Young man kneeling in prayer

The Model Prayer For Christians

.From Jesus model prayer for Christians, found in Matthew 6:9-13 KJV, we can learn seven elements of not only how to pray, but why and when each element of the prayer are particularly important.

Jesus provides the model prayer for us to follow

Here are the remaining four of the seven elements He teaches us to include in our prayers to God. I shared the first three of these elements in yesterday’s blog post entitled, “7 Types of Prayer.”

4. Contrition – “Forgive us our debts…”

Ask Him to receive your prayers of repentance

  • Contrition is the feeling of remorse and the desire to repent of sin.
  • When we ask God for forgiveness for things we have done.
  • They are essential prayers that allow us to confess our wrongdoing and reconnect with our forgiving Heavenly Father.
  • Psalm 51 tells us that when we mess up, God desires “a broken and contrite heart” from us.

“Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin! For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment.”

Psalm 51:1-4

5. Lament “As we forgive our debtors…”

Cast your pain and struggles onto Him.

  • God wants us to bring our fears, doubts, and despair to Him.
  • In 1 Peter 5:7, we are told to cast all our anxieties on Him.
  • We see countless examples of lament in the Bible, where faithful followers of God wrestled with doubts, difficulty, and even depression.
  • An entire book of the Bible is called Lamentations.

“O Lord, God of my salvation, I cry out day and night before you. Let my prayer come before you; incline your ear to my cry! For my soul is full of troubles, and my life draws near to Sheol. I am counted among those who go down to the pit; I am a man who has no strength, like one set loose among the dead, like the slain that lie in the grave, like those whom you remember no more, for they are cut off from your hand. You have put me in the depths of the pit, in the regions dark and deep. Your wrath lies heavy upon me, and you overwhelm me with all your waves.”

Psalm 88-7

6. Guidance “Lead us not into temptation…”

Communicate your deep need for His wisdom and direction.

  • Similar to prayers for deliverance, these conversations with God allow us to acknowledge God’s sovereignty.
  • We can express that He knows best and that we trust him to direct our lives when we ask Him for guidance.
  • Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us that we should not lean on our own understanding, but instead trust in the Lord with all our heart.

“Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.”

Psalm 25:4-5

7. Deliverance “But deliver us from evil…”

Cry out to Him your desperate need to be rescued or set free.

  • Prayers of deliverance are similar to prayers of petition. They are requests made to God to save us or others from challenging or dangerous situations.
  • What makes deliverance prayers different than all other forms of prayer is they acknowledge that we can do nothing apart from God and that only He has the power affect our situation.

“O Lord, how many are my foes! Many are rising against me; many are saying of my soul, ‘There is no salvation for him in God.’ But you, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head. I cried aloud to the Lord, and he answered me from his holy hill. I lay down and slept; I woke again, for the Lord sustained me. I will not be afraid of many thousands of people who have set themselves against me all around. Arise, O Lord! Save me, O my God! For you strike all my enemies on the cheek; you break the teeth of the wicked. Salvation belongs to the Lord; your blessing be on your people!”

Psalm 3:1-6

The take-home message for us

Reading and studying the seven elements may be overwhelming for some. God’s desire is not to burden us with sophisticated teachings that only a person with a PhD in theology can understand. No, he teaches us to read His word as a child might read it – simple and profound. Here is how I see Jesus’ instructions through the eyes of a child:

  • Adoration = Praise Him
  • Thanksgiving = Thank Him
  • Petition = Ask Him
  • Contrition = Confess to Him
  • Lament = Open your heart to Him
  • Guidance = Rely on Him
  • Deliverance = Trust Him

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