Jesus’ “model prayer” has much to teach us; don’t just memorize and recite, but expand on each piece as you pray. ⇔
by Michael Krigline, October 2012. www.krigline.com ⇔
This is a sub-page for “How to Pray” (where you’ll find the words to fill in these blanks). If you want to make this more interactive, cut and paste the following script into a document, and print copies for your group. Then let people fill in the blanks as you present this material. Don’t forget to pause for blue discussion questions, and for additional comments.
Here is the NIV translation of the prayer Jesus taught His disciples:
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one, (for yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen. Matt 6:9-13 (NIV)
“Our”—Prayer is about ______________________________, with God and also with our ________________________________________________________. We either live in relationships with fellow Christians, or we are not ______________________________ God wants us to live.
“Father”—No other religion teaches followers to call God “_______________________.” We are not praying to an _______________, a dead relative or saint, or an impersonal supernatural being. We are _____________________ to our Heavenly Father, who ____________ us like children who should never ______________ when asking for help. He has commanded us to boldly come to Him, _______________________ to be heard.
“in heaven”—God, like heaven, is not __________________________ in any dimension. But this phrase reminds us that God is especially not limited by the things that limit us in our ______________________________.
In what ways are we limited?
God is not limited by _______________ and has unlimited ________________________ (we can pray for anything—even far into the __________________—and for any amount of our time without taking anything from God’s _________________________, and five billion people can pray at the same time and all be heard with the same level of attention, ________________________ and concern). God is not limited by human or supernatural _______________________ (e.g., bosses, governments, angels and demons). God hears us “from Heaven” where He reigns as the unchallenged “_________________ of kings.”
“hallowed be Your name”—After addressing our prayer to our Father, we turn to _________ God’s name, i.e., God’s character. God is ____________, and we think that every person and every power should “hallow” Him (recognize Him as Holy). Our praise is like a child proudly bragging about how _____________________ his dad is. Praise also has super-natural ______________ that can’t be clearly explained or understood. Praise is glorious, and we were created, in part, to ______________________________. What a privilege!
“Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven”—Before we bring our own needs to our Father, Pastor Larry Lea says to “Declare that His kingdom _____________________ (Rom. 14:17) shall be established in ____________________, your ______________________________, your _______________________, and your __________________.” Furthermore, God’s will is done instantly and without question in heaven, and that “perfect obedience” is also His goal for earth. When we pray this ___________________, it also opens our hearts to hear Him _______________________, showing us how to “bring His kingdom and His will” to our corner of ________________ (i.e., my family, my school, my job, my community, my nation).
“Give us this day our daily bread”—Now that we’ve focused ___________________ on God and His priorities, we turn to our own _________________. Again notice that we use the plural tense. Our needs include ______________________ needs (related to “my” studies, job, etc), but we should also lift up ____________________ needs—the needs of “our” classmates, workmates, family members, and neighbors. Furthermore, note that we are asking for “daily needs” not “_____________________”.
What is the difference between needs and wants?
Remember that God has promised to _________________________ what you need, not everything you think you want. A loving ___________________ knows when his child’s “want” could really _________________ the child, and in this situation, NOT giving it is actually the _____________________ thing to do. The key to answered prayer is to pray for the things God has told you to pray about. So, take note of the many ______________ and _____________________ in the Bible, which can teach you to pray.
Read James 4:3 (What do you think of this verse?)
Also notice: “Give us _____________________ our __________________ bread.” Our loving Father wants a _____________________ with us every day, not once a _________ or a few times each year. Yes, prayer puts your ________________ in His hands too, but your great confidence is that God will ________________ your prayers for “daily bread.”
“Forgive us our debts”—Forgiveness is life’s greatest prize. Without forgiveness, sinful people cannot have a _____________________ with a Holy God, but (amazingly) God has promised to forgive whoever ____________ Him! After King David had sinned by sleeping with another man’s wife, and then getting that man killed, he prayed: “Against You ______________ have I sinned” (Psalm 51:4). Therefore, we see that even _______ committed against other people are really committed against ______________—the only one who can really forgive us. Because we keep failing, we feel ___________________ to keep asking for forgiveness, but remember that this is a ___________________ prayer! Your loving Father knows you cannot be “_____________________” on this earth; that is why Jesus went to the cross. It’s amazing, but God _________________ you that much, so live in _____________________ for the cross and for His unending love.
Read Jesus’ parable (story with a moral point) in Matthew 18:21-35. What is the point?
“as we also have forgiven our debtors.”—Forgive others. This is _____________________ to understand but difficult to do. God has forgiven _______________ of your sin, and He expects you to forgive every time others “miss the _____________________” and act in a less-than-perfect way. We can see that this is a serious command, because Jesus repeats it with a strong emphasis in Matt 6:14.
“And lead us…”—ask for guidance. You can’t expect God to _____________________ your life if you are unwilling to _____________ and _____________ what he asks. But if you make Him “________________” (boss) of your life, and ask for guidance, God will direct you to the place where your life can make a _____________________.
“lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one”—Whether we like it or not, Jesus taught as if we are all soldiers in an invisible ________________, and we need _____________________ from someone who is “above” the battlefield.
Read Ephesians 6:10-18, then discuss this: In an ancient battle, how would it be helpful if the general were watching from a nearby mountain?
Remember that your “enemy” is unseen (to you). It is never your _____________________, your ________________, or your _____________________. Your unseen enemy is fighting God’s authority (and angels); so don’t get mad at the _____________________ who is causing you trouble, cry out to God to be delivered from these evil powers. And ask Him to _______________ you in the path He has chosen for you, and not into situations where you will be _____________________ to disobey your King. Again quoting Larry Lea: “Pray a hedge of protection [around] yourself and your loved ones (Job 1:9, 10; Ps. 91), and verbally put on the _______________ of God (Eph. 6:14-18).”
Tell your partner some of the things you are thankful for.
“for Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.”—end with praise and thanksgiving. __________________ God for allowing us to share in His eternal kingdom, power and glory. Thank Him for making you his ___________________. Thank Him for answering your prayers (and be _____________________!). When you don’t feel like praising God, start thanking Him, and you should find your _____________________ changing. Both praise and thanksgiving are tools or _____________________ in the unseen war, so use them! God doesn’t need our praise—a world of _________________ worships Him—but He deserves it. Prayer doesn’t change God, it __________________ us. He saved us and _____________________ Himself to us, and now it is our duty and delight to give him _____________________/praise.
“Amen”—so be it, or “let it be as I have _____________________.” Ending our prayer with “…in Jesus’ name, Amen” is an old tradition, and a good one. It reminds us that we are praying in the “name” or _____________________ of Jesus. Jesus gave us the authority to use His name, _____________________. (Read John 14:8-14.) To pray “in His name” means to be praying according to His _______________. This reminds us that we should primarily be praying for the things Jesus wants us to pray about—“things that help His kingdom come and His will to be done on earth,” not ____________________________. And by ending with “________________ (let it be so)” we are affirming our faith that God has heard us, and will use His Fatherly _____________________ and Godly __________________ to answer our prayers, in order to accomplish His _____________.
Scriptures quoted on this website are primarily from The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982; also on line at www.biblegateway.com
For more information about Christianity, check out https://peacewithgod.net/