Topic: On the Lord’s Prayer
Author: Bob O’Brien
During most of the services of the church the prayer we call the Lord’s Prayer is prayed, but we read this in Matthew chapter 6: “Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Pray then like this:” (Matthew 6:9 ESV). It is possible that the Lord did not mean for us to pray His prayer only as a prayer. It also can be used as an outline to inform us how to pray to the Lord during our private prayer time.
Jesus begins “Our father in heaven, hallowed be your name.” Here he is specifically addressing God the Father by stating his location and honoring His name. We too during our prayer time should address the Father and give Him praise and honor out of our recognition of who He is. Jesus then says: “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” Here he is calling for the Lord’s kingdom to be made manifest in the earth and for His will to rule here as it rules in heaven. In this first section of his prayer Jesus is honoring the Lord and calling for His kingdom and will to rule here as it rules in heaven.
In the next section of his prayer Jesus prays “Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts as we also have forgiven our debtors.” Jesus is asking, here, that all of his needs physical, emotional and spiritual be met and he also acknowledges that as our need for forgiveness is met we are to be forgiving to others. He finishes with the following “And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.” This for me is a very comforting thought for what we are asking is to be protected from being tempted and from falling into sin which would damage our relationship with the Father and separate us from Him.
When we pray during our daily prayer time, using this format we will be able to pray for our needs and those of others appropriately in a manner that is pleasing to the Lord and includes all we want to say. The order of the elements in the outline may not be important, but including all of them is. It is especially important to include praise to God for His goodness and loving kindness to us.