When Jesus taught us how to pray, He wasn’t only teaching us what to pray for; but He was also teaching us Who to pray to and who to pray as.

Matthew 6:9-13 (ESV)

Pray then like this:

“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.”

A New Perspective

When we think of the Lord’s Prayer, we usually think of the things Jesus taught us to pray for.

What if we reexamined the Lord’s Prayer with a new perspective? What if we asked, “What does the Lord’s Prayer teach us about God, and what does the Lord’s Prayer teach us about ourselves?”

The truth is, when Jesus taught His disciples how to pray, He didn’t just teach them what to pray for; but He taught them Who to pray to and who to pray as.

Matthew recorded Jesus’ teaching on prayer so that all Christians throughout the ages would be able to learn how to pray from Jesus Himself. Therefore, Jesus teaches us all: what to pray for, Who to pray to, and who to pray as.

What We Learn About God

Who does Jesus teach us to pray to?

  • “Our father” = God is a parent
  • “in heaven” = God is above all things
  • “hallowed be your name” = God is holy
  • “your kingdom come” = God is missional
  • “your will be done” = God is in control
  • “on earth as it is in heaven” = God is active in both the physical and spiritual worlds
  • “Give us this day our daily bread” = God is a provider
  • “forgive us our debts” = God is forgiving
  • “as we also have forgiven” = God desires imitators of Himself
  • “lead us not into temptation” = God is a protector
  • “deliver us from evil” = God is a deliverer

What We Learn About Ourselves

Who does Jesus teach us to pray as?

  • “Our father” = We are children
  • “in heaven” = We are below God
  • “hallowed be your name” = We are unholy people
  • “your kingdom come” = We must let our kingdoms go
  • “your will be done” = We must let our desires go
  • “on earth as it is in heaven” = We must trust God is always present
  • “Give us this day our daily bread” = We must trust God to provide
  • “forgive us our debts” = We need forgiveness from God
  • “as we also have forgiven” = We need to imitate God
  • “lead us not into temptation” = We need to be protected by God
  • “deliver us from evil” = We need to be delivered by God

The Lord’s Prayer

Jesus may have taught us a brief prayer, but it is a very rich prayer. Let us not take Jesus’ teaching on prayer for granted, but let us continue to learn from Him and understand the depth of His teaching.

In what way do you need to experience God’s presence today? Do you need to experience Him as your protector? Do you need to experience Him as your provider? Do you need to experience Him as your deliverer? Do you need to experience Him as your father?

The truth is: we all need God, in all of these ways, all of the time. Sometimes though, we may need to specifically experience Him in one of these ways.

Let us begin to pray the Lord’s Prayer with this new perspective!