This, then, is how you should pray: ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. Matthew 6: 9 – 13
One of the things we seldom notice is the way in which Jesus structured the Lord’s Prayer. The purpose of the prayer is to teach as well as to give us a vehicle for asking for things and speaking our minds. And notably, the Prayer gives a distinct back seat to all the petitionary clauses that we are usually so eager to start our prayer life.
Long before we ever get to “Give us today our daily bread” or “Deliver us from the evil one”, we are urged to take a good long look at God for who He is, rather than to start with what we think and say and need. When we do that, we find Our Father is hallowed. He is more important than anything else.
It is His kingdom, not our wish list, which matters. It is His will that must be done, not ours. And so, in learning the Lord’s Prayer, we learn the right order of things and are taught a bit about how not to be fools.
Today, as you pray, put God first. Praise Him, ask for His will to be done and seek His face. There’s plenty of time for our petitions, understanding and opinions. But they aren’t the most important things. He is.