Understanding the Lord’s Prayer

imagesGTUR1CL0Little Alice’s assignment at church was to memorize the Lord’s prayer.  She would rush home from school, grab her bible and begin memorizing each word.  At the end of the week, Alice had completely memorized the Lord’s prayer and was able on Sunday to recite it to the congregation.  Everyone applauded her, but Alice had a look of confusion on her face.  After service, Alice walked to the Pastor and asked him this question; “Pastor, what does all of that mean?”  The Pastor smiled and asked, “What does what mean?”  “The Lord’s prayer.  What does the Lord’s prayer mean?”  The Pastor looked at Alice and tried to explain it to her, but the more he tried, they both had the look of confusion on their face.  Little Alice went home, but the Pastor went to his office and took out the bible.  He read the Lord’s prayer, but began to pray and ask God to reveal to him the true meanings of the model prayer.  God did just that and on the next Sunday, the Pastor taught it to his congregation

Most of us can recite the Lord’s prayer, but do we truly understand its meanings behind every word chosen in this model prayer?

The Spirit of the Lord placed it on my heart to get to know what Jesus meant when He gave us this model prayer and I hope this post will enlighten you as well…

The Lord’s Prayer is the most well-known prayer in the world. It focuses on our relation to God and His relationship with us.

Our Father which art in heaven,  Hallowed be thy name…

The beginning phrase, “Our Father,” is  completely uncommon to the prayers of the Old Testament. The two major elements  of the prayer are adoration and petition. “Hallowed be thy name” addresses the  attention of the prayer toward God and reverence for His name and His person.  Hallowed (Greek hagiazo) means to be held in reverence and holy awe.

The Father is the first person of the Trinity.  With only one exception (John 17:3), Jesus always spoke of God as the Father.  The Scriptures identify the fatherhood of God in five areas: He is the Father of  Creation (James 1:17), a protective Father emphasizing His defense of the poor  and oppressed (Psalm 68:5), and a redemptive Father when we become the children  of God (John 1:13; Rom. 8:15).

Just as physical fathers provide many benefits,  so our heavenly Father also provides a number of spiritual benefits. Christians  may have fellowship with (1 John 1:3), access to (verses 9, 32), guidance by  (Psalm 119:9; 2 Tim 3:17), protection by (John 10:29), and an inheritance from  (Rom. 8:17) the Father.

Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as [it is] in heaven

The phrase “Thy kingdom come” refers to the  eschatological nature of this prayer. Notice that the kingdom is to be prayed  for implying that it has not arrived. The kingdom represents the full and  effective reign of God through the mediatorial office of the Messiah.

The recognition of “Thy will be done” emphasizes  the idea that prayer is to bring about the conformity of the will of the  believer to the will of God. Prayer is an act of spiritual expression that  brings us into conformity to the very nature and purpose of God. All prayer,  first of all, willingly submits to God’s purposes, plans and glory.

God is not just Supreme Ruler of heaven, but of  this earth, as well. We must say as Jesus said, “not my will but thine”. We  should be looking forward to God’s kingdom being set up on this earth.

Give us this day our daily bread

The section of petitions begins with the request  to “give us this day our daily bread.” Bread (Greek artoa) may be applied to the  provision of food in general. The term daily (Greek epiousious) denotes  “indispensable.” The concept of daily provision of bread fits perfectly with the  Old Testament example of the daily provision of manna to the Israelites while  they were wandering in the wilderness (Exodus 16:14-15).

God will take care of our needs one day at a  time. The Bible says take no thought for tomorrow. Live each day one day at a  time.

And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors

Forgive us our debts” refers to sins, which are our moral and spiritual debts to  God’s righteousness. The request for forgiveness of sin is made here by the  believer. In order to be saved one need not necessarily name all of his sins,  but he must confess that he is a sinner.

The parallel passage in Luke 11:4 uses a word  that means “sins,” so that in context, spiritual debts are intended. Sinners are  debtors to God for their violation of His laws. This request is the heart of the  prayer; it is what Jesus stressed in the words that immediately follow the  prayer (verses 14:15; Mark 11:25).

We all want the first part of verse 12, but few  want the last. We must forgive to get forgiveness.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil

Lead us not into temptation” is a  plea for the providential help of God in our daily confrontation with the  temptation of sin. God does not tempt us to do evil, but we are tempted of our  own lusts (James 1:13-14)

For thine is  the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen

The prayer closes with a doxology of praise:  “For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen,” which  is a liturgical ending similar to 1 Chronicles 29:11. Through omitted in some  manuscripts, these words constitute a fitting and climactic affirmation of  faith.

Just as the prayer begins with praise and  recognition of God for what He is, it ends with praise and recognition. “Amen”  means so be it.

God’s desire is for us to develop a closer walk with Him each day.  His desire is to teach us and guide us closer towards Him.  Whatever you desire to know of God, ask Him.  He’s our heavenly Father and will not withhold anything from us in His name

When asked how to pray, Jesus taught his disciples a simple prayer.Few in words yet powerful to shake heaven and earth. It exalts the Lord Jesus and declares God’s dominion. It shows our dependence on Him, His forgiveness of sin, His saving grace and His everlasting kingdom. It’s a prayer that puts everything in the right perspective, and gives peace to those who pray it with an earnest heart. Our father which art in heaven, hallowed be they name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For thine is the Kingdom, the Power and the Glory. Forever and ever. Amen. This prayer is still relevant for this day. Make it your own. Prayer, believe, receive

I hope this post has inspired you to seek that which is good always in Jesus name and remember, God loves each and everyone of us.  Stay encouraged and be blessed in Jesus name…Amen!  God bless you!

Inspired by Laraine Turner and Ken Cayce

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