The Model Prayer - Our Request

Bible Book: Matthew  6 : 11-14
Subject: Prayer, Lord's Prayer; Model Prayer
Series: It Was Just A Prayer Meeting

We mentioned that the model prayer involves 3 things that we need to do to make it effective and efficient in our lives, as follows:

1 – Effective Prayer Involves Relationship

2 – Effective Prayer Involves Responsibility

3 – Effective Prayer Involves Request

We considered our proper relationships last week. We need to have proper relationships with each other and with God. This means our trusting God. It also means knowing him personally as our heavenly father. It would also involve having assurance that we are children of God and that we are obeying him.

The Breakfast Prayer in Shenandoah

Charlie Anderson: “Lord, we cleared this land. We plowed it, sowed it, and harvest it. We cook the harvest. It wouldn’t be here and we wouldn’t be eating it if we hadn’t done it all ourselves. We worked dog-bone hard for every crumb and morsel, but we thank you Lord just the same for the food we’re about to eat, amen.”

Jimmy Stewart - Shenandoah

The first thing needed for effective praying is have that proper relationship.

Mat 6:9-13 KJV - 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. Amen.

The second thing we must do to be effective in our prayer life is to display proper responsibility. We saw that we were to “Honor Gods Name”, “Hasten His Kingdom”, and “Heed His Will”. In doing these three things we can find a prayer life that will be effective and useful to the glory of God as we pray.

The third thing that we must do to have an effective prayer life is to make the proper request to God when we pray. We know that after we have honored God by having the proper relationship and having the proper responsibility then and only then are we able to make the needful request to our heavenly father.

Moses prayed for years for God to set the children of Israel free but God refused to answer his prayer until Moses was a part of the plan. Nehemiah also had a burden for his people but was useless to God until he was willing to take on the responsibility to help God fulfill his prayers. True prayer involves people that understand the importance of taking responsibility.

1. God hears us when we pray.

2 – He looks at our hearts for sincerity and honesty.

3 – Do we mean what we are saying or are our words useless babbling?

4 – If we are asking God for financial needs do we honor him in our


5 – If we are seeking wisdom do we read his word for guidance?

6 – If we pray for the backslider do we really love them and want to

see them restored?

7 – If we pray for our enemies are we truly willing to forgive them?

Prayer involves relationship and responsibility.

Three basic requests are involved in the model prayer as follows:

I. The Request for Daily Needs

Mat 6:11 KJV - Give us this day our daily bread.

In this we find that God is concerned about the needs of our lives. So far in this prayer we find no mention of anything material in nature, but now we are going to get down to the nitty-gritty. We have a God that is concerned about our everyday needs of life.

A) The Lord’s Affection

It is wonderful for Gods children to know that he personally cares for us.

1Pe 5:7 KJV - Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

Clive Calver tells the story of his mother-in-law who had Alzheimer’s Disease - him and his wife were contemplating bringing her home - they went to visit not knowing if she would even recognize them. Clive told her that he would pray for her and if she wanted she could pray after he did. Her prayer - to his amazement went like this, "Lord, I don’t know who I am, I don’t know where I am, I don’t know what’s wrong with me, but Lord please help me!" Even in the throws of Alzheimer - not having your mind - God is so close and so near!

B) The Lord’s Illustration

The Lord was teaching Jewish men how to effectively pray and when he mentioned praying for our daily needs these men would have immediately remembered Israel’s journey in the wilderness.

Exd 16:1 KJV - And they took their journey from Elim, and all the congregation of the children of Israel came unto the wilderness of Sin, which [is] between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after their departing out of the land of Egypt.

Exd 16:2 KJV - And the whole congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness:

Exd 16:3 KJV - And the children of Israel said unto them, Would to God we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh pots, [and] when we did eat bread to the full; for ye have brought us forth into this wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hunger.

Positive Praying

Alexander Whyte, the Scottish preacher, always began his prayers with an expression of gratitude. One cold, miserable day his people wondered what he would say. He prayed, "We thank Thee, O Lord, that it is not always like this."

1 – Manna Provided

Exd 16:4 KJV - Then said the LORD unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or no.

Exd 16:5 KJV - And it shall come to pass, that on the sixth day they shall prepare [that] which they bring in; and it shall be twice as much as they gather daily.

Exd 16:11 KJV - And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

Exd 16:12 KJV - I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel: speak unto them, saying, At even ye shall eat flesh, and in the morning ye shall be filled with bread; and ye shall know that I [am] the LORD your God.

2 – Meat Provided

Exd 16:13 KJV - And it came to pass, that at even the quails came up, and covered the camp: and in the morning the dew lay round about the host.

Exd 16:14 KJV - And when the dew that lay was gone up, behold, upon the face of the wilderness [there lay] a small round thing, [as] small as the hoar frost on the ground.

Exd 16:15 KJV - And when the children of Israel saw [it], they said one to another, It [is] manna: for they wist not what it [was]. And Moses said unto them, This [is] the bread which the LORD hath given you to eat.

Exd 16:16 KJV - This [is] the thing which the LORD hath commanded, Gather of it every man according to his eating, an omer for every man, [according to] the number of your persons; take ye every man for [them] which [are] in his tents.

When Israel was in the wilderness God supplied them with manna in the morning and quall in the evening time. The disciples may have immediately had this thought in mind when the heard the Lord’s words. Upon entering the Promised Land the manna and the quall meat ceased, God had a new plan for his people. The children of Israel would now eat of the corn of their new land and in doing so they would have to trust God to help them along in their new journey.

It would benefit us to understand that the food that God provides for us is a miracle and nothing less. How humorous it is to hear people say that they are their own providers, this is truly ignorance and arrogance. I know we do go to the store and buy our food but we should understand that God is the one that allows us to have the strength to work and to earn the money so that we can purchase our daily bread.

It is truly miraculous to realize all of the things that occur between the seed being planted in the ground, harvested, prepared and ultimately purchased by us at the local market place.

Phl 4:19 KJV - But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

It is one thing to pray for our needs and altogether more to pray for our greed’s. It would probably press many of us to discern the difference of these prayers.

Luk 11:11 KJV - If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if [he ask] a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent?

Luk 11:12 KJV - Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?

Luk 11:13 KJV - If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall [your] heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?

The Lord is telling us here that he knows what we truly need as we are praying and that he will do what is best for us. He will not give us rocks when we need bread, nor will he give us scorpions when we need eggs. The Lord will not give us a serpent when we truly need fish.

1 – Our Daily Supplication “Give us this day”

2 – Our Daily Supply “Our daily bread”

God may not send us an angel to feed us as he did for Elijah, he may not even send manna or quall down from heaven, but he may send you the right job or give you the proper amount of strength to do the work that needs to be done.

A story is told of a small group study that was done each week a church. Each week it would be held in a different member’s home and the host would provide snacks and the opening prayer. One young lady always provided the best food, had the cleanest home, etc. But she could never say the prayer; she was terrified at the thought of praying in front of people.

Finally after years of trying she told the pastor one night “Tonight’s the night, I’m going to pray.” Everyone came, they snacked and talked and when it was time to start they all rose, bowed their heads and waited. After a moment the pastor began to wonder and looked over at the young woman. She was visibly shaking, tears in her eyes she quietly prayed: “Lord, Help! A-men.” What a perfect prayer. It says it all LORD (acknowledging sovereignty) HELP (Acknowledging Need) A-MEN (So be it.)

II. The Request for Forgiveness

This prayer now moves from “give us” to “forgive us”.

Mat 6:12 KJV - And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

In the bible sin is mentioned in many various portraits.

A) It is pictured as dirt

Psa 51:7 KJV - Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

B) It is pictured as death

Eph 2:1 KJV - And you [hath he quickened], who were dead in trespasses and sins;

C) It is pictured as disease

Isa 64:6 KJV - But we are all as an unclean [thing], and all our righteousnesses [are] as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

D) It is depicted as debt

Mat 6:12 KJV - And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

Sin literally is a dept that obligates us to God. It is only by the goodness and grace of God that he does not dismiss our sins and send all of us to hell. We are debtors and spiritually bankrupt, we have no means to pay for our sins or to purchase our sins.

Rev 3:17 KJV - Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:

Psa 19:12 KJV - Who can understand [his] errors? cleanse thou me from secret [faults].

1 – Forgive me “Our Needs”

In my day to day life I do things that are sinful to God and to others and in doing so it is mandated that I seek God for forgiveness. I need forgiveness for false promises, a deceitful tongue, impure thoughts, sinful deeds and dealings.

If I do not seek God’s forgiveness my life literally starts stagnating and I am in the process of being disciplined by the Lord.

2 – As I forgive others “Our Natures”

I also have a mandate from God to forgive others, it is not an option but ultimately a mandate.

Mat 6:14 KJV - For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:

Mat 6:15 KJV - But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Mat 18:21 KJV - Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?

Mat 18:22 KJV - Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.

3 – Forgiveness is a Reminder of my Sins

Mat 9:2 KJV - And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee.

Mat 9:6 KJV - But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house.

Rom 4:7 KJV - [Saying], Blessed [are] they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.

Jam 5:15 KJV - And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.

1Jo 1:9 KJV - If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

1Jo 1:10 KJV - If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

1Jo 2:12 KJV - I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name's sake.

4 – Forgiveness is a reflection of my Spirituality

Mat 5:9-12 KJV - Blessed [are] the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. Blessed [are] they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when [men] shall revile you, and persecute [you], and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great [is] your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

Mat 5:43-48 KJV - Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more [than others]? do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

Mat 7:1-5 KJV - Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam [is] in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.

Mar 11:25 KJV - And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.

Mar 11:26 KJV - But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.

Luk 6:35 KJV - But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and [to] the evil.

Luk 6:36 KJV - Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.

Luk 6:37 KJV - Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:

Luk 17:3 KJV - Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him.

Luk 17:4 KJV - And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.

Luk 23:34 KJV - Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.

Rom 12:17 KJV - Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.

Rom 12:18 KJV - If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.

Rom 12:19 KJV - Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but [rather] give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance [is] mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.

Rom 12:20 KJV - Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.

Rom 12:21 KJV - Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

2Cr 2:7 KJV - So that contrariwise ye [ought] rather to forgive [him], and comfort [him], lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow.

2Cr 2:8 KJV - Wherefore I beseech you that ye would confirm [your] love toward him.

2Cr 2:9 KJV - For to this end also did I write, that I might know the proof of you, whether ye be obedient in all things.

Gal 6:1 KJV - Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.

Gal 6:2 KJV - Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.

Eph 4:32 KJV - And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.

III. The Request for Guidance

We have the right to pray for about our daily bread, the right to pray about forgiveness, and the right to pray for guidance.

A) Guidance for Direction
B) Guidance for Deliverance

Mat 6:13 KJV - And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

We should realize that God does need direct anyone to temptation, that is not his plan or his purpose for us.

Jam 1:13 KJV - Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:

Jam 1:14 KJV - But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.

We need guidance when we are fleshly and may get ourselves into situations that will lead to temptation. We are directed to ask God to help keep us alert and attentive to the subtle ways of Satan and our flesh.

Mat 26:41 KJV - Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed [is] willing, but the flesh [is] weak.

1 Cr 10:12 KJV - Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.

1 Cr 10:13 KJV - There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God [is] faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear [it].


Prayer is our best tool

During Super Bowl XXXVII, FedEx ran a commercial that spoofed the movie Castaway, in which Tom Hanks played a FedEx worker, whose company plane went down, stranding him on a desert island for years. Looking like Tom Hanks in the movie, the FedEx employee in the commercial goes up to the door of a suburban home, package in hand. When the owner comes to the door, he explains that he survived 5 years on a deserted island, and during that whole time, he kept this package in order to deliver it to her. She gives a simple, “Thank you.” However, he is curious about what is in the package that he has been protecting for years. He says, “If I may ask, what was in that package after all?” She opens it and shows him the contents, saying, “Oh, nothing really. It is just a satellite telephone, a global positioning device, a compass, a water purifier, and some seeds.” Like the contents in this package, as a believer we have a package as well. Our prayers are the only telephone we need to talk with God – get on the prayer line. The will of God is our global positioning device – position yourself where God directs. The Bible is our compass – read the Word of God and trust Him to make a way out of no way. The Holy Spirit is our water purifier – the Living Water He provides will purify our hearts and minds. Our Time, Talent and Treasure are the seeds we carry – plant the seed as God directs.

Our “package” provides the resources for our survival and growth. We must open our package and take advantage of all of the contents. When we need direction, we only need to turn to God in prayer, yield to His will, ask His direction, purify our hearts and he will lead and guide us on the proper path. Along the way, He will prompt us to plant our seeds.

Kids Get It

My wife and I were trying to show our grandchildren the importance of thanking God for everything that He had blessed us with. We encouraged them to speak to God whenever they needed to know what they should do. Michael, our 4 year old grandson, enjoyed holding our hands, and with head bowed, he would close his eyes and listen as my wife or I led in prayer. One evening as we were preparing to eat the evening meal, I asked that we all join hands and bow our heads as I led in prayer.

To my surprise, Michael asked if he could say the prayer. I responded by asking him; "Michael, do you know how to ask God to bless our meal?" To which he nodded with enthusiasm that he did. So we all bowed our heads and I gave Michael permission to begin. Instead of hearing words of a prayer, I heard nothing, and was about to ask Michael to begin again, when my ears caught a very faint sound coming from the direction of his bowed head. I listened, I strained, yet I could not make out any intelligible words. Finally, a very hardy "Amen" was uttered from Michael, and he looked up with an expectant expression that looked for an affirmation from his grandparents that he had done a very good job.

Before I could say anything, to Michael, my wife instructed him that we would say the prayer again, because she could not hear a single word of anything that he had said. After all, we wanted to teach them how to talk to the Father, and they needed to know how to do so. What happened next drove home the lesson my wife and I had been attempting to teach. Michael’s facial expression changed from one of joy to one of puzzlement, and then he quickly added, "But Granny, I wasn’t talking to you, I was talking to God!"