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To Pray the Master’s Way

No matter what the denominational banner one is under, believers in Jesus can be unified and agree that the Lord himself gave us a most wonderfully complete model prayer.  This model prayer is most commonly known as The Lord’s Prayer.  It can also be referred to as The Prayer of Jesus, or The Disciples’ Prayer.  Can you just imagine what it must have been like, as one of the original twelve disciples, observing the close relationship Christ had with the Father as He spent those intimate moments in prayer with him?  Wouldn’t you also like to know His secret of prayer?

Scripture gives us a great view of the Lord’s response when the disciples asked Him to teach them how to pray.  (See Matthew 6:5-15 & Luke 11:1-13).  In Christ’s instruction on prayer, we do not find a mantra, nor anything formulaic about His model prayer.  What He does give resembles more of a prayer manner or pattern. 

Without over-analyzing this Prayer of Jesus then, I would like to suggest an easy to remember acrostic.  Just take the letters in the word pray;  P…R…A…Y, and I will identify for you what I believe are the four essentials in meaningful, effective Christ-like prayer. 

The ‘P’ in our acrostic stands for praise.  Notice how Jesus begins with,  “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name” (Matt. 6:9b niv).  When we declare God the Father’s Name to be hallowed, we are saying that He too, is holy, and most worthy of our praise.  For all those who can rightly call God “Our Father”, we can and must lift our praise to Him, for who he is, the one most worthy of our praise.

The ‘R’ stands for repentance.  Notice in verse 12 of Matthew 6, where the prayer asks to be forgiven of debts, or sins, or trespasses, depending on the translation.  One must be real with, and agree with that holy God that we have offended Him by our sinful thoughts, words, and actions.  Repentance is an act of completely turning away from our falling short before this holy God, and completely turning to Him alone for forgiveness.

The ‘A’ in PRAY stands for ask.  Even though this all-knowing God is completely aware of everything we need before we can ask it, verse 11 states: “Give us today our daily bread” (Matt 6:11 niv).  Just like our earthly fathers love to hear our requests as children, so too, does God the Father long for us to express our hearts before Him, showing our dependence on Him.  Once our hearts are in a proper ‘prayer posture’, having entered into prayer praising God, and repenting of our sin, only then can we rightly bring our requests to His benevolent throne.

Finally, the Master teaches us to yield.  This is the ‘Y’ in our acrostic.  We are to yield to His Lordship.  Do you acknowledge Him as Lord over your life today?  We do well to see that it is His kingdom that we are to pray for, and that His will be done on earth as it is in heaven. 

In closing, as we prepare to join together in prayer as a Nation on the National Day of Prayer, Thursday, May 7th, let us put into practice this manner of praying the Master’s way.  May we all remember that only God is worthy to rule in our hearts, only God is worthy of all our praise, only God can deliver us from evil.  May I add that His motivator is love, No one else has ever displayed such a measureless love as God has, and He has displayed it in its fullness in Jesus Christ, His one and only Son. 

Pray on!  And lift your praise…To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy-to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen. (Jude 24-25 niv)


Mark C. Kolwicz 

Columbia City



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