The Lords Prayer as recorded in Mathew reads as follows "After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. 10 Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen." (Mathew 6:9-13). This Pattern of The Lords Prayer is also recorded in the Gospel of Luke.
What has commonly come to be known as the Lord’s Prayer was never actually the Lord’s Prayer but the disciple’s prayer. From a strict sense the Lord’s Prayer is what we see in John 17 or in the Garden of Gethsemane. However that does not in any sense dilute the importance of this that we know as The Lords prayer.
The disciple had seen Jesus Christ perform miracles, they had seen Jesus preach, they had seen Him speak with authority in many instances but nothing touched them as much as when He prayed. He seemed to come forth with Power from on high. Though Jesus spoke with wonderful oratory and with Power and Wisdom, the only thing the disciples asked The Master to teach them was to pray. They asked Jesus Christ, The Son of The Living God, to teach them to pray.
Jesus then narrates The Lord’s Prayer. He starts by saying that, when you pray, pray as follows. There is an implication that Jesus never expected the disciples to narrate verbatim. He never expected the prayers to be recited even though reciting is not bad but The Lord was giving us ingredients of prayer.
He starts by saying: -
This is a title Jesus uses at the tomb of Lazarus. Jesus uses it here in The Lords Prayer for a purpose. We see Him praying “…Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me. And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth.” John 11: 41-43.
Jesus uses the same title when praying in the Garden of Gethsemane. We read “And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.” Jesus used the title to show relationship. That God in heaven was not just a strange King far in the heaven but a close dad, one who cares for our needs.
When we call God, Father, we are acknowledging that we are His. That we have been engrafted in Christ and now we rest in Him. We are declaring that we have been adopted and now we are part of the family. As family we have the confidence to enter boldly and ask our Father, that which is on our heart.
Father also declares that He is the creator, He is in charge, He is the Boss. He is The Father of All that exist and that which will ever be. What a privilege to call God, Our Father.
This small part of the Lords prayer cannot go unmentioned. Please note also that Jesus did not say we call on God as “my Father”. Jesus brought in the all inclusiveness of the Body of Christ. Jesus in effect was declaring that we have to know that we cannot exist in isolation.
We are body. Our fellow brothers and sisters are all part of the body; we cannot do without one another. Paul said “For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many.
15 If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? 17 If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. And if they were all one member, where were the body? But now are they many members, yet but one body.
And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: And those members of the body, which we think to be less honorable, upon these we bestow more abundant honor; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honor to that part which lacked. That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it. Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.”
Jesus, when He included this in The Lords Prayer, was declaring that when we pray we should be specific to whom we are praying to. Not just to any force or power or a human being but to Our Father, Who art in heaven. Knowledge of God is vital. Knowledge of Him being in control in Heaven is vital for it will clear all doubt and settle the fact that The Controller of the universe is able to meet our needs. Our Father, who art in heaven.
The Lords prayer continues by declaring, Holy is the name of God. Knowledge of Gods names gives us faith and makes us rest assured He will do what He says He will do. His Name is “I AM THAT I AM”. He will be to us what we desire Him to be according to His will.
His Name is “Jehovah Jireh” The Lord Our Provider. We will confidently come to Him knowing that He who provided to The Saints of Old will be able to do it for us. His Name is “Jehovah Nissi” The Lord Our Banner. He fought the war for the Israelites. He will do it for us.
This is the session in our prayer that we adore Him with His names, “The Lily of The Valley”, “The Rose of Sharon”, “The Bright and The Morning Star” all which have a great significance.
The Lords Prayer continues as follows,"Thy Kingdom come". We hear Paul say “…the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.” Romans 14:17.
This means that we are then to call on God to let righteousness to reign, to let peace reign and let joy reign. These are the ingredients of the Kingdom of God. Jesus mentions the same in Mathew 6:33 “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
Jesus mentions the same in John 3:3 “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Jesus essentially wanted us to ask the Father to help us live the Kingdom life, a life that would radiate righteousness, a life that is peaceful, a life that is full of Joy…This kind of life cannot go unnoticed; you then become a city set on a hill that cannot be hid hence pulling many into the kingdom; a joy to The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit.
This part of the Lords prayer is quite challenging to our own wills and desires. Remember, “Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will be established.” Proverbs 19:21 Jesus was saying, The Author of our lives, Our Father, knows the best for us. We however are prone to wander but His will does always lead us to paths of righteousness, Paths of Peace and Highways of Holiness. He alone knows the end from the beginning.
He is The Alpha and Omega of Our lives and we need to acknowledge Him as such. This is what Jesus Christ is admonishing us to do here. Remember, not just our lives but for all those that we are calling on Him to intervene. Our Brothers, Our Sisters, Our Neighbors, Our Community, Our Enemies, Our Nations and the World at large.The Lords prayer was thus a prayer for a lifestyle and not an occassion. The Lords prayer was therefore is to be viewed as a pattern and not a recital poem.
To be continued..
Part II – The Lords Prayer– (Mathew 6: 11-13)