The Sermon on the Mount

Day 17: The Model Prayer

Matthew 6:9-15, Proverbs 30:8, Luke 11:2-4, James 1:13-15, 1 Peter 1:3-9


Growing up, I was one of three siblings. Although I was older, there came a point when my younger sister somehow learned how to tie her shoes before I did. So I asked her to teach me, but no matter how many times she showed me, I kept butchering it. Eventually, I came to the point where I would have rather just had velcro shoes.  

After much practice and many failures, I finally learned to tie my shoes—because my sister knew what she was doing and modeled it for me. In a way, this reminds me of when the disciples asked Jesus how to pray. They were looking to their future older brother to teach them how to tie the divine shoestrings of prayer.

Prayer is our vital lifeline to fellowship with God the Father. In Matthew 6, Jesus gives us the perfect model for prayer (but not before telling us how not to pray in verses 5-8). In verse 9, Jesus says that when we pray to God, we should talk to Him as our Father who is in heaven.

Friends, that ought to cause a well of joy and excitement to spring up within us, that we get to call the God of the universe, the Maker of heaven and earth, “our Father.” This means we are deeply loved and accepted as His children. If you’re like me and your idea of an earthly father is a painful one, let this truth to sink in and allow God to show you what a real Father truly is.

When my own daughter cries out and screams at me because she wants milk, I give it to her—not just because she’s crying and asking for it, but because she is my responsibility. She’s a gift from God, one on whom I seek to pour out my affection. So it is with God, our heavenly Father, who gives us good gifts and provides all that we need. When we come to the Father in prayer, we acknowledge our need for Him and His provision in every area of our lives. Jesus tells us that we can depend on God today and every day because His mercy and love for His kids is steadfast.

Our God is a Dad who loves, protects, and provides for His children. Following Jesus’ model for prayer should liberate us to come boldly before our Father knowing He deeply loves us and is always present with us.

God does not expect us to come to Him with eloquent, perfectly worded theological dissertations on prayer. He is looking forward to communing with His sons, whom He deeply loves.

Written by Jevon Washington