Praying Lesson 7: The Model Prayer Matt 6:9-15

Lesson 7: The Model Prayer (Matt 6:9-15)

This section of the Sermon on the Mount is often called “the Lord’s Prayer,” but it is more properly “The Model Prayer.” Jesus prefaces his remarks with the words “after this manner therefore pray.” This is the correct manner; this is how to pray. We need not repeat these exact words in every prayer, but prayer should follow this model and reflect these ideas.

  1. Pray to the right Person—“Our Father”  .9
    1. The words “our Father” imply a warm, personal relationship. This is how a child addresses his parent. The Jews rarely addressed God with such warm familiarity (cf. Isa. 63:16; 64:8). We must approach God in a humble and reverent way (cf. Ex 3:5; Isa 6:1-5; Heb 12:29). God is our Father, but He’s also our sovereign King. We approach Him reverently, not casually.
    2. Many people do not have the right to call God “our father.” Such is the exclusive right of those who are “in Christ” (John 1:12; 1 Jn 3:1-2). In a sense, God is the Father of all people by virtue of creation; yet God is the spiritual Father only of those who are saved. Jesus claimed that for some people, the devil is their father (Jn 8:44; 1 Jn 3:10). Thus, this model prayer is for believers only.
    3. Pray reverently  .9-10
      1. “Hallowed” – may your name be recognized as holy.
        1. One’s “name” stands for his character or essential nature; the name is identified with the person.
        2. The basic meaning of holy is “set apart.” Thus, to “hallow” God’s name is to recognize Him as unique and sacred; to hold God in reverence.
        3. Genuine believers desire that all people would recognize God as holy.
  2. “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.”
    1. The “kingdom” Jesus is talking about here is the earthly reign of the Messiah. Only during this time will God’s will be accomplished “on earth as it is in heaven.” This kingdom has not yet come.
    2. God’s “will,” in this case, is clearly his moral will as expressed in the Law. Every believer wishes that God’s moral will were obeyed by every person.
    3. Pray for daily needs.  .11

The word “daily” signifies

  1. Something necessary for the day (emphasizing time)
  2. Something necessary for existence (emphasizing  amount)
  3. Thus, “Give us today the portion needed for today” seems to be the intended sense.
    1. “Daily bread” represents all manner of needs (not luxuries).
    2. We recognize our dependence on God to provide all our needs.
    3. Pray for forgiveness  .12
      1. Sin is like a debt. As only a creditor can forgive a debt, only God can forgive sin.
      2. God’s forgiveness of our sins is related to how we forgive others.
        1. If we forgive others, God will forgive us. If we refuse to forgive others, God will not forgive us.  .14-15
        2. Although believers enjoy full cleansing from sin, they still should pray for forgiveness from the ongoing sin in our lives (1 Jn 1:9). We still need the application of the cleansing blood of Christ on a daily basis.
        3. Remember that this prayer was given while the OT dispensation was still in operation. OT believers did not enjoy full and final forgiveness of sins. They had to repeatedly make their sacrifices to cover their sins. Christ made the final sacrifice for sins, and NT believers enjoy full and perfect forgiveness.
        4. God’s forgiveness of us is ultimately not based on how well we forgive others. Forgiveness is always based on God’s grace, not our efforts. There is no merit implied here. However, a forgiving attitude is very important. The disposition to forgive others is a proof of our own forgiveness. Read Mt 18:21-35.
        5. Pray for strength.  .13a
          1. “lead us not into temptation”
            1. God never entices people to sin (James 1:13). In that sense, God never leads people into temptation.
            2. The word “temptation” often refers to a trial, test, or difficult circumstance.
            3. It’s appropriate to pray for protection from affliction, adversity and trouble.
  4. “deliver us from evil”
    1. Evil in general—trials and problems, the consequences of immoral behavior
    2. The “evil one,” i.e., Satan. The Greek has “the evil.” Satan is frequently called “the evil one” (Lu 22:40; Mt 13:19; 1 John 2:13-14, 3:12).
    3. Pray with praise.  .13b[1]
      1. “kingdom, power and glory”: This doxology (ascription of praise to God) gives us our motivation for prayer—that that glory of God might be demonstrated in the granting of our petitions.
      2. “amen” – truly, so let it be


[1] The Doxology in the last part of verse 13 does not appear in the earliest NT MSS or in the early commentaries on this passage. Also, various forms of the statement are found in later MSS, some longer, some shorter than what is expressed in the KJV. However, the majority of Greek MS have the statement, it is in keeping with the rest of the Bible (cf. 1 Chron 29:11), and is a fitting conclusion to the Model Prayer.


Lessons in this Course
Table of Contents
Prayer Lesson 1: The Importance of Prayer
Prayer Lesson 2: Overcoming the Difficulties of Prayer
Prayer Lesson 3: What is Prayer?
Prayer Lesson 4: Our Perspective on Prayer
Praying Lesson 5: Praying in Jesus’ Name
Praying Lesson 6: How Not to Pray
Praying Lesson 7: The Model Prayer Matt 6:9-15
Praying Lesson 8: Pray-ers that Pleases God
Praying Lesson 9: Persistence in Prayer
Praying Lesson 10: Learning from Paul’s Prayers
Praying Lesson 11: Learning from OT Prayers
Praying Lesson 12: Prayer as an Expression of Spirituality
Praying Lesson 13: The Five Different Kinds of Prayer in the Psalms
Praying Lesson 14: Prerequisites to Effective Prayer
Praying Lesson 15: Prayer and Fasting

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