Instead, it seems evident that He was offering those words as an example of how to pray and what to pray for. It's pretty clear that these words were not the same words that Jesus used EVERY time He prayed. In fact, in Luke 11, we see a different instance where some of the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray and the words that Jesus used were slightly different. The pattern was the same, however.

In both instances, Jesus taught the disciples to start with God and acknowledge how great God is.

"Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,"

This is in stark contrast to how my prayers usually begin. Most of the time, I jump right in with my list of requests and my list of things that I would like God to do something about. Jesus showed us that instead, we should start with God.

He then proceeded with the next principle of prayer….aligning your will with God's.

"your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven."

This is where praying can sometimes get tough. We all have our ideas about how God "should" answer our prayers and how things "should" work out in our lives. But that is not always what God has in mind. When these two "wills" are in contrast (and they seem to almost always be) it is important that we do what Jesus is teaching here: submit our will to God's.

Jesus' final statements in His model prayer have to do with acknowledging our dependence on God for provisions, forgiveness, and safety.

After hearing Andy Stanley's messages and thinking about the truths revealed in this passage of Scripture, I realized my own prayer life needed an overhaul!

What about yours? Are your prayers similar to the model prayer that we find in Scripture?

If you are not already doing so, I want to encourage you to find a private place where you can escape to spend some intimate time with your Father. Let Him know that you realize how great He is. Spend whatever time it takes to align your will with His. Then talk to Him about the needs that you have and your dependence on Him to provide those things for you.

When we pray like Jesus taught us to pray, it will change our routine prayer life into one that provides intimacy, fulfillment and direction to our lives and ministries.

Brian Coday has ministered to teenagers for more than 20 years and is now the Mid-Atlantic Regional Coordinator for the National Network of Youth Ministries. He and his family (Jill, Tyler and Regan) live in Bear, Delaware, where Brian also coordinates the local youth worker Network called The Coalition. This article appeared on the Praying Pastor Blogspot, www.prayingpastorblog.blogspot.com. Used with permission.