The Model Prayer

  By Andrew Murray 

    “After this manner therefore pray ye:  Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name.  Thy kingdom come.  Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven” (Matt. 6:9-10).  There is something here that strikes us at once.  While we ordinarily first bring our own needs to God in prayer, and then think of what belongs to God and His interests, the Master reverses the order.  First, Thy name, Thy kingdom, Thy will; then, give us, forgive us, lead us, deliver us.  The lesson is of more importance than we think.   In true worship the Father must be first, must be all.  The sooner I learn to forget myself in the desire that He may be glorified, the richer will the blessing be that prayer will bring to myself.  No one ever loses by what he sacrifices for the Father.

    This must influence all our prayer.  There are two sorts of prayer:  personal and intercessory.  The latter ordinarily occupies the lesser part of our time and energy.  This may not be.  Christ has opened the school of prayer specially to train intercessors for the great work of bringing down, by their faith and prayer, the blessings of His work and love on the world around.  There can be no deep growth in prayer unless this be made our aim.  The little child may ask of the father only what it needs for itself; and yet it soon learns to say, Give some for sister too.  But the grown-up son, who only lives for the father’s interest and takes charge of the father’s business, asks more largely, and gets all that is asked.  And Jesus would train us to the blessed life of concentration and service, in which our interests are all subordinate to the Name, and the Kingdom, and the Will of the Father.  O let us live for this, and let, on each act of adoration, Our Father! there follow in the same breath, Thy Name, Thy Kingdom, Thy Will; for this we look up and long.