When Jesus’s disciples asked him to teach them to pray, Jesus gave them a model prayer. We call it the Lord’s Prayer, but really it’s the Lord’s model prayer. It is the way Jesus taught his disciples to pray.
When we say, “Our Father,” we remember that the God who created the universe is our Father in heaven. He is the Father who pro- vides. He is the Father who sustains. He is the Father who protects. And the prayer reminds us that we are able to run to our Father to let our needs be known.
But Jesus also reminded us that he’s not only our Father but he’s also our King. So when we say, “Your kingdom come, your will be done,” we realize our Father is the King. We’re coming to our Father, who is the King of the universe, who has complete and total authority over all things. Our focus must first and foremost be on our Father, who is King. And the greatest joy for his children is that his name would be hallowed, that his name would be famous. And so we should pray, “God, make your name famous.” The Lord’s Prayer is also a corporate prayer. “Our Father” reminds us that we’re not an only child. Our desire is to make sure his name is hallowed over all the earth. Ultimately, this world is not our home, and we long for his kingdom to finally and fully be established. But until then, Jesus reminded us that we can go to our Father. When we fail our Father, when we fail our King, we can ask for forgiveness.
The Lord’s model prayer instructs us that we are utterly dependent upon our Father for all of our daily needs. I think modern-day people tend to forget this. Jesus said to pray in this way: “Give us this day our daily bread.” That is very humbling.
Finally, until God’s kingdom comes we need to understand that we are engaged in a spiritual battle, and we need protection. We ask our King to protect us. In fact, the apostle Paul reminds us that in this spiritual warfare that we don’t put on our armor, we put on God’s armor (Eph. 6:10–18). We put on our King’s armor. We put on our Father’s armor, and we fight in the strength of our Father. So it is right and good for us—whatever our needs or circumstances may be—to remember that we are utterly dependent, moment by moment, breath by breath, on our Father King, and we can run to him. We can come to him, and we can ask him for the things that we need.
As long as we have breath in us, let us live to make the King’s name famous, to hallow his name, both as a church and also as individual Christians, longing for his kingdom to come. Let us long for the return of Jesus, but know that until that day comes, he will pardon our sin, he will provide our daily bread, and he will protect us from the Evil One.