Prayer is essential to the Christian life. Along with reading the Bible, prayer is the lifeline through which the believer communes with God. Disconnect prayer from the Christian’s life, and you won’t be a healthy Christian for long. Yet for many believers, prayer is one of the most challenging aspects of the Christian life. There are several reasons for this, however, one of the main reasons is because we have made it seem more difficult than it is. In the Gospels, we read that even Jesus’ disciples struggled with, and misunderstood prayer. Seeing their lack they are so bold to ask Jesus to teach them to pray (Luke 11:1). The model prayer that Jesus teaches them is Luke’s version of the most famous prayer in Christendom, the Lord’s Prayer. In this prayer, we find more of a model or outline for how to pray. This model prayer is what pastor Kevin DeYoung discusses in his new book The Lord’s Prayer: Learning From Jesus on What, Why, and How to Pray (Crossway, 2022).
DeYoung spends most of his time in the book biblically unpacking (exegeting) the text of Matthew 6:5-15. Although the Lord’s Prayer is also found in Luke 11, the version in Matthew is the most well known and oft quoted version among Christians worldwide. This model prayer from the Lord Jesus serves as a way for the believer to engage in prayer and ensure they are doing so rightly. The prayer begins and ends with God, ensuring that we have a proper orientation and posture of biblical prayer. We do not simply come to the Lord for what he can give or do for us. He is not a heavenly slot machine. Instead, we come to God for who he is, our heavenly Father. Only then can we pray for things that weigh us down and need in a given season of life. The Lord’s Prayer also helps us see our need for forgiveness and the need to forgive others. This is an important aspect of prayer. Each time we pray, we must confess our sins so as to ensure we have nothing impeding our relationship with our Heavenly Father. We also ask for strength to forgive others so that we are not holding something against another brother or sister, which can also impede our relationship with the Lord.
The Lord’s model prayer has served as an important part of Christian discipleship for over two thousand years. Yet many times it is repeated from rote memory without much thought given to the words being spoken. In The Lord’s Prayer, Kevin DeYoung provides a very practical and pastoral application of the prayer for the Christian life. This resource helps bring deeper understanding of the prayer modeled by our Lord in Matthew 6 and Luke 11. It not only brings it to life, but provides a guide for using the prayer on a daily basis with any prayer offered, whether individual or corporate. The book’s length allows it to be used well in a discipleship setting either in a group or one on one. The Lord’s Prayer is an excellent resource for churches and ministry groups.
The Lord’s Prayer is a very practical guide to prayer. Many of the classic books on prayer can leave the reader feeling discouraged because they don’t meet their expectations after a while. DeYoung offers a way to approach prayer in a biblical Christ-modeled way. Learning the different aspects of Jesus’ model prayer allows the believer to add into the prayer aspects of their lives that are applicable in any given season of life. Approaching prayer in this way helps prayer to be more focused and allows more room for delight rather than a sense of duty. The Lord’s Prayer is an excellent and helpful resource for followers of Christ in any stage of discipleship. Everyone from the newest believer to most seasoned saint can glean from this resource.
Editor’s note: This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Zach Kendrick is the editor of Reading For The Glory.
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