The Model Prayer

“And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. 6 But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. 7 And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words.

8 “Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him. 9 In this manner, therefore, pray:

Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
10 Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
13 And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

14 “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” ~ Matthew 6:5-15.

Summary
Secrecy in giving (verses 1 to 4), praying (verses 5 to 8), and fasting (verses 16 to 18) is taught by Jesus. It is in this context that the pattern of the Model Prayer (verses 9 to 13) is given by our Lord. This contrasts with the hypocrisy of men, which is encountered in this chapter.

Analysis
“do not use vain repetitions” (v.7) — This prohibition does not contradict the principle that one should keep asking God for what is believed to be His will (Luke 18), but corrects the idea that God is impressed with quantity of words.

“Our Father … Amen” (vv.9-13) — This prayer is a model of brevity, asking first for God to be glorified and then for the needs of human life.

“hallowed be your name” (v.9) — Not just that God’s creatures may keep it holy, but that God may Himself hallow it by being the holy Judge and Savior.

“daily bread” (v.11) — The Greek word translated “daily” is known only from this prayer. It has been understood to mean “daily,” “necessary,” “future,” or “tomorrow’s” bread. It is a request for God’s provision for our daily physical needs.

“debts” (v.12) — Spiritual debts are in view. Christians forgive others in response to God’s forgiveness (18:32, 33); but if they do not forgive others, they cannot claim God’s forgiveness for themselves (vv. 14, 15).

“lead us not into temptation” (v.13) — The forgiven pray this petition because they trust God and they distrust themselves. The Father may test us (4:1; Deut. 8:2), but He will not allow us to be tempted beyond our capacity (1 Cor. 10:13).

“if you forgive … if you do not forgive” (vv.14, 15) – Our forgiveness is dependent on our forgiving. If we forgive, God will forgive us; if we don’t forgive others then God won’t forgive us.

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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