Coaches often teach athletes by modeling. A basketball coach will demonstrate how to hold and dribble the ball. He will also show the proper foot work for defensive positioning and rebounding. In baseball, the coach will show young pitchers the grip and arm motion for various pitches. Jesus is also a coach. He gave us the model for prayer. Found in Matthew 6:9-13, we usually call it the Lord’s Prayer, but it is a demonstration of what prayer is and how to do it.
It begins, “Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” (KJV) Jesus shows us to approach God as a father. One who is special and holy. We also approach him by expressing our submission to his will.
Then, Jesus teaches us to express our dependence and ask God to provide for our physical and spiritual needs. He does this in verses 11-13, “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.” (KJV) We depend on God for our very food. We should also seek his forgiveness, as well as deliverance from evil.
Jesus’ demonstration ends by acknowledging God deserves to rule in our lives. Verse 13 ends with these words, “For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever.” (KJV)
Luke Wright recently posted a video about prayer for leaders in his church. It has some great tips on how to pray. It is based on what is commonly called The Lord’s Prayer, or The Model Prayer, found in Matthew 6. Jesus taught this prayer to his disciples when they asked him to teach them how to pray. The prayer emphasizes six aspects of our relationship to God. Luke calls it The Prayer Hexagon. In our prayers we relate to God based on these six things.
The Father’s character. He is our father who loves us. Prayer begins by recognizing God as father.
We recognize the Father’s kingdom, meaning his rule as lord in our life. We seek God’s will to be done.
We seek God’s provision. We look to God as the provider of our needs. Even our basic food is from him.
We seek God’s forgiveness. We recognize we have disobeyed and seek the Father’s forgiveness.
We seek God’s guidance, especially in the moral dimension of life. We want God’s wisdom and boundaries.
We seek God’s deliverance from evil. We recognize there is a spiritual battle in the world and seek his help and protection.
Luke’s video is really helpful and only about five minutes long. Take a moment to view it here.
We don’t have to cycle through all of these topics in every prayer. But we do need to relate to God in each of these dimensions.