– John Bunyan
Jesus Christ gave us the pattern of prayer in Matthew 6:9-13 and tells us that we should pray to “our Father,” Whose name is hallowed or held in holy esteem or regard. It is a deep reverence for His name. Then we pray for His kingdom to come and for His will to be done and not ours. We must ask for our daily bread, and this would include our intake of the Bread of Life found in Scripture, but also we should ask for forgiveness, just as we forgive others. And finally, pray that God delivers us out of every temptation and keeps us from the evil one and his demons. That seems to be the pattern of prayer that Jesus taught us here.
Our daily bread is not only the Word of God. Although it is of more value than physical bread, it should include our daily, physical bread or provisions that we and our family will need. It’s not a “want this” list but a “need this” list, and God is pleased to bless us with the things we need. We can shield our souls by praying to God to provide for our daily needs and then rest in the fact that God knows and we know that God knows, which should be enough to give us peace of mind. Jesus promised that all of our needs would be met if we seek the kingdom first (Matt. 6:33), and that means seeking the King of that kingdom first.
Near the end of what is called “The Lord’s Prayer” is the prayer for protection. That seems to be the pattern of prayer that Jesus taught, and that shield of prayer to our soul includes shielding us from the evil one and his workers of iniquity (Matt. 6:13b). Brothers and sisters, we’re going to need protection because “we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (Eph. 6:12). By ourselves, we’re no match for Satan or the demons. That’s why we have to take up and put on our armor of God every single day so that “in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm” (Eph. 6:13), we can be “praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints” (Eph. 6:18).
In the Lord’s Prayer, we pray for God’s will to be done on earth as it already is in heaven (Matt. 6:10). Can you even imagine that God’s will is not already being done perfectly and in every way in heaven? Of course, it is. There’s not one random, radical molecule in the entire universe that is not under God’s sovereignty and providence (the future). We pray for His will to be done on earth. But more specifically, we should pray for His will to be done in our lives, and we can find what God’s will is by opening up our Bible because God’s will is revealed in Scripture.
Paul Bunyan was the author of “The Pilgrim’s Progress,” which is a book I highly recommend to every Christian but particularly for the new Christian because it takes the Christian through different periods in their life where they encounter doubt, fear, and a multitude of other human experiences. It is my hope that we now know the pattern of prayer that Jesus gave the disciples, which included the prayers for provision and the prayers for protection but also the prayers for God’s providence and His will to be done. That is my prayer for you.