On this our final post on the ‘Lord’s Prayer’, it is my desire and prayer that we have been able, by God’s grace, to begin you on a journey of formulating a biblical perspective on prayer.
I do not pretend to think that I have even begun to sufficiently deal with the issue or teach all Matthew 6 has to say about prayer. It is only my desire to serve you an appetizer that gives a taste that will leave you desiring more. Oh that you would delve deeper into the riches of what God’s word says – to taste and see that the Lord is good. If you pull anything away from these post, let it be that prayer is a means by which the Lord gives us the privilege to commune in fellowship with Him and to be a part of discovering and bringing about His will to glorify Himself in all things.
As we look at the end of this prayer in Matthew 6, our Lord ends with a list of things that are a generalization of all that we desperately need. But this is no mere list, but rather a confession of our complete need of Him and an exhortation to where our eyes should be fixed as we walk daily with Christ the giver and fulfiller of all our needs.
Give us our daily bread & forgive us
We are, of all things, a people who are in need. Before our regenerate state, we could not see this. However, now that we personally know the grace of God, prayer is a means by which we can daily confess our need of Christ and our dependence upon Him for both our spiritual and physical needs. In all reality, we never stop looking to Christ for salvation. The need for salvation does not end once we “become saved”. Because of His grace, we can now begin to grow in our understanding of our need of Him.
We never move away from our need of the gospel, we only grow in a more full understanding of and how it affects our lives. Don’t get me wrong: we are saved. It’s a done deal. We are complete in Christ [Col. 1]. We have all that pertains to life and godliness. But don’t forget: Christ is in the process of conforming us to His image. He is sanctifying us, and through prayer that confesses Him as provider of all things, we undergo an aspect of satisfaction.
Confess to the Lord that you have need of physical sustenance, which He, the sovereign ruler and creator of all things, can give. Confess each and ever sin on a daily basis. Repent. Never take your eyes off the cross. Ask Him to give you a more sensitive heart that sees it’s sin in all its ugliness, yet forgiven at the cross. Don’t forget that in Christ dwells the fullness of all things [Col.1]. This is why we ask Him for our daily bread and the forgiveness of sins.
Lead us not to temptation; deliver us from evil
There is only one-way to battle temptation: an utter and complete dependence upon God’s grace. There are indeed means of grace – His word, accountability, prayer, etc [Jam. 1, Gal. 6, Jam. 5:16]. But because of grace – the God given, redemption wrought ability to now do what I never could – we can be free from the bondage to fall into temptation. However, our sin nature still remains and temptation and evil is something that we will battle till our Lord returns.
But what means of appropriating this grace is most vital? Is it memorizing God’s word? Is it the sweet accountability of His Body? Or is it prayer? Each one is biblical and very important. I don’t think there is one that can be put over the other. They all work together as God given means to battle temptation. However, in this passage God is teaching His disciples to pray. And as He teaches them to pray, the specific supplication that He commands them to make is the request to lead them not to temptation – to protect and defend, which we know Christ does all of this.
Since through prayer we are actually confessing our need of His cross which won the victory, there is a profound emphasis on the work of prayer in the battle of sin. To fight the good fight of faith, it cannot be void of pray. Prayer causes us to recognize our complete need of Christ and His grace. It keeps our eyes fixed on the great Deliverer. Pray is not just a work, it is the work [Matthew 9:38]. By it, we confess, proclaim, and bring about the very ordained will of God. Pray. Memorize the word of God. Have those accountability partners but never every forget or lay aside prayer [1Thess. 5:17]. By it, we fight with the full armor of our God. It is a great privilege that we as God ordained priest can storm the throne of grace till our glorious God returns [Luke 18:1-8].