most basic needs. We can easily become arrogant and self-reliant when we forget to pray daily for bread and to thank God daily for providing. There is nothing more dangerous for your family and the people you influence than pride and entitlement.
5. Ask for forgiveness.
Daily, we need forgiveness. It is good to keep a clean slate with God and with others. It is a powerful gift to give your family, your church, and your organization to be a person who can ask for forgiveness.It is a powerful gift to give to be a person who can ask for forgiveness. Click To Tweet
6. Forgive others.
Daily, people will offend us. This is one of those interesting and profound truths put in this model prayer. We ask for forgiveness as we also forgive others. The two are linked. If we have a heart to ask for forgiveness we will in turn forgive others. In fact, in Matthew 6:14, following the teaching on the model prayer, Jesus says:
“For if you forgive others their wrong doing, your Heavenly Father will forgive you as well. But if you don’t forgive people, your Father will not forgive your wrongdoing.”
7. Protect us from temptation.
Do you know you are at risk of moral or ethnical failure? We need to be protected from the temptation to sin. We need accountability. We need checks and balances in the organizations we lead. It is a good rule to live above reproach going above and beyond to keep us away from the dangers of temptation. We need protection from temptation. Pray for it. Be wise.
What other lessons do you see in the model prayer?