When I was at school in Scotland – a long time ago, we had to recite the Lord’s Prayer at the start of classes.
Recite, we were not required to understand it. We memorized it and mumbled through it without thinking of the words much less the meaning.
To be correct though, this is NOT the Lord’s Prayer it is the ‘model’ prayer Christ gave when His disciples asked Him to teach them how to pray. The actual Lord’s prayer was on the night He was betrayed after His last Passover, when He changed the symbols. Recorded in John 17 is the Lord’s prayer. First, He prayed for Himself, then He prayed for the disciples, then for all believers.
Knowing what He was to face, and knowing that He knew, it is a moving prayer. However, here I want to look at what is commonly known as the Lord’s prayer… the model prayer.
Looking at the Lord’s Prayer
Our Father Who art in heaven. Did you notice? Our Father, not my Father.
Hallowed be Your name. ‘Hallowed’ defined in dictionary.com as “regarded as holy; venerated; sacred” Praising Him happens here.
Matthew 6: 9
Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Matthew 6: 10
The Kingdom of God is one of the key elements of the teachings of Jesus in the New Testament.
Do we really want His will to be done on earth as it is in heaven?
His will is expressed in His laws and the Ten Commandments, which Jesus summarized when he gave the Two Great Commandments.
To do His will means changing a great deal of our behaviors and attitudes.
- No more ‘white lies,’
- No more taking pens from our workplace without permission. (Yes, small as it is, it is still stealing.)
- So is piracy of music, books, movies.
- No more putting ‘other gods’ before Him.
If we sit and honestly think about it most of us have something that has our first attention. Statues – are ‘helps’ it is said.
But that is breaking a command of the great God of the Universe.
Give us this day our daily bread (again it is ‘us’ not give me my daily bread)
Matthew 6: 11
I know there are many places in the world where the food that most Western countries throw in the bin would be a banquet.
It is also a good place to add a prayer for clean, safe drinking water for those who need it.
The next verses can be a challenge
Matthew 6; 12 Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.
This is conditional.
Where it can be difficult is if the person praying has been greatly hurt by another. We are still to forgive if we want to be forgiven.
Perhaps a prayer for help to forgive the person or persons would be appropriate.
And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.
Matthew 6: 13
The first part of this verse has confounded many scholars because it is said elsewhere that God does not tempt us with evil. Why then would we ask him not to lead us into temptation?
Could it be that as we grow in the faith, He will lead us to a situation where we have to make a choice? God gave us free will. So, if we find ourselves tempted to sin the implication seems to be that we should turn away.
Remember Adam and Eve. Eve was tempted, and gave in. Adam disobeyed.
For yours is the Kingdom, the power and the glory, for ever and ever, Amen
This Is missed out from many translations.
In the Greek/English Interlinear it is written. The only difference in the wording is that instead of ‘for ever and ever’ it is written ‘for the ages.’
A Question often asked
So, if the Kingdom and power IS God’s why does He permit evil? Why does He allow a loved child to die? Why does He allow rapists and murderers to commit their evil?
A question many West Australians have been asking in the last few days is why did He not prevent the worst mass murder ever in Western Australia.
(Margaret River region, murders and suicide.)
And it has shocked and saddened us.
Why allow all this?
Because He has given the bad as well as the ‘good’ free choice.
Our gift to the people who are grieving is to pray for them.
Your Kingdom Come
We have to cooperate. And when things happen that we do not understand, trust God and follow the instructions.
He gave us His guidebook, His instruction manual. If we ignore it He allows us to go our own ways.
There are many scriptures that warn us of that.
(But this is not a sermon, it is me sharing my thoughts on what is commonly known as the Lord’s prayer.)
You don’t believe in God – that’s fine. He allows that too.
I remember a discussion with a family member many years ago.
I believe in God, the God of the Bible.
The family member disagreed, strongly.
I closed the discussion with the comment, “Well, one of us is right and one wrong. We will find out one day.”
A note for all who believe the evildoers should be punished. I believe they will be. By the only One who knows the hearts.
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each may be repaid for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.
2 Cor 5:10 (Christian Standard Bible.)