At thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore (Ps. 16: 11)
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. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen (Matt. 6:9-13).
Before considering the Lords Prayer phrase by phrase, we should begin by taking it in as a whole. In English, it takes less than twenty seconds to say, and it seems strange that the Lord said that we were to pray after this manner. Haven’t we all read the impressive stories of prayer warrior missionaries who wrestled in prayer for hours until they were finally able to punch the principalities and powers on the nose?
And yet, when the disciples asked Jesus to teach them how to pray, the way John the Baptist taught his disciples, He gave them an even shorter version of this particular prayer (Luke 11:2-4). Jesus explicitly teaches us that prayer ought not to be a big production we shouldn’t make a show of praying in church or on street corners (Matt. 6:5). Men like praying for men under the guise of praying to God. Jesus says to hide the fact that we pray (Matt. 6:6). On top of that, He says that we ought not to think that God is in any way interested in the word count and to the extent that He is interested in it, He wants us to make a point of going short (Matt. 6:7)
Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few (Eccl. 5:2).
Of course we would be veering to the opposite extreme if we said that it was a sin for prayer to go long. Before the Lord selected His disciples, He prayed all night (Luke 6:12), and in the Garden of Gethsemane, He prayed long enough to lose the disciples who were with Him (Matt. 26:41). But even with that granted, it seems that Christians who know their prayer life to be inadequate should begin by simply praying the Lords Prayer, as brief as it is.