The Preface of the Lord’s Prayer (which is, OUR FATHER WHICH ART IN HEAVEN), teacheth us to draw near to God with all holy reverence and confidence, as children to a father, able and ready to help us, and that we should pray with and for others
IT was the regular custom for a Rabbi to teach his disciples a simple prayer which they might habitually use. John had done that for his disciples, and now Jesus’ disciples came asking him to do the same for them.
This is Luke’s version of the Lord’s Prayer. It is shorter than Matthew’s but it will teach us all we need to know about how to pray and what to pray for.
The very first word tells us that in prayer we are not coming to someone out of whom gifts have to be unwillingly extracted, but to a father who delights to supply his children’s needs.
In Hebrew the name means much more than merely the name by which a person is called. The name means the whole character of the person as it is revealed and known to us.
That means far more than knowing that God’s name is Yahweh. It means that those who know the whole character and mind and heart of God will gladly put their trust in him.
We must note particularly the order of the Lord’s Prayer. Before anything is asked for ourselves, God and his glory, and the reverence due to him, come first. Only when we give God his place will other things take their proper place.
The prayer covers all life.
(a) It covers present need. It tells us to pray for our daily bread; but it is bread for the day for which we pray.
This goes back to the old story of the manna in the wilderness (Exodus 16:11–21). Only enough for the needs of the day might be gathered. We are not to worry about the unknown future, but to live a day at a time.
As Cardinal Newman wrote in that well-loved hymn ‘Lead Kindly Light’:
I do not ask to see
The distant scene—one step enough for me.