How to pray: The Lord’s Prayer
What would you say if someone came to you and asked, “Could you teach me how to pray?” How would you teach them to pray?
Would you start with a physical posture? Close your eyes, bow your head, fold your hands, or raise your hands, shout, whisper, be silent, etc. These postures can be very helpful practices to engage our hearts. However, none of them are a formula for great prayer.
Would you start with specific words or phrases? Dear God, Heavenly Lord, Jesus, Papa, Soverign God of Heaven and Earth? Maybe… Sometimes specific words can help steer our hearts, but it’s not about specific words or phrases. It’s about the heart!
What did Jesus say when he taught his followers how to pray?
How would Jesus teach you to pray
In Matthew 6, Jesus says, “Pray then like this:
“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day 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 evil.”
Jesus is modeling prayer here. It’s not about his posture, or about these specific words that are spoken. We know that Jesus prayed all sorts of ways. But here, he was truly modeling the simplicity of praying, talking and communing with his Father in Heaven.
We can see four forms of prayer from Jesus’ model that we’re breaking down into a simple, memorable model.
How to pray like Jesus: four forms of prayer He modeled
You could call these the ABCD’s of prayer!
Adoration is expressing deep love, affection and worship towards God. We see this is Matthew 6:19, “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.”
Beseech is asking urgently and fervently for God to do something. Jesus said in Matthew 6: 10-11, “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread.”
Confession is admitting one’s own sins with repentance. Repentance means to turn the opposite way from the sin. Matthew 6: 12 says, “and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.”
And, deliverance is pleading for rescue and declaring freedom. We read this in Matthew 6:13, “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
Jesus is giving us the ABCD’s of prayer. It’s not about having the most eloquent words, the perfect posture or the cleanest presentation before his throne. He just wants your heart! Utilize this ABCD of the Lord’s Prayer in your personal time with God and at our church-wide prayer hours happening throughout the week. Click here to learn more about the Extraordinary Prayer Hours.