by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (selected by Frank Cumbers)
The pattern prayer
[The Lord's Prayer] is undoubtedly a pattern prayer. The very way in which our Lord introduces it indicates that ... it really covers everything in principle. There is a sense in which you can never add to the Lord's Prayer; nothing is left out.
That does not mean, of course, that when we pray we are simply to repeat the Lord's Prayer and stop at that; for that ... was not true of our Lord Himself.... He spent whole nights in prayer; many times He arose a great while before day and prayed for hours. You will always find in the lives of the saints that they have spent hours in prayer. John Wesley used to say he held a very poor view of any Christian who did not pray for at least four hours every day....
[The Lord's Prayer] really does contain all the principles.... What we have is a kind of skeleton.... The principles are all here and you cannot add to them. You can take the longest prayer that has ever been offered by a saint, and you will find that it can all be reduced to these principles.... Take our Lord's High Priestly prayer [John 17]. If you analyze it in terms of principles, you will find that it can be reduced to the principles of this model prayer.
The Lord's Prayer covers everything; and all we do is to take these principles and employ and expand them and base our every petition upon them.... I think you will agree with St Augustine and Martin Luther and many other saints who have said that there is nothing more wonderful in the entire Bible than the Lord's Prayer. The economy, the way in which He summarizes it all and has reduced everything to but a few sentences, is something that surely proclaims the fact that the speaker is none other than the very Son of God Himself.
Studies in the Sermon on the Mount, ii, pp. 48-9
“Text reproduced from ‘A First Book of Daily Readings’ by Martyn Lloyd-Jones, published by Epworth Press 1970 & 1977 © Trustees for Methodist Church Purposes. Used with permission.”
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