Pray With Understanding
Proper prayer is part of Christian growth. The less we know of Bible truth, the less we know how to pray, and the more we know of Bible truth, the more we know how to pray. Blessedly the Holy Spirit helps us pray no matter where we are in our Christian growth. We never outgrow our need for the guidance of the Holy Spirit in our prayers.
Romans 8:26: Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
1 Corinthians 14:15a: What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: . . .
Matthew 6:9: After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, etc.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon:
This prayer begins where all true prayer must commence, with the spirit of adoption, Our Father. There is no acceptable prayer until we can say, I will arise, and go unto my Father. This child-like spirit soon perceives the grandeur of the Father in heaven, and ascends to devout adoration, Hallowed be Thy name. The child lisping, Abba, Father, grows into the cherub crying, Holy, Holy, Holy. There is but a step from rapturous worship to the glowing missionary spirit, which is a sure outgrowth of filial love and reverent adoration-Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Next follows the heartfelt expression of dependence upon God-Give us this day our daily bread. Being further illuminated by the Spirit, he discovers that he is not only dependent, but sinful, hence he entreats for mercy, Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors: and being pardoned, having the righteousness of Christ imputed, and knowing his acceptance with God, he humbly supplicates for holy perseverance, Lead us not into temptation. The man who is really forgiven, is anxious not to offend again; the possession of justification leads to an anxious desire for sanctification. Forgive us our debts, that is justification; Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, that is sanctification in its negative and positive forms. As the result of all this, there follows a triumphant ascription of praise, Thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, for ever and ever, Amen. We rejoice that our King reigns in providence and shall reign in grace, from the river even to the ends of the earth, and of His dominion there shall be no end. Thus from a sense of adoption, up to fellowship with our reigning Lord, this short model of prayer conducts the soul. Lord, teach us thus to pray.