The ''Lord's Prayer''
Jesus gave what we now refer to as ‘The Lord’s prayer’ to his disciples as an example of how to pray. Here’s the prayer, the way I learned it, for anyone who needs a reminder;
Our father, who art in heaven
Hallowed by thy name
Thy Kingdom come,
Thy will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven,
Give us this day our daily bread,
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those who trespass against us,
Lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil,
For thine is the Kingdom, the power and the Glory,
For ever, and ever,
However Jesus did not say that we are to repeat his words parrot fashion – in fact he spoke against doing so.
Mathew 6.7 - 8
But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.
Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.
Jesus said to pray ‘after this manner’, not that we have to repeat specific words – it is the heart and meaning that matters to God.
Mathew 6.9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
In the first line of his prayer, Jesus makes sure he is addressing his prayer to the right place. Are you talking to the right God? Hallowed be they name is not a wish, it is a statement - God is already Holy. This is praise to God, speaking out loud what and who he is. It is always good to start conversation with God by praising Him.
Jesus’ first utterance is one of worship – he does not jump straight in with a request list!
Mathew 6.10 Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
This is what we should all be praying for – for God’s will to be done here, just like it is in heaven.
Mathew 6.11 Give us this day our daily bread.
It is plural; ‘OUR’ daily bread... he is praying for himself and for those around him. It is not wrong to pray for yourself and your own needs. But you should be praying for others too.
Mathew 6.12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
God forgives us so much, and he expects us to forgive too. Our debt is God is always far greater than anyone can owe us.
(Mathew 6.14 - 15 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:
But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.)
Back to the prayer;
Mathew 6.13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil:
We are flesh and blood and we get tempted. Yet we see here that we can ask for God’s guidance so that we avoid these temptations. Do you think that Christ would have taught his disciples to pray for something that God cannot or will not deliver? Of course not – so we know it is possible to avoid temptation.
We can pray for deliverence from evil – to have the negatives in our life taken away.
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
The glory goes to God. The kingdom which exists now - belongs to God. All true power comes from God. And all lasting glory goes to God. Jesus ends his prayer how he started it; with praise.
‘Amen’ means so be it.