Matthew 6:9-13 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.
Jesus’ disciples wanted to become more effective in prayer and so they asked Jesus to teach them to pray in Matthew 6. In response, Jesus not only gave them the right approach to prayer, in the process he also revealed to them 8 elements of an effective prayer. The first element is praise and adoration. Jesus started his model prayer with praise and worship to the Father. He said, “our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name”. Psalms 22:3 tells us that God dwells in the praises of his people. By starting our prayer with praise and adoration, we are giving an invitation to God to come and sit in the midst of our prayer.
The second element of effective praying is to ask Him to take total control and direct our every step. It requires total surrender to Him. In teaching this component Jesus said, “thy Kingdom come”.
Thirdly, pray for his will to be done. The will of God is the word of God. Remind God of every word that he has spoken concerning your life.
The fourth element of effective prayer is to ask God to meet your every need; He is your source. Jesus modelled that by saying “give us this day our daily bread”.
Asking God for forgiveness for our sins was the fifth element of prayer referred to by Jesus. It is by his forgiveness that we are made clean from sin. However, God’s willingness to forgive us is contingent on our willingness to forgive others. That is why the scripture says “and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors”.
The sixth element of prayer is asking God for strength to keep us from falling into temptation. Our strength is not enough to keep us from falling into sin, we need God’s strength.
The seventh component of prayer highlighted by Jesus is asking for protection from evil. We live in an evil world; we need his covering and protection, ask for it.
Jesus ended the prayer by saying “for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory”. What Jesus was doing was acknowledging the greatness of Father to teach us that we should end our prayers with worship.
It may not be possible to include all 8 elements in every prayer, but the model of prayer given to us by Jesus gives clear insights as to what our approach and attitude to prayer should be.
Life Application: Maintain the focus on praying in the Spirit and let the Holy Spirit direct you as to which of the 8 elements should be part of your prayer on any given occasion.
Prayer: Lord, guide me in prayer as I seek you concerning your will for my life and your purpose being fulfilled on earth. In Jesus’ name, amen.
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