“Pray then in this way …” (Matthew 6:9)
Our son Paul wrote a sweet post on Facebook for Fathers Day, quoting an outline of a prayer I used (and still use) to pray for his future spouse, based on the Lord’s Prayer. The prayer Jesus gave us in Matthew 6:9-13 is really a Model Prayer, outlining 6 kinds of requests that God wants us to talk with Him about when we pray. It is undoubtedly THE best outline for prayer, since Jesus Himself gave it to us. I use it as an outline for my general prayers daily. You can see an example of how this works in my message on the Model Prayer here.
But the Model Prayer is also a wonderful outline to use to pray for a specific prayer request you may have. For example, one of the requests for which I have used the Model Prayer a number of times is our son Paul and his desire for a marriage partner. For some time I would pray something like, “Lord, bring just the right person to Paul” or variations of that, but that gets old after a while. So I began using the Model Prayer to intercede for Paul’s desire for a wife, running that request through the “grid” of the 6 requests of the Model Prayer. Thus my prayer, inspired by Jesus’ model, would go something like this:
-The first request is “Hallowed be Your name,” so I might pray: “Lord, I know that You created Paul, and that Your purpose for having him here on earth is for You to be glorified in him. I pray that You would glorify Your name by bringing him just the right person, in just the right way, and just the right time, and that when it happens, people would thank You, and praise Your name for what You did and how You did it. Bring glory to Your name through this situation.”
-The second request is “Thy Kingdom Come,” so I might pray: “Lord, I ask that Your Kingdom purposes would be advanced in this world through Paul’s choice of a marriage partner. I pray that in Your will, You would bring him a person who would work together with him in ministry and mission, and that together, they would do more and better work for the Kingdom of God than they could have done separately. Let Your Kingdom come through this area of His life.”
-The third request is “Let Your will be done,” So I could pray: “Lord, I just desire that Your will be done in Paul’s marriage situation. If it is Your will that he remain single and serve You, then I pray that You would just close every door, and help him to learn to be content with Your will. But if You have someone for him, I pray that You would, in Your will and time, bring just that right person to him in Your own way. And help them both to see that this is Your will. This is such an important area; I just pray that Your will would be done in his life in this–‘on earth, just like it is in heaven.”
-The fourth request is “Give us this day our daily bread,” so I might pray: “Lord, I ask that you would provide for Paul’s needs in a wife: physically, emotionally, socially; in every aspect of his life, give him just the partner that will meet his needs. And help him to BE the marriage partner that his wife needs him to be for her, as a provider, and listener, and spiritual leader. Provide for both of them through Your will in this partnership.”
-The fifth request is “Forgive us our debts,” so I could pray: “Lord, if there are any sins in Paul’s life which are keeping him from Your will being done regarding a marriage partner, I pray You would cleanse him from them. Wash him from selfishness, or from seeing only the outward person and not the inward person of the heart, or from his own preconceived ideas of the person he should date and marry which are not Your will. Cleanse him from any sin which might keep him from walking with You, and from knowing Your will on this.”
-The sixth request is “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil,” here I might pray: “Lord, this is such an important area of his life. Protect Paul from temptation in this; keep the wrong person from him; just close the doors to the wrong people. Protect him from all the temptations of pornography and immorality which are so rampant in our world today. Guard and protect both him, and the person that You have for him, from Satan and all the evil that he would try to bring them. And be glorified in what You do in his life in this area I pray, in Jesus’ name.”
Using the Model Prayer as an outline is great way to vary what might have become a “rote” prayer for your child’s future marriage — and it is also an outline of prayer which you can be certain covers the subject comprehensively, and is certainly according to the will of God — since God Himself gave us the outline!
As I shared in another message here, Jesus’ Model Prayer can also be adapted to many other situations as well. God bless you as you intercede according to His will for those you love!