The entire first half of The Model Prayer is focused solely on God. Everything centers, as it should, around the God of glory. We rest in our new relationship as part of His family. We reverence His holy name. We surrender to His reign and the pursuit of His kingdom above our own. We relinquish control by surrendering to His will. These are essential heart attitudes we must have in our daily discipleship and prayer life. But what about our needs? Our interests? How shall we pray for those things?
After praising God’s name, praying for His kingdom and will to be manifest in us and around us, we now know how to pray for our interests. Why? Because we have made His interests our priority. The request for personal needs is intensely spiritual in nature. Even though we are here making request for ourselves, the spotlight still rests squarely on the Almighty. As prayer is about adoration, devotion, and worship, it is also about asking, dependence, and needs.
The second half of this instructional prayer guides believers to pray for daily physical needs, spiritual needs, trials, and temptations, and for the ultimate glory of everything in our lives. We see that in the verbs used to highlight our requests – give, forgive, lead, and deliver. The request for daily bread highlights our physical needs.
Jesus is teaching us to ask for our necessities. A simple request for God to supply. We ask, seek, and knock (Matt. 7:7-12) because God is good and gracious to give. If He were not good, we would not ask. Remember He is our Father who cares for His children, our King who cares for His people, and our Lord who supplies for His servants. So sprinkle some praise into each request!
His provision is according to a plan. We are in need every day so we should pray every day. Like manna in the wilderness, He will be faithful to supply! The prayer closet helps eliminate anxiety about tomorrow and worry about the unseen future. It teaches us to live in a moment-by-moment dependency on the Lord and His provision.
Realize He delights to give good gifts to his children. Nothing honors God more than His children coming to Him in childlike faith, asking Him for what they need, believing that He loves them and that He is a generous God. Consider all the great gifts God has already given. If He did not withhold the most precious thing to Him, His Son; what will He withhold from us.
Pastor Chris Thompson