“Pray this Way”

One of the disciplines of the Christian life is prayer. In His instructions regarding prayer in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 6:7-13), Jesus begins by teaching us how not to pray (7-8). We must not pray using vain repetition supposing that God is more likely to hear us or that He will be more attentive to our prayers because of our many words. The truth is, God knows our needs before we ask Him even once to meet them. Jesus is not prohibiting us from repeating prayers, but perhaps, from using many words in prayer without an engaged heart.
The prayer Jesus gave as a model prayer is simple and short (9-13). It indicates the kinds of things we should emphasize in our prayers. After instructing us that prayer should be directed to God the Father, He teaches us first to pray regarding God’s glory. We must pray that God’s name be treated as holy, that His kingdom come and that His will be done. All three of these petitions are related to God being honored upon the earth as He is in heaven. The second set of petitions are for our needs of physical sustenance, forgiveness of sin and deliverance from temptation and evil.
This prayer is not the “Lord’s Prayer” in that Jesus Himself prayed it, but His prayer in that He gave it to His followers to pray. It is not for the world, but only for those who can rightly call God their Father.