“The Lord’s Prayer”, which is referenced in the gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke is, often recited by many people who consider themselves to be spiritually minded. Let’s reference Matthew 6:9-13 (NASB) for this discussion:
9 “Pray, then, in this way:
‘Our Father who is in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
10 Your kingdom come.
Your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 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.’]”
Once again, as we’ve attempted to do in other blogs, we will use the very passage of scripture being referenced for proper context. Verse 9 offers direction here. The statement: “Pray, then, in this way” is another way of saying “here is an example”, or “here are things to consider when you pray.” If we use Christ as an example throughout the gospels we realize that he only referenced what we know as “The Lord’s Prayer” on one occasion which was a teaching moment.
Just examining the structure of Christ’s example we see that we should always acknowledge and praise God first and foremost, who is the provider of our sustenance (verses 9 & 10); make our petition or request known (11-13) and ask for forgiveness (verse 12) not expecting it if we aren’t willing to extend forgiveness to others.