The Lord’s Prayer (Discipleship Training)
The Lord’s Prayer: In the last section, we looked at the ordinary means of grace that God uses to disciple his people through word and prayer. Through the word, God speaks to his people to reveal himself, to convict us of our sin, and to lead us to faith in the promises of his gospel. Through the word, God speaks to us.
Through prayer, then, we speak back to God. The ordinary means of worship teach that our worship is a dialogue. God speaks to us in his word, and we respond to him in prayer. This is true in public worship as well as our private worship. Whether we gather with the church, or whether we meet with God alone, our goal is to dialogue with God.
How, then, do we learn to pray? This was a question that Jesus’ own disciples asked him. In response, Jesus gave us what has come to be known as “the Lord’s Prayer” (Matt. 6:9–13). Since the earliest days of the church, Christians have studied the Lord’s Prayer as the model form on which we seek to pattern our prayers.
Just as the Ten Commandments give us a comprehensive view of God’s law (albeit in summary form), so the Lord’s Prayer gives us a comprehensive view of how to pray (albeit in summary form).
To learn how to pray from the prayer that our Savior taught us to pray.
Read and discuss:
- Matthew 6:7–15: The Lord’s Prayer.
- Romans 8:26–27: The Spirit teaches us to pray.
- Ephesians 6:18: We must pray at all times in the Spirit.
- Philippians 4:4–7: In everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, we should let our requests be made known to God.
- 1 Timothy 2:1–2: God commands his people to pray for those in authority, and for us as we seek to live humble lives under that authority.
Read and discuss:
- Why should we seek to learn how to pray from the Lord’s Prayer?
- May we pray the Lord’s Prayer itself, or should we only model our prayers on the Lord’s Prayer (WLC #187)?
- What do each of the parts of the Lord’s Prayer teach us about how to pray?
- Pray the Lord’s Prayer, taking care not to rush through a rote prayer, but to consider how your Lord is discipling your prayer life through his prayer.
- Pray through each section of the Lord’s Prayer, working slowly through the whole range of what God teaches us to pray. Use the Larger Catechism and the prooftexts to guide your prayers.
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