By Akin Ojumu

Everybody knows the LORD’S PRAYER. This was Jesus’ teaching to His disciples and, by extension, us as well, on how and what to pray.

Matthew 6:8-14:

“After this manner therefore pray ye:

Our Father, which art in heaven, 
Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come. 
Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: 
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever.


When we pray, the Lord Jesus teaches us to come to Our Father who art in Heaven in a spirit of worship, thanksgiving, reverence, humility, and dependence. 

“Give us this day our daily bread.” (Matthew 6:11).

In our petition to God for our specific needs, we are told to ask for not more than what we need to sustain us from day to day i.e., “Give us this day our daily bread” and nothing more.

When we come to God, our petition should be about the bread for the day and not the groceries for the week. Our petitions shouldn’t be for vast riches or immeasurable resources. Our prayer to God should be that He meets our needs and not to feed our greed.

In the Lord’s Prayer, the Lord Jesus teaches us about trust in God. We are to believe that He will provide for us even if the situation we are in seems bleak at the time. On a daily basis, the Lord Jesus asks us to come before God with a bowl of petition that contains the specific ask for today and nothing more.

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?” (Matthew 6:25).

We also learn in the Lord’s Prayer never to be anxious about anything. Instead of worrying, we are told to let the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, guard our hearts and our minds in Christ Jesus. We are to fix our minds on the goodness of God.

“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” (Matthew 6:34).

Leaving our future in the hands of God is the other thing the Lord Jesus teaches us in the Lord’s Prayer. We are told not to be anxious about tomorrow because worrying about the future is an exercise in futility. Instead, we are invited to put our trust in a God who always fulfils His promises without fail.

“And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?” (Matthew 6:27).

With its checkered track record, anxiety has not exactly covered itself in glory. Nobody has ever grown taller by being anxious. Worrying not only cannot add a single hour to the span of our life, it, in fact, shortens our lifespan. Anxiety has a significant deleterious effect on our long-term health and well-being. Worrying is bad news for anyone.

“Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” (Matthew 6:26).

The birds of the air never ask for more than they need at a given moment. Yet, God never lets them go hungry or lacking at any moment. Since we are definitely of greater value than mere birds, we can be rest assured that God will provide all our needs no matter what.

Furthermore, it’s worth remembering that an effective and fervent prayer life rests on the solid foundation of understanding of God’s Word. You will never know what to pray and how to pray unless you know what the Bible says about God, His will, and purpose. Our prayer will amount to punching the air if we do not know what the Bible says about our lives, needs, and problems. 

Finally, prayers cannot be in a vacuum. Without the knowledge of God’s Word, we’ll always pray amiss. For our prayer to be effective, it must be accompanied by a comprehension of God’s purposes as written in His Word. We cannot know God’s truth without studying God’s Word. It is the study of the Word of God that infuses meaning and injects fervency into our prayer lives.


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