How to Pray

When it comes to prayer, look no further than the model put forth by Jesus himself . . . when He said, “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. For yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever. Amen” (Matthew 6:9-13).

Now some manuscripts don’t have the last part that says, “For yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever. Amen,” but that’s okay! I still say it when praying this prayer because it seems to give the prayer some closure.

What can we learn from this prayer that Jesus taught? Do we really need to repeat this prayer verbatim? Obviously, we can, and sometimes we should, but it should serve more as a model of all prayers to help contrast the relationship between God and ourselves.

God is our Father in heaven; His name is Holy because He is Creator, perfectly loving, powerful, knowledgeable, moral, and just. As such, we submit to His kingdom and will because it’s perfect. He is our Provider because He provides for our needs every day, our daily bread. He is our Savior because we are sinners. Since we have been forgiven, we must also forgive others. He is our Leader, and we are His followers. If we follow His lead, He will surely deliver us.

Every prayer should be prayed with these truths in mind. Before Jesus was arrested prior to going to the cross, with great anguish and blood coming from His pores, He prayed, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done” (Luke 22:42).  Similarly, we ought to also pray according to God’s will, even when we are struggling; we should always be willing to submit to God’s will. Thus, the correct way to pray is achieved from the correct perspective.