The prayer in Matthew 6 is often called the Lord’s Prayer; however, it is more accurately the disciple’s prayer. In Luke 11, after Jesus finishes praying, we see that the disciples asked the Lord to teach them how to pray. They wanted to know how to make contact with God. The disciples saw that prayer was for Jesus much like breathing. It was something that Jesus had to have to make it. Jesus tells them to “Pray, then, in this way.” He is giving them a pattern for prayer – a model in which to follow. It is not meant to be meaningless words said in repetition.
“Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.” There’s so much in this. “Our Father” establishes the paternity of prayer. “Our” lets us, as believers, know we are not alone. You are not an only child in this family of God. We have a father. We are inner connected with our brothers and our sisters. Also, know that only believers can pray. Even though God is the creator of man, He is not the father of all men. To become a son or daughter of God you must be born again. John 1:12 “as many as receive Him, He gave them power to become children of God.” If you deny the Son, you can’t have the Father. Jesus Christ the Savior is the only one who can grant you access to the Father. He is “our Father.”
And He is just not any father, but our Father “who is in heaven.” He is a father we can trust, and a father that is concerned about our welfare. This means He protects us, and also disciplines us. Because it is His prerogative as a father, He may say yes to us or He may say no. He is looking out for the whole family. We may not always know what He is doing, but we should know we can trust His heart for us. Being God of the universe doesn’t get in the way of Him being Father. God is available to us. And even though He’s got millions and millions of children that He must govern, He’s still daddy, and you can get His attention.
“Hallowed be Your name.” Jesus prayed because He always wanted to be in touch with up there in heaven since up there ruled down here on the earth. Prayer helps you to make it in the messiness of earth, because it gives you the direction of heaven. Hallowed is from the same root word that you get the word holy, sanctify, or sanctification. It means to set apart as unique or special. God is in a class by Himself. God has many names and they all point to His character, His attributes. God has a name that fits every situation. He has a name that can relate to where you are, and different situations.
- Were you familiar with the prayer in Matthew 6 growing up? Who taught it to you?
- Are there any other prayers you grew up reciting? Share one with your group.
Let’s Get Personal
- As you reflect on your current prayer life, share with your group something that has helped you learn how to pray?
- Knowing that Jesus Christ is the only one who can grant you access to the Father, have you taken the steps to receive Him as your Savior? If not, is there anything preventing you from doing so now?
- Have you ever been disappointed when God said no to something you wanted and later discovered He was protecting you? If so, share this experience with your group.
- Have you ever experienced answered prayer? Share with your group how you needed God to intervene in a situation, and how He answered your prayer.
Take the Next Step
- Share with your circle or group one thing they can be in prayer with you about this week.
- This week, pray that God helps you to understand Him more as Father.
- Want to go deeper? Take a look at the following passages: Luke 11:1; Mark 1; John 1:12; 8; 20:17; Hebrews 12; 1 Peter 3:15
Renew Your Mind
“In the early morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went away to a secluded place, and was praying there.”