This passage is the Lord’s prayer and is the model that Jesus taught his disciples to pray. Jesus has just been critiquing the way the Pharisees used long elaborate words when they prayed in order to impress others. Jesus instead taught his disciples to pray simply and privately. The prayer he taught them is absolutely saturated with the kingdom of heaven.
Acknowledge the King – The prayer starts by focussing on God. Before making our requests it is good to worship and acknowledge the king. Jesus emphasises God’s intimacy with us as our father and his heavenly reign. He then teaches us to hallow (declare as holy) God’s name. True kingdom prayer is God focussed prayer. It is about him, not about us.
Pray for the Kingdom to Come – Jesus taught the disciples to pray that God’s kingdom would come. What this looks like is God’s will being accomplished on earth just like it is in heaven. The fact we need to pray this shows that the kingdom is not yet here fully, nor is it something that will happen automatically. But rather the kingdom is here in part, and the prayer of God’s people plays a significant role in seeing the kingdom come more fully on the earth.
Pray for the Fruit of the Kingdom – The rest of the prayer is an elaboration on ‘Your Kingdom Come’. Everything that is been asked for shows what it is like when the kingdom of God comes. The hungry are fed. Sin is forgiven. Relationships are restored. Temptation is resisted. Evil is defeated. These are things that we should pray for ourselves and for others too.
- Pray! – This is a prayer that Jesus taught his disciples. The primary application is that we let this shape the way we pray. It would be good to give some time in the service to praying with a particular focus on the things highlighted in this prayer.
- Worship – The prayer starts with an honouring of God’s name. Spend some time in God-focussed praise and worship extolling his name.
- Forgiveness – Part of the prayer is the forgiveness of sins, and Jesus taught that our forgiveness is tied to the way we forgive others. Offer prayer for those with unreconciled situations with others, that they would be able to show the same forgiveness to others that Christ has shown to them.