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
A Family Devotion on Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13)
Writer: Matthew, one of the 12 disciples, in 55-65 AD
Context: As one of the four Gospels, the book of Matthew tells about the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. Matthew was a former tax collector whom Jesus called to be one of his disciples. The Gospel of Matthew contains many stories about Jesus’ ministry while here on earth, but it is better known for being dedicated to His teachings. If you want to read the words of Jesus, Matthew is the book for you! The beautiful thing we see in this Gospel is Jesus performing miracles, then following them up with teaching to support His actions. Matthew also emphasizes Jesus as the Son of God and the way Israel rejects Him. The religious leaders of the day were proud and often corrupt. Throughout Matthew, Jesus calls out this corruption and teaches on how to live a life that truly honors God.
Connect the Dots: Do you get nervous when you have to pray aloud? Are you worried about having the “right” words to say? You’re not alone! God is not worried as much with the words as He is with the heart, and Jesus knew the hearts of many Jews during His time were in the wrong place. Prayer was about performance for them and was therefore meaningless. Jesus wanted something better for His disciples and for us, so He took the time to teach us how to pray.
The prayer teaching found in Matthew 6:9-13 switches the focus from performance to the proper priorities. We can say The Lord’s Prayer exactly as it is laid out here, but we can also use it as a framework for how to pray in our own words. Think of it this way:
“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.”
Prayer should always start with praise. Recognizing the greatness and sovereignty of God should be our first priority because it also puts everything else in proper perspective. It’s all about His glory.
“Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”
Before we start listing off our prayer requests, it is important to remember His plan is the best plan. We should want to be in the center of His will more than anything.
“Give us this day our daily bread.”
I love that Jesus included this part in the prayer because it shows that He wants us to ask for what we need. The word “daily” helps me focus on today and not worry about tomorrow. Let us come to Him every single day to ask Him to provide just what we need for that day!
“And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.”
We are sinners saved by grace. We are forgiven for our sins because Jesus died on the cross for that very purpose. However, we still sin and that sin can put up roadblocks in our relationship with Jesus if we do not acknowledge it and ask for forgiveness. When we recognize our sin, we are also even more grateful for this forgiveness. Jesus doesn’t want anything getting in the way of our relationship with Him, so He asks us to pray for forgiveness and to forgive those who have wronged us. A daily examination of these things is a healthy part of a Christian’s prayer life.
“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”
We have a real enemy who wants us to be led astray, so we must daily pray for protection, discernment, and wisdom. We need the strength of Jesus to help us stay on the right path, so ask for it!
Whether you pray the Lord’s Prayer word for word or use it as a framework for your own prayers, remember your heart matters more than your word choice. He wants devotion, not perfection.
- What does my daily prayer life look like?
- What are my priorities in prayer?
- Which part of the Lord’s Prayer should I focus on more?
Pray: Lord Jesus, Thank You for the ways You lead me into a deeper, more intimate relationship with You. Forgive me for the times I’ve focused on performing instead of praying, for the times I’ve failed to recognize Your holiness and reign over my life, for the times I’ve demanded my own way when Your way is the only perfect way. Purify my heart, Lord, that I may draw closer to You and walk in Your will today. In Your mighty name, Amen.
Looking for a tool to talk about prayer with the littlest members of your family? Check out the adorable, I Prayed For You picture book. This cherished story creates the perfect moment to wrap your little one securely in the love of a parent and of God.
How are you learning as a family to pray like Jesus taught us to pray?