Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Praying Like Jesus

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Author Biography

    Jonathan works with CBN’s Operation Blessing, and he considers it a great privilege to be even a small part of bringing God’s love to the nations. He’s a published Christian author who lives near Tupelo, MS with his wife and three precious kids. They enjoy exploring new places and tasting new treats.

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Jonathan Macnab - Writer – Operation Blessing

Father, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. (Luke 11:2 ESV)

Isn’t that what it’s all about? The God of the universe, “the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist” (1 Corinthians 8:6), is holy, wholly different from any created thing, and He deserves honor. 

And it’s His will that needs to be done, His kingdom that is coming to reign and is designed to reign right here, right now—and everywhere, always. I didn’t always understand that. Jesus’ words (“Your kingdom come”) were key to changing that for me and giving me a life full of God’s active presence. 

Some years after meeting Jesus, I was still meandering in and out of “God-dependent” living when I stumbled across the Lord’s Prayer in a fresh way. 

Someone was teaching about praying the way Jesus taught His disciples, pointing out the fact that the disciples would already have been people of prayer, being faithful Jews, but that Jesus clearly prayed differently. We know because they asked Him to teach them to pray as though they didn’t have a clue how. They didn’t know how to pray like that.

So Jesus did. After all, He’s our example to follow in His steps (1 Peter 2:21). And if He—in all His perfection—regularly stole away to spend time with the Father in prayer (Luke 5:16, Mark 1:35), then there must be something quite special about those prayers that we need to learn. And learn I did. 

My wife and I had just moved 40 hours away from our home in Louisiana to serve with a church on the front lines of neighborhood mission and everyday disciple-making. And what we began to see very quickly was that God’s kingdom had not “come” in the lives of most people we met, and it was going to have to come far more in our own if we were going to become what the church called a “foretaste of the kingdom.”

In fact, the “lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil” (Matthew 6:13), part of the Lord’s Prayer began to have a whole new meaning as we engaged in spiritual warfare at a new battle level than we’d ever experienced. And God delivered us all from evil.

The most important battle, though, it turned out, was for that prayer to take root in my own soul. I learned that God was most ready to answer prayers to rule over my own heart—my passions and sins. The King began to teach me each day—and even each moment—to surrender again to His will. I began to pray for His kingdom to come and His will to be done in my heart any day I woke up angry or dissatisfied—and in my mind every time my thoughts would turn away from Christ’s face and heavenly realities. It filled every moment with purpose. 

I found God wanted me to understand what “hallowed be Your name” means. It means God is to be lifted up above all else in my thoughts. It meant that, like Isaiah in the throne room in Isaiah 6, I had to recognize my own smallness and unholiness (Isaiah 6:5) as I looked upon Him more and was changed by the looking (2 Corinthians 3:18). But God was ready to overcome my sin and fellowship with me if I called on Him to forgive me (Luke 11:4).

Today, I can testify to years of God’s faithful presence bringing His kingdom within me and around me as He’s trained me in His ways with this prayer. So let’s draw near, and stretch our arms out to the Lord as we pray for His kingdom to come and His will to be done on earth as it is in heaven. It will. Don’t doubt it for a minute. 


Scripture is quoted from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®). ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. The ESV® text has been reproduced in cooperation with and by permission of Good News Publishers. Unauthorized reproduction of this publication is prohibited. All rights reserved.

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