Matt.6:11-13 – 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.’
Whenever I have trouble with personal private prayer, I return to two basic ingredients that have always helped me. First, I pray in the Spirit- the Holy Spirit takes over and my problem is solved. My second ‘go to’ is the Lord’s Prayer, which could be better called the disciple’s prayer. The first half of the prayer turns our attention to the glory of God. We recognize our Father and worship Him. We turn our attention to the heavenly realm, our Father in heaven. Then, we focus on the coming kingdom. After this, we move into the second part of the prayer which deals with our needs. Here is how Barclay describes the second half of the disciple’s prayer.
“The second part of the prayer, the part which deals with our needs and our necessities, is a marvelously created unity. It deals with the three essential human needs and the three spheres of time within which we all move. First, it asks for bread, for that which is necessary for the maintenance of life, and thereby brings the needs of the present to the throne of God. Second, it asks for forgiveness and thereby brings the past into the presence of God. Third, it asks for help in temptation and thereby commits all the future into the hands of God. In these three brief petitions, we are taught to lay the present, the past and the future before the footstool of the grace of God.”
This simple prayer is not so simple after all. When I ask the Lord for my daily bread, I am acknowledging total dependency on Him. Everything, all of my basic daily needs, comes from Him. Every good gift proceeds from the Father- He is daily supplying every need of mine. This prayer also points me to why Jesus came; my sin had separated me from God and from human fellowship. Receiving and giving forgiveness is also my daily bread. Christ has forgiven me and given me access to His presence. Walking in forgiveness toward others is our daily challenge; forgiving others is possible as we look to God in prayer. Finally, Jesus taught us to ask to be kept free from temptation. The Holy Spirit strengthens us so that we are no longer bound by sin. Get into the rhythm of the Lord’s Prayer (disciple’s prayer); you will be astounded at its depth.