The Lord’s Prayer is given in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7), right about in the very middle. Jesus has been talking about true and false giving and fasting. He also talks about true and false prayer. False prayer comes from our lips, true prayer from our hearts.
Notice how simple this prayer is. There are no long words or confusing theological teachings. It is simple and to the point. It is also brief, containing only about 65 words. “Your kingdom come.” “Your will be done.” These requests are short and to the point. Prayer doesn’t have to be long, fancy, eloquent, emotional or detailed to be effective. Short and direct is fine, too. Yet everything that could be covered in prayer is covered in this prayer. God and us, the past, present and future, each person in the Trinity, all our needs, everything is included.
The first half of the prayer focuses on God: His name, His kingdom and His will are emphasized. We are talking to our Father about Himself. The second part is about us, though: forgive us, give us, lead us. Now we are talking to our Father about His family. Prayer begins with God, not with us. But then bringing our needs to Him is legitimate and important.
Read the prayer Jesus gave them slowly, reverently, praying it as you read it: “This, then, is how you should pray: ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, 10 your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us today our daily bread. 12 Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’ “ (Matthew 6:9-13)