The Lord’s Prayer


What is typically known as the “Lord’s prayer” could more accurately be referred to as the “disciple’s prayer.” The true Lord’s prayer is more likely the one in John 17, Jesus’ high priestly prayer. This prayer is how Jesus taught His disciples to pray. If we pray as Jesus taught us in Matthew 6:9-13, it will revolutionize our lives, the church and the world.

Prayer should be the very heartbeat of the Christian life. The early church began with prayer preceding the day of Pentecost. “These all with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer” (Acts 1:14). Just prior to the lame man being healed, Peter and John were on their way to pray (Acts 3:1). When Peter was locked up in prison, “Prayer for him was being made fervently by the church to God” (Acts 12:5).

The Lord’s prayer is as follows:

“Pray, then, in this way: Our Father who is 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 do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen” (Matthew 6:9-13).

Pattern of Prayer

Jesus begins His instructions on prayer by saying, “Pray, then, in this way” (Matthew 6:9). Jesus was not teaching us to pray this verbatim. It was not something we are to quote in prayer, as we often see done. This was a pattern for prayer, an outline for the way we pray to be filled in by us. Quoting this prayer as is would take seconds whereas using it as a pattern or outline could become quite lengthy.

I use this in my prayer time. I include myself, my wife, children, grandchildren, extended family, Ministrymaker Ministries and all the pastors and ministries associated with Ministrymaker. As I cover each category, I then begin to focus on specifics. Using this as a pattern, my prayer time can last anywhere from minutes to hours.

Paternal Praying

“Our Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 6:9). Our prayer is addressed to our Heavenly Father. Jesus said, “In that day you will not question Me about anything. Truly, truly, I say to you, if you ask the Father for anything in My name, He will give it to you” (John 16:23). We begin praying to the Father in Jesus’ name.

Using “our Father” is great for praying with a group, however, it might be good to make it more intimate by praying “My Father, who is in heaven.” We have become His children through the spirit of adoption (Romans 8:15 and Galatians 4:6). If we’ve been born again through faith in Jesus, the Holy Spirit resides within us crying out, “Abba Father.” This is both terms of reverence and intimacy. Father is a term of respect whereas Abba is an Aramaic term meaning daddy – a term of intimacy.

Presence of Prayer

“Hallowed be Your name” (Matthew 6:9). Hallowed means to regard as special (sacred), holy, set apart or to sanctify. We begin by setting apart and sanctifying God and His name. We are purposely setting Him apart in our prayer time, our hearts and life. As we are praying this for ourself, others (friends and loved ones), and the church, we are asking Him and His name to be set apart in our lives, hearts and inviting His presence in our midst as a church or group of followers.

I also view this as requesting Him and His name to be set apart, exalted and lifted up – worship. Our prayer time should always begin in praise and worship. “Shout joyfully to the LORD, all the earth, come before Him with joyful singing. Enter His gates with thanksgiving And His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name” (Psalms 100:1, 2 and 4). Praise and worship is the single greatest way of entering or ushering in His presence. “Thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel”, your people (Psalms 22:3).

I’m reminded of the heavenly scene in Revelation, “And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, LORD God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come. And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever, The four and twenty elders (representative of old and new testament saints) fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created” (Revelation 4:8-11).

Priority of Prayer

“Your kingdom come” (Matthew 6:10a). The priority of prayer should be focused on His kingdom. This can go in several different directions. I usually pray for God to reveal the majesty and glory of His kingdom to myself, my wife, our children, extended family members, the pastors and His church like He did in the transfiguration (Mathew 17:1-8), Moses and the burning bush and when he entered into the midst of the cloud (Exodus 3, 24:18), Isaiah in Isaiah 6, and John in Revelation 1, Paul on the Damascus road (Acts 9), etc.

Purpose of Prayer

“Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10). The purpose of praying is not just to get everything we want from God. The purpose of praying is the implementation of God’s will in the affairs of men. It’s not establishing OUR will, but His. Prayer must be consumed with seeking out, desiring, longing and praying for His will to be accomplished.

We must seek and pray for the will of God to be done in our own personal life, our families, our ministries, our nation, and the world. We must seek God for His will before uttering a word in prayer. Once we are convinced of His will, then we are to lay hold of God in fervent prayer until His will is established. “There is none that calleth upon thy name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of thee” (Isaiah 64:7).

The best way to begin is to search the scriptures to find some specifics of God’s will and pray accordingly. I suggest searching scripture to find out how to pray in accord with His will. When we know we are praying in line with the will of God, we can have faith and confidence we will receive the petitions we desire of Him (1 John 5:14-15). Here a few examples:

Provision of Prayer

“Give us this day our daily bread” (Matthew 6:11). We can pray for our needs to be met no matter what they may be. This is promised throughout scripture. Paul said, “My God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19). We are to pray and believe God for our personal needs, our business, our ministry, and all aspects of our life.

God is not only able to meet our needs, but He meets them “exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20). Talking about finances Paul said, “God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you always having all sufficiency in all things, might abound to every good work” (2 Corinthians 9:8).

It’s interesting that the context of both Philippians 4:19 and 2 Corinthians 9:8 is giving. The Philippians had first given to meet Paul’s needs (Philippians 4:17-18) and as a result he said, “My God shall supply all your needs.” The context of 2 Corinthians 9:8 dealt with sowing and reaping – giving (2 Corinthians 9:6-7). If we expect God to meet our needs, we must be faithful givers. If we are not being faithful with our personal finances, we have no reason to complain when everything we need isn’t there. When we are faithful, we can believe God for all the fullness of His abundance (Luke 16:10-12; Proverbs 28:20).

Pardon of Prayer

“And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors” (Matthew 6:12). The pardon here is twofold:

Path of Prayer

“And do not lead us into temptation” (Matthew 6:13). This is not to say that God ever leads us into temptation. “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man” (James 1:13). God does not tempt anyone to sin. We are praying that God will not allow us to be tempted.

Jesus stressed this because of our inclination toward sin. James goes on to say, “But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed” (James 1:13). This is a personal awareness of our own weakness. If God does not help us, we are all susceptible to succumbing to temptation.

We may also add to this, “lead me in the paths of righteousness for His (Your) name’s sake” (Psalms 23:3). God don’t let me fall into temptation but in contrast lead me in the right direction, “Paths of righteousness” for Your name’s sake. Lead me in the right way.

Power of Prayer

“But deliver us from evil” (Matthew 6:13). God has the power to deliver us. Jesus prayed, “I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep (guard, protect, deliver) them from the evil one” (John 17:15). Peter said, “Who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Peter 1:5). The Psalmist said, “The angel of the LORD encamps all around those who fear Him, And delivers them” (Psalms 34:7).

As I pray for myself, wife, children, ministers, and ministries, I ask God to protect and deliver us from the evil one, evil things that might come against us, the deceptions of this world’s philosophies (Colossians 2:8), and any inclination toward toward evil or sin. I pray for God to deliver us from all that might be negative and release the fullness of His blessing into our lives, affairs and situations (1 Chronicles 4:9-10). I have faced many battles in life and I’d hate to think what it would have been like if I hadn’t prayed this regularly. Let’s pray daily and believe God to deliver us from all evil.

Praise of Prayer

“For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen” (Matthew 6:13). This prayer begins with ushering in God’s presence through praise and ends with the same. We should always end any time of prayer with thanksgiving. Paul said, “In everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6). Prayer focuses on the problem whereas praise focuses on the answer and solution. Once we’ve prayed, we must thank Him in advance for the answer. This demonstrates faith in what God will do on our behalf.

Pledge of Prayer

“For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen” (Matthew 6:13). In this we are saying, “It’s your kingdom to disburse at your choosing, you have the power to execute all that I’ve requested and I pledge to give you all the glory.” This pledge is imperative. God will share His glory with no one. It’s a must that when God comes through for us we give all the glory to Him.


Starting a new church or ministry is one of the most rewarding things you can do to advance the kingdom, but it can also be very challenging. With over 40 years of church planting and ministry experience, Dr. Linton's passion is to encourage, support and equip pastors and church leaders.