Posted by: mikenicholsblog | January 4, 2017

pray like this

“Man is at his greatest and highest when upon his knees he comes face to face to God.”
– Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Our reading this first week of the year has taken us to a very familiar passage in Matthew (6:9-13).  The Lord’s Prayer has been recited at weddings, funerals, baby dedications and even the occasional ballgame!  We all know it; we’ve all said it; we’ve all … missed it?!

Let’s take a minute to ponder what this section of Scripture named (by man), the Lord’s Prayer, actually is … or is not!  Jesus begins, “Pray like this”  This prayer is a guide, a template if you would, of how to model our own daily prayer.  If you read this specific passage again, I wonder what you might notice.  Every bit of the model exalts the Almighty.  In other words, our prayers should focus completely on God – praising, marveling, worshipping, and loving … God.  John McArthur is fond of comparing Christians’ prayers to sailors:  we pray the way sailors use their pumps … only when the ship is sinking!  We look at prayer as a time for us to tell God what we want!  When you read these verses again, perhaps you will see how much we have misunderstood the entire concept of prayer.

Let’s consider for a minute what this section of Scripture does NOT tell us:

It does not tell us where to pray.

It does not tell us when to pray.

It does not tell us what to wear.

It does not tell us what words to use.

So how do we know how to pray?  For that, Jesus gave us the example of His own prayer time.

Jesus spent a great deal of time in prayer.  He often rose early (before daybreak), yet we often see Him praying again in the evening.  And most telling, He always found a private place to pray alone.

So, I have been challenged at times in my life to take a closer look at the Lord’s Prayer.  I am reminded that we can pray in church or in the garage.  We can wear our Sunday best or our PJ’s.  We can pray at dawn or midnight.  But most importantly, we are not praying to a divine ‘Santa,’ approaching Him with a list of wants and desires.  Everything in our prayers should be moving toward one purpose … that God’s Son is glorified.

So here is our call to action:  Use the Lord’s Prayer as a guide to move toward prayer time that centers on God.  As we take our burdens to Him, our desire should move away from what we think should happen and move toward God’s perfect will, knowing that His action upon those prayers have one purpose – Glorifying His Son, Jesus Christ.

Pray then like this:
“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

Matthew 6:9-13 (ESV)



  1. Thanks for the reminder, a great way to begin the year! 🙏🙏🙏

  2. In agreement with Dennis. 😊 Great reminder to observe what and how and why we pray as we experience another beginning – 2017. Why we get to pray. Not conforming to our will or the world’s pattern, but remembering that Our Father claims His will to be good, pleasing and perfect. If we are unsure, He invites us to “test and approve”. 😊

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