Understanding the Lord’s Prayer “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom comes, you will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from the evil one” (Matthew 6:9-13). Most people, religious or not, are familiar with this prayer. Some call it a prayer, some call it a chant, and some call it a meaningless set of words. No matter what the opinion is regarding the prayer, breaking it down can be thought provoking and difficult to fully understand.
On the surface, it is very simple, but below the surface, the words have very deep theological implications. According to the New International Version Bible, Jesus said in Matthew 6:9, “This, then, is how you should pray. ” However, a problem arises out of this interpretation. The actual Greek to English translation is “Make your prayers go like this. ” In other words, the prayer is actually a template of how prayers should go (Rhodes). Often, the prayer is mistaken for something that should be recited word for word.
It is not wrong to recite the prayer verbatim, however, God did not intend for people to recite the words as a meaningless ritual. Praying using Jesus’ template shows the following way to form prayers: To acknowledge who God is, to pray for his work to be done on earth, to ask for what is needed, to ask for forgiveness, and lastly, to ask for a way to deal with temptation and opposition (Rhodes). The words “Our Father,” in Matthew 6:9 are two of the most powerful words in the prayer. The definition of the word “Our” is: “Belonging to or associated with more than one person” (www.google.com). The body of Christ is a group of believers that are brothers and sisters in Christ. The first word “Our” suggests being a part of this body of Christ (Ruffin). The second word “Father” is the one who is being addressed. Prayer should always start by recognizing that the Lord our God is the one being prayed to, but God also wants to be approached as a child approaches their loving father (Pastor Mike) because God desires intimacy (AllDeaf. com). God wants to be addressed as “Father” out of love and humility (Pastor Mike).
The child needs to recognize their position as so and God’s position as Father. “Hallowed be your name” (Matthew 6:9). This portion is acknowledging God’s worthiness and greatness (Ruffin) because “Hallowed” literally means: “To make holy” or “To demonstrate as holy. ” When praying the words “Hallowed be your name,” it is praising His holy and worthy name. God is not a buddy or friend who should be carelessly addressed, but neither is He distant (Pastor Mike). This concept is loosely related to why God is addressed as Father. Your kingdom comes, you will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10). This section of the template is praying for God’s work on earth (Rhodes). The word’s “Your kingdom come,” is praying for the Lord’s guidance (Ruffin) on behalf of God’s kingdom (AllDeaf. com) to do everything unto the Lord. “You will be done, on earth as it is in heaven,” is declaring that God is really in charge of everything. The word “Will” means the same as “Desire,” so praying for God’s will to be done is also praying for all God desires to be done (Pastor Mike).
These words are also asking the Lord to take over so that His children can operate by His answers and not their own because the keywords is “You will be done,” not “Our will be done” (Ruffin). “Give us today our daily bread” (Matthew 6:11). These words are asking for God to provide what is needed in order to sustain spiritual and daily needs (Ruffin). God may not give everything that is wanted, but he gives everything that is truly needed because God cares for His children. This line also points back to when God was leading His people out of Egypt and every morning He gave them enough manna to last through the day.
God did not give them more than one day’s worth of manna, however, so that they would continue to rely on Him to provide (Pastor Mike). That is why the prayer is not, “Give us this week our weekly bread. ” The prayer is “Give us today our daily bread,” so that God is continually relied on to provide. “And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors” (Matthew 6:12). Forgiveness is surrender (AllDeaf. com); God does not want His children to carry their own weight. That is why He created prayer. God created His children in His image, so as a forgiving God, His children must also be forgiving.
In doing so, it shows love to one another and Christ. On the surface, it cannot get more straight forward than asking God to forgive sins, but below the surface, something that is not so straight forward is the concept of fairness. Nowhere else in the bible does God talk about fairness. Looking at the verse the words, “Forgive us our debts,” is not the only thing that is said. It is phrased as a condition. It says, “Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. ” Meaning God will forgive the sins of His children if His children forgive each other. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one” (Matthew 6:13). This is the section of the template asking for a way to deal with temptation and opposition (Rhodes). This is asking the Lord to carry away the evil, and anything that represents evil. God wants His children to pray this, so they won’t succumb to the evil temptations of the world. Some people believe as though sin is the cause of the fall, but real sin is just the victim of temptation. The temptation is the true culprit because that is what leads God’s children into sin. “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom comes, you will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from the evil one” (Matthew 6:9-13). Some call it a prayer, some call it a chant, and some call it a meaningless set of words. Most people, religious or not, are familiar with this prayer, but the body of Christ lives and breathes this prayer. Repeat it and it becomes a meaningless ritual (Rhodes), pray the words and it becomes the foundation to the relationship shared with Christ.
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