Wanting to be like their master, the disciples asked Jesus how they should pray. The pattern of prayer Jesus teaches focuses more on what God wants than on our wants and desires. Half the prayer is focused on worshipping God, magnifying his name and asking for his Kingdom to come, and not our own. This prayer is about God’s will prevailing and taking shape, not ours. And somehow Jesus believes it enough for us to ask for what we need to sustain our daily lives; that we should be concerned with forgiveness and being free from evil and all the things that pull us away from God. It’s a very simple prayer, especially considering many of the ways we pray today, but it rightfully focuses our attention on God. How might using this prayer, or its form, reshape and invigorate your current prayer life?
One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”
He said to them, “When you pray, say: ‘Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation.’”
Then Jesus said to them, “Suppose you have a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have no food to offer him.’ And suppose the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’ I tell you, even though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your shameless audacity he will surely get up and give you as much as you need.
“So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
“Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”