A Model for Prayer

KEY VERSE: “Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name.” —I Chronicles 29:1


OUR LORD AND Master Jesus Christ, as he began to mature, felt a greater desire to commune with his Heavenly Father. He must have often looked into the starry heavens at night, or into the cloudless sky of Israel by day, with a longing to communicate with the great Creator of the universe.

After Jesus’ baptism by his cousin John at the River Jordan, Jesus began to teach men and women—whoever would listen. He spent long, tiring days speaking to the people. As the sun sank into the shadows of the night, the Lord would slip away from his followers to a place of rest. There, in earnest thought, he would go to the throne of Heavenly Grace to commune with his Father. This always comforted and refreshed him and prepared him to be ready for the throngs that would search him out in the morning.

Soon the Master’s closest disciples noticed how effective and helpful those periods of quiet and prayer were to the Lord. So they went to Jesus and said, “Lord, teach us to pray.” In teaching the disciples, Jesus wanted them to realize that it was not proper for them to stand in the synagogues or on the street-corners to pray. They were to understand that the Heavenly Father knew all things and that if they prayed in their ‘closet’, God would hear and bless them openly.

Jesus instructed his disciples additionally by giving them a model prayer that has been used by Christians for centuries. The Master had great reverence for his Heavenly Father and desired to pass along to his disciples that same feeling. Jesus said to them, “After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.” (Matt. 6:9) As we individually go to God in prayer we may confidently address him as Our Father. When we commune with him we should do so with a worshipful adoration, appreciating the glorious character and attributes of our God: “Hallowed be thy name!”

Jesus continued his lesson through his model prayer by revealing a magnificent part of the divine plan. He wanted his disciples to pray, “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” (Matt. 6:10) The disciples of the Lord’s day were to some degree acquainted with the promises spoken by the prophets concerning a future time of blessing, joy, and gladness. They expected that Jesus would set up a kingdom that would bless all the families of the earth. At that time blind eyes and deaf ears would be opened, the lame would be able to walk. In the wilderness waters would break out, and streams would flow in the desert. Everlasting joy and gladness would fill the hearts of the people, and “sorrow and sighing” would flee away.”—Isa. 35

Jesus also encouraged his disciples to pray for their daily needs, and to have confidence that the Heavenly Father would supply them out of his abundant fullness.—Matt. 6:11

Another important part of the Lord’s model prayer is verse 12. We are to seek forgiveness for our sins and shortcomings, and to recognize also the obligation thus incurred, to render forgiveness to those who trespass against us.

The foregoing gives us just a glimpse of Jesus’ model prayer. Our prayers, to be acceptable to God must express confident faith, loving esteem, and reverence—full appreciation of the divine plan, and submission to the divine will throughout eternity.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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