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  • Writer's pictureBrian O'Kelly

72 – The Model Prayer – Matthew 6:9-18

Jesus teaches us how to pray:

3)      “This, then, is how you should pray:

a.      Pray Daily: Set aside specific times each day to pray. Whether it’s in the morning, during lunch, or before bed, cultivate a habit of talking to God.

b.      Be Authentic: Speak to God as you would to a close friend or a loving Father. Share your joys, fears, and struggles openly.

c.      Remember that the Lord’s Prayer isn’t a magic spell, it’s not an incantation; it’s a heartfelt conversation with our heavenly Father.

d.      Praying regularly will deepen your relationship with God.

e.      Some verses:

                                                              i.      Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

                                                             ii.      Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:6-7.

                                                           iii.      This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. – 1 John 5:14.

                                                           iv.      Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. – Colossians 4:2

                                                             v.      About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. – Acts 16:25

4)      “‘Our Father in heaven,

a.      Remember that The Lord’s Prayer is not just words to be repeated; it’s a blueprint for our relationship with God.

b.      When Jesus says, “Our Father in heaven,” He reminds us of an intimate connection.

c.      Jesus taught us to think of God as our Father. This was not the practice of Judaism. In Judaism there was a reverence for God and his Holiness that considered Him to be unapproachable except by the High Priest and then only once a year.

d.      Jesus teaches us to address Almighty God as our loving Father. A Father is that without which we could not be. Remember that in Jesus’ time there was really no such thing as a single mother. For a child to be cared for required a Father. The Fatherless were the most impoverished and destitute in the society.

e.      The “in heaven” emphasizes His transcendence, his being above everything.

f.        Evangelicals emphasize personal relationship with God through prayer. The Lord’s Prayer reminds us to approach God as our loving Father. It’s not a rote recitation.

5)      hallowed be your name,

a.      Begin with Praise: Before presenting your requests, take a moment to praise God. Acknowledge His holiness and sovereignty.

b.      “Hallowed” means holy, set apart. In this phrase, we express reverence for God’s name. This is about recognizing His holiness.

c.      When we pray, “Hallowed be Your name,” we acknowledge that God’s name is above all names.

d.      We long for His name to be honored, not just in our words but in our lives and in the world around us.

6)      10 your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

a.      We strive to honor God’s name and seek His kingdom.

b.      These words echo our deepest desire: the establishment of God’s kingdom on earth. We yearn for His reign, where justice, mercy, and righteousness prevail. Simultaneously, we submit to His will. Our prayers align with His purposes. We surrender our agendas, trusting that His plans are perfect.

c.      We are to surrender our desires to God’s purposes. Pray for His kingdom to come and His will to be done.

7)      11 Give us today our daily bread.

a.      This petition reminds us of our dependence on God. We don’t hoard for tomorrow; we trust Him for today.

b.      “Daily bread” encompasses physical sustenance, but it also symbolizes spiritual nourishment—the Word of God. We seek daily communion with Him, knowing that He provides abundantly.

c.      Recognize your dependence on God for everything—physical sustenance, emotional strength, and spiritual nourishment.

d.      Express gratitude for what God provides each day. Thank Him for answered prayers and blessings.

8)      12 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.

a.      Forgiveness lies at the heart of the Gospel. We approach God as forgiven sinners, acknowledging our need for His grace.

b.      But there’s a catch: we must extend that forgiveness to others. The vertical (God-to-us) and horizontal (us-to-others) dimensions intersect here.

c.      Our forgiveness journey mirrors God’s forgiveness.

d.      We’re forgiven, and we forgive.

e.      The Gospel compels us to extend grace. Bitterness has no place in our hearts.

f.        Seek the Forgiveness of God: Regularly confess your sins to God. Ask for forgiveness, knowing that He is faithful to cleanse you.

g.       Forgive Others: Extend forgiveness to those who have wronged you. Release any bitterness or resentment.

h.      Jesus gave us the example of even forgiving those who were murdering him

9)      13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’

a.      We must recognize our vulnerability to forces internal and external.

b.      Temptation lurks, within our hearts.

                                                              i.      James 1:13-15 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. 14 But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. 15 Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.

c.      An abiding sense of God’s presence is the solution for this. We can all modify our worst habits with the right audience. Swearing like a ‘sailor’ stops in the presence of their grandmother.

d.      We plead for divine guidance—God’s hand to steer us away from destructive paths that are part of this internal struggle.

e.      Ask God to lead you away from temptation. Seek His wisdom in decision-making.

f.        And we seek deliverance from evil forces. This prayer acknowledges our need for spiritual armor.

                                                              i.      1 Peter 5:8  Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.

                                                             ii.      If you haven’t read “the screwtape letters” by CS Lewis, I’d encourage you to do that.

                                                           iii.      The devil is constantly trying to trip you up. The same way he tripped up Eve. She said she couldn’t eat the fruit of the tree and Satan said “did God really say that?”

g.       Protection from Evil: Pray for deliverance from spiritual attacks, negative influences, and harmful situations.

10)  14 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

a.      Don’t miss this. If you want to be forgiven you must forgive. If you are holding any bitterness or unforgiveness in your heart, you are not going to receive the forgiveness of God.

11)  Fasting 16 “When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.

a.      Jesus assumes that His followers will fast. It’s not a matter of “if” but “when.” Fasting isn’t a relic of the past; it’s a spiritual discipline that draws us closer to God. It’s not about legalism but about intimacy. Fasting is not as common today, but fasting remains powerful.

b.      It’s not about skipping meals; it’s about feasting on God’s presence.

c.      I’m personally going to reclaim this discipline.

d.      Fasting is mentioned in both the Old and New Testaments.

                                                              i.      In the Old Testament, fasting expressed grief or served as a way to humble oneself before the Lord.

                                                             ii.      In the New Testament, fasting was a means to draw closer to God, meditate, and focus on Him.

e.      Centered on Christ: Fasting must ultimately revolve around Jesus. It’s not merely about self-discipline but about seeking intimacy with Him.

f.        Fasting Engages the Body: I am not my body, but my body influences my mind. When we exercise we feel good, when we overdo it we feel bad, when we are overtired it affects our mood or decision making. They say never go shopping when you are hungry right?

g.       Corporate Nature: Fasting isn’t always an isolated practice. It connects believers within the community of faith. Sometimes churches fast together toward a certain outcome.

h.      Lenten Fasting: Many evangelicals observe fasting during Lent, especially in the weeks leading up to Easter. This period of self-denial and reflection mirrors Jesus’ 40 days in the wilderness when he fasted.

i.        Regular Fasting: Some evangelicals fast on specific days of the week (e.g., Fridays) or during particular seasons (e.g., Advent).

j.        Purposeful Abstinence: Fasting involves not only reduced consumption but also prayer and self-examination.

k.       Prayerful Intent: Fasting should be accompanied by prayer. It’s not just about physical abstention but about seeking God’s presence.

l.        Temporary Practice: Evangelicals view fasting as a temporary discipline. It’s designed to address specific issues or seasons.

m.    Body-Soul Connection: Fasting recognizes the integral connection between body and soul. It’s not about punishing the body but aligning it with spiritual purposes.

n.      Overcoming Spiritual Deadness: Fasting helps overcome spiritual lethargy and draws believers closer to God

12)  17 But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18 so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen;

a.      Public displays of fasting for show miss the point. Jesus warns against hypocrisy. Instead, we fast privately, seeking God’s approval, not human applause. Anointing our heads and washing our faces symbolize maintaining normalcy during fasting—no theatrics.

b.      It’s not about mere abstaining from food; it’s about drawing closer to God.

c.      Private Devotion: Fast privately, without seeking attention. Anoint your head and wash your face—maintain normalcy outwardly while seeking God inwardly.

13)  and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

a.      The reward isn’t public acclaim or earthly treasures. It’s deeper intimacy with our heavenly Father. When we fast in secret, God notices. He honors genuine devotion. Our private disciplines yield eternal dividends. Our Father sees what happens in secret. Authentic spirituality isn’t about public displays but about genuine heart transformation. Let’s seek Him wholeheartedly.


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