Summary: Prayer must include praise, provision, pardon, protection and people.
The Elements of Prayer
(Matthew 6: 13-19)
A. In our previous lesson, we have discussed the essentiality of prayer. I hope it has encouraged you to be more prayerful and also to be persistent in prayer.
B. For today’s lesson, we will study the important elements of prayer.
C. First, let’s open our Bibles in Luke 11: 2 –4. It’s a parallel passage of Matthew 6: 9 –13 where we can find the so-called “The Lord’s Prayer.” The disciples here asked the Lord to teach them to pray. “Lord,” they said, “teach us how to pray.” Does it imply that the disciples of Jesus were ignorant about how to pray? No. These men were religious and from childhood their parents had given them spiritual instructions. They grew having the finest religion of that day. It is improbable to say then that these men do not know how to pray.
· What really were they asking? They want the right formula of prayer, and they want to know it right from the mouth of the Master.
D. Jesus said to them: “Pray in this way…” ( read Matt.6: 9 –13)
E. This passage is commonly called “The Lord’s Prayer.” But actually, it is not a prayer of Jesus. His priestly prayer, however, is found in John 17. What we have here is a formula or an example given by Jesus to His disciples in order for them to know how to pray.
F. Now if we do a deductive study on this passage, we will learn the five important parts of prayer. They all start in letter P.
I. PRAISE. (v.9) “…Hallowed be Thy Name”
-Prayer must start in praising God. There are two aspects of praise:
a. Adoration –praising God because of Who He is. God is worthy of all praise. This is the fundamental teaching of the Scriptures about God. Knowing God, His attributes and character, is therefore very important for a God-centered prayer. Proper decorum and right attitude of the supplicant will be set when there is proper and sound knowledge of God. It will also lift and increase one’s faith in God, because every time prayer starts in praising Who God is, it will serve to remind the supplicant of the trustworthiness of God.
b. Thanksgiving –praising God for what He has done to our lives:
>The gift of life;
>The sacrifice of Jesus at the cross that have forever settled our
problem of sin;
>The sicknesses that He healed;
>The problems He helped us solved;
>The meeting of our urgent needs;
>The blessings of protection, strength, health, and guidance;
Indeed, God deserves our thanksgiving and highest praise.
Therefore, at the start of your prayer, express your appreciation and adoration for Who God is, and thank Him for every blessing, opportunity and experience He allowed you to enjoy the past days.
II. PROVISION (v. 11) “Give us our daily bread”
a. -It is about our physical and material needs. We are physical beings, therefore each of us has physical and material needs. It also includes our other needs such as wisdom, guidance, and strength to enable us to do our individual responsibilities. Our Heavenly Father knows all our needs and He promised to supply them.
b. Significant Scriptures:
-Phil. 4: 19 –“…God shall supply all your needs…”
-Phil. 4: 6 –“make your requests be made known to God”
-Matt. 6: 33 –“all these things shall be added unto you”
-Jn. 15: 7 –“ask anything and it shall done to you”
-1 Pet. 5:7 –“He cares for you”
III. PARDON (v. 12) “forgive us our debts”. I Ask God to forgive my sins.
a. Sin in this verse does not refer to the old sinful nature that we have inherited from Adam. It refers to our personal and specific sins, faults and shortcomings. Even after you received Christ into your life, you still have the capacity to commit sin. If not confessed, these committed sins will weaken your relationship to God.
b. In this regards, there is a divine work of the Holy Spirit within the believer’s life to make him aware of his shortcomings. We call it “the conviction of the Holy Spirit”. It is the work of the Spirit whereby He brings to our attention the sin we commit that needs to be settled through confession.
c. Sin brings great harm to our relationship with God. It is remedied, however, by confession.
d. Moreover, though God is our loving Father, He must be approached with great respect. We must not ignore His awesome holiness. We must therefore come to Him with a pure heart, free from sins. We must first seek reconciliation with Him through confession, humbly asking His forgiveness.
e. God says in Isaiah 66: 2, “But to this one I will look, to him who is humble and contrite in spirit, and he who trembles at My word.”