Session 13 Being Taught to Pray by Jesus (Mt. 6:9-13)
I. THE MODEL PRAYER
A. It is a great gift to learn about prayer from the One who had the greatest prayer life and the
greatest teaching ministry in all history. Matthew 6:9-13 is one of the most familiar passages in
the Bible, yet so few have searched out its deeper treasures. Its over-familiarity has resulted in
many being content with a superficial view of its glorious contents.
B. Jesus gave us a model of prayer (Mt. 6:9-13) based on what God is like and on the nature of the
kingdom. It covers all the foundational basics that are expanded on throughout Scripture. Jesus
told us the things that we must know and keep central in our quest to grow strong in prayer.
9In this manner, therefore, pray: our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name. (Mt. 6:9)
C. Jesus pointed out six requests to pray regularly. The first three focus on God’s glory (His name,
kingdom, and will). The second three focus on man’s needs (physical, relational, and spiritual).
II. OUR FATHER IN HEAVEN
A. Jesus’ teaching on prayer starts with a strong focus on who God is—He is our Father in heaven.
Foundational to a strong prayer life is a right view of God as our heavenly Father. A. W. Tozer
insists that a low view of God has been the biggest problem in the Church in every generation.
As we pray, we must intentionally take time to recall who He is according to His Word.
9Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name. (Mt. 6:9)
B. In the time of Jesus, the Jewish people saw God as transcendent creator and King. They trembled
before His great power. Jesus taught them that their creator God was their Father.
C. In heaven points to God’s transcendence. Jesus combined two ideas about God—He is powerful
and personal. He combined God’s fatherly love with His heavenly power, His transcendence
with His tenderness, and His being exalted so high with His humility that bows so low.
D. He is a Father who longs for a relationship of deep partnership with us, in which He trains
(disciplines), provides for, protects, and directs us with tenderness. He plans our destiny in His
glory with great detail. He is a Father in the core of His personality. He expresses the fullness of
the highest ideals of fatherhood. C. S. Lewis wrote of God as being “beyond personality.”
E. Our Father in heaven is so kind, yet terrifying, in His majesty. We are to draw near to His tender
heart with great confidence, adoring love, awestruck humility and wholehearted obedience.
F. Our: He is not only my Father, but our Father. Our prayers requests are tempered by the realities
of who we are to God as one family. We are to pray inclusively for the whole family of
believers, and not for ourselves only.
G. Revelation 4 is one of the great passages on the Father’s heavenly glory and beauty.
I see four categories, each having three themes. These 12 details have many implications.
1. The beauty of God’s person: how God looks, feels, and acts (4:3)
2. The beauty of God’s people: the Church enthroned, robed, and crowned (4:4)
3. The beauty of God’s power: manifest in the lightning, thunder, and voices (4:5a)
4. The beauty of God’s presence: His fire on lamps, seraphim, and the sea (4:5b-7; 15:2)
2A throne set in heaven…3He who sat there was like a jasper and a sardius stone in
appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne…like an emerald. 4Around the
throne…I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white robes; and they had crowns…5From
the throne proceeded lightnings, thunderings, and voices. Seven lamps of fire were burning
before the throne…6There was a sea of glass, like crystal…around the throne, were four living
creatures…8they do not rest day or night, saying: “Holy, holy, holy, …” (Rev. 4:2-8)
H. Jesus set the context of intimacy with God within His sovereignty and majesty. Some only see
His heavenly glory, but do not see His nature as a Father with deep love. They depersonalize
God, presenting Him as majestic, but distant, cold hearted, and even harsh. We will see much
more of the truth of His fatherhood as we see glimpses of His transcendence. Others only see
Him as a tender Father, without seeing His heavenly glory. They see a Father who is kind and
personal but without trembling before His transcendence. They portray God as a familiar and
fun-loving buddy. It is based on bad and shallow theology and little personal experience of God.
III. PRAYING FOR GOD’S GLORY (MT. 6:9-10): THREE REQUESTS
A. Petition #1 – Praying for God’s name to be hallowed: God’s name refers to His person,
character, and authority. His name is hallowed when it responded to in a way that He is worthy
of. The very thought of His name stirs awe and holy fear in any who understand a little. This
petition is that God’s majestic name be revealed to us and then through us.
9Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name. (Mt. 6:9)
1. We pray, “Lord, work in me and others, so that we see and respond appropriately to Your
greatness.” We ask God to release His power to cause more people to see the truth about
Him and to refuse to take His name in vain in jest or expressions of anger.
2. This is a prayer that the Father receive the highest place in our life, heart, and worship.
We revere God’s name by not asking for anything contrary to His glorious name and will.
B. Petition #2 – Praying for the kingdom to come: We ask for His kingdom to increase on earth.
The kingdom is the place where His Word is obeyed, His will is done, and His power expressed.
For example, it is manifested when the sick are healed and demons are cast out (Mt. 12:28).
10Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. (Mt. 6:10)
1. The kingdom is manifest in part in this age and in fullness when Jesus returns to earth.
The kingdom is “already, but not yet”—it is already here, but not yet fully here (Mt. 3:1-
2; 4:17, 23; 6:10, 33; 10:7; 12:28; 13:11; 16:18-19; 19:12; Mk. 4:11, 26; 9:1; Lk. 16:16;
17:20-21; 18:16, 29-30; Acts 14:22; 19:8; 20:25; 28:23, 30-31; Rom. 14:17; 1 Cor. 4:20).
2. We are to labor in prayer for the kingdom to increase. The error of the church of Ephesus
was to do kingdom work without prayer or connecting deeply with Jesus (Rev. 2:4). The
Lord gives more if we ask for more—in the process of speaking to God and bringing Him
these requests, we develop our relationship with Him, and this is what He really wants.
3. This petition includes being kingdom-minded in our lifestyles and in our attitudes
towards others. Therefore, we are to work together with other believers, instead of having
a territorial attitude and being focused only on our own sphere of authority and influence.
C. Petition #3 – Praying for God’s will to be done: The third request includes our obedience in light
of God’s kingdom purposes. His will consists of His commands and our ministry assignment.
Some who are committed to changing the nations are not committed to personal purity. They are
more captivated with their ministry as a “change agent” than with Jesus and obeying Him.
10Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. (Mt. 6:10)
IV. PRAYING FOR OUR PERSONAL NEEDS (MT. 6:11-13): THREE REQUESTS
A. The next three requests are for our needs—physical (daily bread), relational (forgiveness), and
spiritual (deliverance from evil). Jesus commanded us to bring our personal requests to God in
prayer. These prayers express our dependence on God in every area of life. Some wrongly
conclude that this kind of prayer is “selfish,” so they neglect to make petition for personal needs.
B. Petition #4 – Praying for our daily provision: This request is for our daily provision, protection,
and direction. We do not pray to inform God of our needs (Mt. 6:7-8), but to enhance our
relationship with Him. Asking God for our needs does not free us from the responsibility of
working. He meets our needs partially by giving us the ability and opportunity to earn a living.
11Give us this day our daily bread. (Mt. 6:11)
C. Petition #5 – Praying for forgiveness: This petition helps our relationship with God and people.
This is a prayer for restored communion with God that also renews our relationship with others.
12And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. (Mt. 6:12)
D. We are justified by faith, so prayer for our debts to be forgiven speaks of restoring our fellowship
with God (1 Jn. 1:9), not being saved from hell. It is to cleanse our heart and thoughts.
9If we confess our sins, He is faithful…to cleanse us from unrighteousness. (1 Jn. 1:9)
E. The proof that we have been freely forgiven is that we gladly forgive others. The man who
knows he has been forgiven is compelled to forgive others. Jesus did not say, “Forgive us our
debts because we forgave our debtors.” This truth was illustrated in John 13, when Peter refused
to let Jesus wash his feet, Jesus said that he was clean and that He only needed to wash his feet.
10He who is bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean
F. Petition #6 – Praying for deliverance from evil: This petition is that the Father lead us away
from temptation. God never tempts anyone with evil (Jas. 1:13).
13And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. (Mt. 6:13, NIV, RSV)
G. Jesus’ point was to pray that God help us to avoid and escape temptations. He used a figure of
speech to express one petition in two ways—lead us from temptation and deliver us from evil.
The second half of the request defines positively what the first half says expresses negatively.
H. There are opportune times when demonically-energized temptations hit us like a “storm.”
13The devil ended every temptation…he departed from Him until an opportune time. (Lk. 4:13)
I. Jesus was calling the apostles to pray this prayer (Mt. 6:13) when He urged them to pray to not
enter into temptation (Mt. 26:41; Lk. 22:40). To enter temptation speaks of something far more
intense than the general temptations we all face. It points to a specific “storm of temptation” that
occurs when three components come together—when demonic activity against us is heightened,
our lusts are aroused, and circumstances are optimum for sin.
41Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.
31Satan has asked for you [Peter], that he may sift you as wheat. 32But I have prayed for you,
that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me… (Lk. 22:31-32)
J. Pre-temptation prayers for help will remove or reduce a storm of temptation. Praying before the
temptation expresses humility that depends on God’s strength and acknowledges our weakness.
K. David prayed for deliverance from sinful situations even before they occurred (Ps. 19:12-13).
13Keep back your servant from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me. Then
I shall be blameless… (Ps. 19:13)
L. We “take heed” by keeping our relationship with Jesus strong through a consistent prayer life.
12Let him who thinks he stands [without prayer] take heed lest he fall… 13God is faithful, who
will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also
make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. (1 Cor. 10:12-13)
M. Jesus calls us to “pray always” to prepare for the snare of temptation in the end times.
34Take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and
cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. 35For it will come as a snare on all
those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. 36Watch and pray always that you may be
counted worthy ]found prepared] to escape…and to stand [victorious] before the Son of Man.