How to Pray (19 of 26) by Jonathan McLeod

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How to Pray (19 of 26)
Series: Kingdom Life
Jonathan McLeod
Matthew 6:9-15

''Pray then like this: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name'' (v. 9).


In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus tells us that they are to be different. In 6:5-15, he says we are to be different in how we pray. When we pray, they are not to be like the religious hypocrites who try to impress others by their prayers (vv. 5-6) or the pagan Gentiles who try to get their god's attention with their prayers (vv. 7-8). When we pray, we must remember that we are praying to a loving Father. Then after telling us how not to pray, Jesus gives us a model prayer to teach us how we should pray (vv. 9-15).

[Read Matthew 6:5-15.]


[Tell a story about someone becoming disillusioned about prayer because he/she didn't receive the desired answer to their prayers.]


Jesus introduces the Lord's Prayer by saying, ''Pray then like this'' (v. 9). Jesus intended this prayer to be a model for our prayers, not a prayer to mindlessly repeat. In Luke's account of the Lord's Prayer, the disciples ask Jesus, ''Lord, teach us to pray'' (Luke 11:1). What does the Lord's Prayer teach us about the purpose of prayer?

Prayer should be more about HONOURING GOD than HELPING US.

This is seen in the structure of the Lord's Prayer. The first half is about God (''your name,'' ''your kingdom,'' ''your will''), and the second half is about us (''Give us,'' ''forgive us,'' ''deliver us'').


The Lord's prayer is addressed to ''Our Father in heaven'' (v. 9). Our prayers should be characterized by both love and reverence. ''We address God intimately as 'Father,' but we immediately recognize his infinite greatness with the addition 'in heaven.'''

In the Lord's Prayer, there are three requests about God's honour. (1) ''hallowed be your name'' (v. 9); (2) ''Your kingdom come'' (v. 10); and (3) ''Your will be done'' ...

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