9 Pray then like this: “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 also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” (Matthew 6:9–13 ESV)
Perhaps with the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:1-17), the Lord’s Prayer is one of the most recited and remembered portions of Scripture. Wall hangings in many homes display it, children memorize it, and gifted singers regale audiences when they sing it. For the next several days, our attention is occupied with studying and understanding it.
However, rightly understood this familiar text is not so much the Lord’s Prayer as it is the prayer of the Lord’s disciples. Additionally, it is not to be unconsciously repeated. Rather, it is to be a guide for prayer. Jesus instructed His disciples about the proper order and contents of biblical prayer. “Christ does not enjoin His people to pray in a prepared form of words, but only points out what ought to be the object of all our wishes and prayers,” explains John Calvin.
The prayer consists of six petitions. The first three focus on the glory of God. The remaining three pertain to our relationship with the One, True, and Glorious God. Its structure is similar to the Ten Commandments (Ex. 20:1-17). The first petition is Hallowed be your name. The second is Your kingdom come. The third is Your will be done. The fourth is Give us this day our daily bread.
Kingdom focused prayer begins by focusing on hallowing God’s name, acknowledging His rule and reign in our lives, and seeking and doing His will. All three of these disciplines are perfectly done in heaven. Believers in Christ are to pursue them during their sojourn on earth (I Perter 2:11-12).
Kingdom focused prayer does not ignore one’s daily, physical needs. If our needs were important enough for Jesus to mention them, then it should be important enough for believers to pray for them.
Most of us grocery shop on average once a week; perhaps more and sometimes less. In America, we possess large refrigerators with a freezer. Some even have additional freezers in their garage or basement. Food spoilage today is rare. This was not the case 2,000 years ago.
“The fourth petition of the Lord’s Prayer has us asking the Father to “give us each day our daily bread” (Luke 11:3). Refrigeration has largely eliminated the threat of spoilage and the need to make everything we eat fresh on a daily basis. Most of the West does not worry about food scarcity and shortages. Consequently, we often fail to remember our utter dependence on the Creator to provide for all our needs,” explains Dr. R. C. Sproul.
“We are to pray for our survival. God pledges to meet our basic needs (Ps. 37:25), not to provide luxuries at all times. Bread was a staple of the diet in biblical times and was served at nearly every meal. To have bread was to have life, concludes Dr. Sproul.
Have a God-centered day today as you hallow His name, acknowledge His rightful reign as King, obey His will and ask Him to meet your needs. Blessings!
Soli deo Gloria!