The Disciples’ Prayer Pattern

Matthew 6:5-18 (Jesus said) “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
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. For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”

Jesus taught His disciples how to pray in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 6:5-7:12). Approximately 1 1/2 years later, when they asked Him how to pray (Luke 11:1-4), He brought them back to “the pattern.”

This is an outline He established for communicating with God. It’s our “model prayer pattern.” Each phrase reflects a basic area of human need and places us in the position to be able to receive those needs.


1. BEGIN WITH PRAISEOur Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,…
“To hallow” means to admire, respect, acknowledge as being set apart. The word “name” gives the meaning of character or authority.
Begin prayer by praising Him through the Old & New Testament Names of God (Exodus 3:13-15)…
  • Elohim (God, Genesis 1 and many other places) Praise Him as our Creator, covenant God.
  • (Found in many places and written as LORD) Praise Him as the God of Holiness, Righteousness and Love.
  • El-Shaddai (The Mighty God – Genesis 17:1-2, 28:3, 35:11. and more) Praise Him as our Source of Life.
  • El Elyon (The Most High God – Genesis 14:22; Daniel 4:34-35) Praise Him as our King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
  • Adonai (Lord, Master – Genesis 15:1-8; Daniel 9:3-19; Malachi 1:6 ) Praise Him for being our Perfect Master.
  • El Olam (The Everlasting God – Genesis 21:33) Praise Him because He does not change.
  • Jehovah-Jireh (The LORD our Provider – Genesis 22:1-9) Praise Him because He sees and provides.
  • Jehovah-Rophe (The LORD our Healer – Genesis 15:22-27) Praise Him for His healing power.
  • Jehovah-Nissi (The LORD our Banner – Exodus 17:8-16) Praise Him for our victory over every work of the devil.
  • Jehovah-M’Kaddesh (The LORD our Sanctifier – Leviticus 20:8) Praise Him for changing us into His likeness.
  • Jehovah-Shalom (The LORD our Peace – Judges 6:1-24 Praise Him because He is the God of Peace.
  • Jehovah-Tsidkenu (The LORD our Righteousness – Jeremiah 23:5-6) Praise Him for making us right before Him.
  • Jehovah-Rohi (The LORD our Shepherd – Psalm 23) Praise Him for His tender, Shepherding care.
  • Jehovah-Shammah (The LORD is There – Ezekiel 48:35) Praise Him for His abiding and faithful Presence.
 2. ESTABLISH GOD’S PRIORITIESYour kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

As our Savior, He is also our absolute Lord and Master and King of an eternal Kingdom and we are His Kingdom people with all the responsibilities and benefits.

  • Bring everything in our lives under His authority (Matthew 6:33).
  • Pray that His will be done in my life, family, church, nation and in the world.

3. RECEIVE DAILY PROVISIONGive us today our daily bread.

The greatest concerns to human beings include food, clothing and shelter. If we seek first His Kingdom that the Lord would provide what we need (Matthew 6:28-34). He wants us to ask so that our joy might be complete (John 16:24). Malachi 3:10-12 states that if I am faithful to the Tithe then He is faithful to provide for me, to destroy the devourer and to enlarge my ability to be generous.
  • Be in the will of God concerning my finances (Tithing, generous attitude).
  • Pray for provision for physical, emotional and spiritual needs.
  • Pray for a hunger for God’s Word in me and in the Church.

4. FORGIVE & RECEIVE FORGIVENESS (PARDON)Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.

So powerful is the aspect of forgiveness that Jesus places it in the middle of the prayer and then re-emphasizes it at the end! If we will not forgive others He cannot forgive us (Matthew 6:14-15; 18:1-34).
  • Ask God to forgive me of my sins and offenses (Psalm 32:5; 1 John 1:8-9).
  • Forgive and release those who have offended me (Matthew 6:14).
  • Set my will to forgive those who may offend me today. Pray for people who might offend us and overcome “evil” with good (Romans 12:21).

5. LIVE IN HOLY SPIRIT POWERAnd lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”

Deep, unconfessed sin are areas in which the devil has authority. When we are unwilling to acknowledge those areas, God will allow us to be led into areas of temptation so that we can recognize those areas and can be cleansed (James 1:13-15).

  • Ask God to purify me and to cleanse me from secret sin (Song of Solomon 2:15; Psalm 19:12-13).
  • Put on the full armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18).
  • Pray for the revival of the church (Hosea 6:2-3).
  • Pray for a harvest of souls to come into the Kingdom of God (Matthew 9:37).


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