This passage continues with a discussion of kingdom life, specifically in the matter of prayer.
Jesus would have us communicate with Him through prayer. A prayerless Christian is an impossibility -- the importance of prayer cannot be overstated. Remember that Jesus was regularly and frequently in prayer. We, as mere men, have a much greater need of prayer than He did!
So an unnamed disciple asked Jesus to teach him to pray. Jesus responded with this prayer, commonly known as "The Lord's Prayer" -- this is actually a misnomer, as it is not a prayer that Jesus would have Himself prayed; He had no sins to ask forgiveness for! Instead, it is a model prayer for us. It can be referred to as an "index prayer". Each of the phrases in this prayer are a cue to show us the different areas that we are encouraged to pray for.
First, a note on prayer time and frequency. We see in this model prayer that we should be praying for "our daily bread", indicating that we should pray at least daily. But there is no other constraint on when to pray. We may pray in the morning, upon rising, or before bed. In fact, there are many times throughout the day when we have a quiet and can call out to God -- in the shower, on the way to work, etc.
Some characteristics about this prayer that we may learn from:
1. Plural pronouns - "our" Father, forgive "us", etc. Look outside yourself. You are only a part of a whole, not the center of attention!
2. How to address God - He is our heavenly Father. What a blessing that we are encouraged to address Him as such! What kindness He shows toward us as Father!
3. "Hallowed be Thy name" - Are our hearts broken by all the blasphemy around us? Are we hurt and concerned that there is so little reverence for God?
4. "Thy kingdom come" - we can pray for God's kingdom to come within our own heart, for the church to grow, and for missionaries to see success. We can pray that Jesus would come and we would see the final consummation of the kingdom.
5. "Thy will be done" - that rebellion would cease all over the world. Also we can pray this when we don't know what exactly to pray in a situation; just pray that God's will would be done.
6. Our daily bread - our daily necessities, the things we need. We can pray for freedom from the diseases and sicknesses common all over the world as a result of sin and The Fall.
7. Forgive us our sins - come in prayer, knowing that your sin will be forgiven! It is right and just for God to forgive us, based on the finished work of Christ. This is the place in prayer for repentance.
8. Bring us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil - This is an admission of our weakness. We can pray for deliverance from evil and protection from Satan, our "defeated foe". We should remember to stay far from every form of evil wherever it appears.
So here we have given for us, the Model Prayer, an index prayer. We have a great warrant to pray. We need the Holy Spirit to help us to pray, to give us a great burden to pray, and to cause us to acknowledge our need of Him.
Each index of the prayer is taught throughout the Bible. Through study, we can find much Scripture to learn -- we can "pray the Bible" in many ways in each of these areas.