“Pray like this …” (Matthew 6:9a)
Our reading today is from Matthew 6. Open a Bible and find the passage. Jesus says, “Pray like this,” and then provides us with what we have come to know as the Lord’s Prayer. If you know it by heart, then you have obtained a very helpful guide for learning how to pray, not only in repeating Jesus’s words but in adopting the themes for other concerns.
Jesus tells his disciples to petition the Father, asking that the Kingdom be present among them, thus “hallowing,” or making holy, God’s name. Jesus instructs them to ask for daily provision of food and forgiveness, as well as a generous heart that extends forgiveness to others. The disciples ask God to watch over their path, leading them away from pitfalls and temptations, and lastly, to trust all things to God’s care.
If this prayer is new to you, work diligently to memorize it. If you have long known these words, break it up in to phrases. Write each phrase in your calendar, one phrase per day. Instead of saying the prayer as a whole, take it piece-by-piece, asking afresh, “What does this mean?”
Jesus has given you a pattern to follow in prayer. Learn from it.
Lord Jesus, teach me to pray,
so that I may come before you with confidence. Amen.