This topic is adapted from the PursueGOD Video YouTube channel.
The Lord’s Prayer is memorized by many people and often recited without much thought about the meaning of the words being prayed. But what is the heart of Jesus’s most famous prayer? Are we simply to repeat it, or is there more than meets the eye?
- When the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray, his response was the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13).
- One of Jesus’s first comments is that believers should not “babble” when they pray, thinking that they will be heard because they speak much. Ironically, some people use the Lord’s Prayer in a vain, repetitious way. Instead, the prayer should function as a pattern of prayer.
- Jesus begins the prayer by praising God the Father: “Our Father Who art in Heaven.” God delights in our presence and prayers.
- The second direction in the prayer is to yield to God: “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” This means that we are asking God’s will to be done just as perfectly in our own lives as it is done in Heaven itself.
- Third is, “Give us our daily bread.” We should ask God for things, and God desires this of us. We can trust him to provide our daily “bread,” which in our lives might mean food, housing, a car to drive, a job to earn a living, or whatever it is we truly need.
- Fourth: “Forgive us our sins.” Because of Jesus, our sins are forgiven. But there are times when, if we have been walking outside of God’s will, he does desire us to confess our sins. This is for the purpose of having the best relationship with God we can. We can confess specific sins to God, and we should be reflective of our behavior and attitudes.
- Fifth: “As we forgive those who have sinned against us.” Do we have bitterness in our hearts toward others? Forgiving others and receiving forgiveness can help us have better relationships with others.
- Sixth: “And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from the evil one.” Pastor Tom saw the biggest change in his own life when he began daily praying for God to deliver him from the evil one. This is the portion of the prayer in which we ask for God’s hedge of protection around us.
- “For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.” As we pray and seek God’s provision in and will for our lives, we must remember that all of it is for his glory. Pastor John Piper has famously said, “God is most glorified when we are most satisfied in him.”
- Watch the video together or invite someone to summarize the topic.
- What is your initial reaction to this video? Do you disagree with any of it? What jumped out at you?
- Have you ever recited the Lord’s Prayer in a vain, repetitious way? Explain.
- Give an example of what it would look like to begin your prayers with praise to God.
- Is it wrong to approach God with a broken, contrite heart? Explain.
- How would your life be different if God’s will was done in your life just as perfectly as it was done in Heaven?
- “God provides all of our needs, not all of our greeds.” Do you agree or disagree with this statement? Explain.
- Has a time ever come in your life where God specially and supernaturally provided for your needs? Explain.
- If we are already completely made right with God thanks to the work of Jesus on the cross, why are we instructed to ask God’s forgiveness in the Lord’s Prayer? Explain.
- Is there someone who has sinned against you who you’ve forgiven? Share as you are comfortable.
- Is there someone you have not forgiven, or is there someone who you need to continually forgive for their sins against you? Share as you are comfortable.
- Has there ever been a time in your life when you have especially prayed for God to “deliver you from the evil one?” Explain.
- “God is most glorified when we are most satisfied in him.” Do you agree or disagree? Explain.
- Do you have a “pattern” or a “routine” of prayer in your life? If not: should you? Explain.
- Write a personal action step based on this conversation.