Corrie Ten Boom once asked, “Is prayer your steering wheel or your spare tire?”
My heart’s desire is to live a life guided by prayer. I want to intentionally pray over every facet of my life, from daily tasks to my family to God’s work among the nations. Being diligent in prayer is not my idea, but rather, something we all learn from studying the life of Jesus.
As Christ’s followers we are being transformed into His image daily (2 Corinthians 3:18). This is a comprehensive transformation that affects everything … from our character to our prayer life.
In Luke 11, Christ’s disciples recognized that, after their time with Christ on earth, their relationship to their Heavenly Father would be different than before. As they watched Jesus, they discerned that everything would be affected, even the way they prayed.
So they asked Him to teach them how to pray, and in His response, Jesus gives all believers an instruction manual on how to approach our Father in prayer.
He said to them, “When you pray, say: ‘Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come.’” –Luke 11:2
Christ-modeled prayer is centered on the exaltation of God’s Name and the reality of His Kingdom on earth.
Hallowed is a word used to describe God’s holiness and reverence for His Name. By praying for the Father’s Name to be hallowed, we are asking for His holy Name to be glorified in every place and above all else in this world.
The Heavenly Kingdom we’re instructed to pray for—free of brokenness, sorrow, and pain—will only come once Christ’s Name has been proclaimed in every hidden corner of our planet. By praying for His Kingdom to come, we are praying for the Name of Jesus Christ to spread further and faster so He can make His glorious return.
“Give us each day our daily bread.” –Luke 11:3
One of my dear friends likes to say that Christianity is a daily faith. Daily we abide, daily we trust, and daily we ask God to provide our needs.
By praying for our daily bread, Jesus is teaching us to pray for our basic needs today—nothing more and nothing less.
“Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us.’” –Luke 11:4a
Jesus calls us to seek repentance and forgiveness. Christ’s life, death, and resurrection wholly justifies all who place their trust in Him, but daily repentance is required as an ongoing effort for the believer.
In Acts, we learn that true repentance and trust in Christ cleanses us of our sins and refreshes us in the Lord, so daily we must seek forgiveness (Acts 3:19). And we learn in Ephesians that the believer not only asks to be forgiven, but also freely forgives others because of the abundance of grace received through Jesus Christ (Ephesians 4:32).
“And lead us not into temptation.” –Luke 11:4b
Lastly, we are taught to pray to be protected from temptation to the sins that taint our relationship with the Father. We rely fully on His sovereign guidance to direct our paths so we may stand against the schemes of the one who seeks to destroy us.
In the words of John Piper, “Until you know that life is war, you cannot know what prayer is for.”
This life is a battle against the kingdom of darkness, and prayer is a powerful weapon against the schemes of our enemy.
Will you follow Jesus’ model for prayer as you walk with Him today?
Kurt serves as East-West's President and CEO, providing leadership and oversight to all worldwide ministry endeavors in the nearly 50 countries in which East-West currently operates. Kurt and his wife, Pat, live in Dallas, Texas and have nine children and seven grandchildren.