The Lords Prayer
The Lords Prayer
Before we begin to think about the Lord’s Prayer in detail there are certain general facts which we will do well to remember about it.
We must note, first of all, that this is a prayer which taught his disciples to pray. Both Matthew and Luke are clear about that. Matthew sets the whole Sermon on the Mount in the context of the disciples (Matthew 5:1); and Luke tells us that Jesus taught this prayer in response to the request of one of his disciples (Luke 11:1). The Lord’s Prayer is a prayer which only a disciple can pray; it is a prayer which only one who is committed to Jesus Christ can take upon his lips with any meaning.
To put it in another way, the Lord’s Prayer can only really be prayed when the man who prays it knows what he is saying, and he cannot know that until he has entered into discipleship.
1. Our Father:
God is not only majestic and holy but also Personal and Loving.
He is both transcendent over the entire universe, and near to us a personal God. We must not include one without the other. We need a vast and powerful God who is in control of things, but we also need to know that He is only a prayer away and is close to us as individuals.
We say, “Our” Father. Not the father of someone else but OURS.
In this verse we are also told who to pray to Our Father, not to Jesus or to the Holy Spirit. But to God the Father. There are other scriptures that tell us to pray in Jesus Name (John 16:23,24). Jesus said, “Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you. Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.” But we start out Our FATHER because this is how our Lord taught us to pray.
We know where God is when we pray. Our Father which art in Heaven. He is majestic, rules over all things, yet is as near to us as our prayer. A God like this should be able to handle any size prayer we pray, don’t you think? But we limit Him. We make Him too small. We ask, “Can God?” We should be declaring, “God Can!”
2. Hallowed Be (Holy) Thy Name: This is a statement of praise and a commitment to honor God’s Holy Name. We do this by using it respectfully.
Exodus 20:7 vainty
God’s name is a reflection of who He is. That God be treated as a holy God
“Let God’s name be treated differently from all other names; let God’s name be given a position which is absolutely unique.”
“Enable us to give to you the unique place which your nature and character deserve and demand.”
3. Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will be Done: We are not resigning ourselves to fate here--it is not “Que Sera, Sera” whatever will be will be. We are specifically asking for God’s will to be done in our lives and in the world.
This applies to our personal lives because scripture says that the “kingdom of God is within you” (Luke 17:21).
We can ask for this because in Luke 12:32 it tells us “…it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”
It is the personal reign of Christ in your lives. Many people are writing off the world as a hopeless cause and just waiting to get out of this world and for Jesus to come and take them out of it.
But God is not finished here yet. Even though we live here in a state of imperfection, He is not writing it off yet. He still has more work to do. He still has work for you to do here in your church. We are to “occupy until He comes.” Not just “exist.”
What if God takes you seriously in this prayer and works out His will and purpose in your life?
Do we want this to happen?
What if His will for our lives is different from our will?
“Lord I want YOUR will to be done in my life. I want you to set up your kingdom in my personal life.”
A prayer like this would be reason for us to have a lack of anxiety about the future. If we are asking Him to work out His will and purpose in our lives, we can trust Him to do so.
3. We pray that God’s will may be ultimately done on the earth in the same way He included this in the prayer, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
He is working in our world today and in our lives in spite of the evil that goes on all around us--the terrorism, the sinfulness.
He is still at work. He can and will continue to work out His will and purpose in our lives no matter what things happen in the world, or in the church, or anywhere else.
And as God works out His perfect will in our lives it is up to say, “OK, Lord, your will takes precedence. Not my will but thine be done.” Can we do this?
4. Our Daily Bread: Give us this day our daily bread.
Bread is a symbol that all of our physical needs be met--not just food. It goes beyond food to cover other daily needs. We are acknowledging God as the sustainer and provider.
We must trust God DAILY to provide what we need..
If we have God who is the Source of our supply, we don’t have to go from one extreme to the other. We don’t have to say, “the only way I can be truly spiritual is to be in poverty.” A lot of Christians believe this and it is a lie of the devil. Abraham was blessed that he might be a blessing (Genesis 12).
We don’t just trust God in crises situations--but we trust him daily.
5. Forgive Us our Trespasses (debts) as we forgive those who trespass against us. The word debt means sin or transgressions. Matthew 18:21, 22. How many times do we forgive--as many times as is necessary.
If we refuse to forgive others, God will refuse to forgive us. When we refuse, we are denying our common ground as sinners in need of God’s forgiveness.
It is easy to ask God’s forgiveness, but it is difficult to grant it to others
When we ask God to forgive us, ask yourself, “Have I forgiven other people who wronged me?” An important thing is to have an attitude that makes forgiveness possible. Perhaps a willingness for the Lord to make us willing to forgive.
Too often forgiveness is too cheap.
When we ask for forgiveness it should be with the intention that we would not hurt the person again if we can help it.
Forgiveness, whether asking for it or giving it to someone else should not be cheap.
“Forgive us our sins in proportion as we forgive those who have sinned against us
6 and 7 Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil
God doesn’t deliberately lead us into temptation. He allows us to be tested. Here we are asking God to help us to recognize temptation and to give us the strength to overcome it.
To steer around it. To recognize the pitfalls for what they are.
How do you know that God doesn’t tempt you? James 1:13, 14 says, “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God; for God cannot be tempted with evil neither tempted he any man. But every man is tempted when he is drawn away by his own lust and enticed.”
So here we are saying, “God watch out for me so I don’t fall into the traps that Satan sets for me.”
We are asking for deliverance from Satan the evil one. Christians struggle with temptation because it is subtle and we don’t even know a lot of times what is happening to us. Let us ask God to open our eyes--to alert us--to put up a red flag.
The word deliver could mean spare us from evil or it could mean deliver us out of evil. At times we need both. Sometimes we go through problems rather than being spared from them.
He gets us out one way or another. The Greek word covers either situation and this is good news for us. Whether we go through the valley or around the valley, we will end up victorious as we allow God to deliver us from the evil one. We may recognize our own helplessness but we know that Jesus has the power to deliver us.
DOXOLOGY: For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, forever, Amen. The doxology was added and used by the early church in around the 2nd century. This prayer ends triumphantly. Can you say Praise the Lord for this prayer?