As we conclude our brief look at principles of prayer as outlined in Jesus’ model prayer (Matt. 6:9-13), it is important to recognise and reiterate that what Jesus gave was a model. It was not intended for us to necessarily recite or repeat word for word.
While we may find it inspiring to pray “in the words that Jesus taught us”, I think the concept is erroneous, as Jesus’ intention was not to give a script for our prayer, but rather, an expressed guide to the substance which our prayer should contain.
We have to be very careful not to convert the sacred text into vain repetition, thereby nullify the potency and effectiveness of what prayer is to be. Let us instead apply the principles outlined therein.
1. We approach God in prayer on the basis of our relationship with Him, as established through our faith in Christ Jesus. 2. We hallow His Holy name: declaring the Holiness of God and personally identifying with who He is. 3. We come in submission to God, acknowledging His sovereignty and superiority. 4. We trust God as supplier of our needs and ask in faith knowing that we shall receive from God. 5. We ask God for forgiveness of our sins and we extend mercy to those who have wronged us. 6. We ask for divine protection and submit to God's protective guidance. 7. Finally, we bring glory, honour and praise to Almighty God not only in our expressions, but in our very lives.
I trust that these thoughts, over the past few days, would have inspired you to truly pray as Jesus taught His disciples. Amen.