After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. 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.Matthew 6:9-13 KJV
WOW! I did a “quick” internet search for “Lord’s Prayer” and what I found surprised me. I’m used to reading this in Matthew and hearing the song. I discovered differing versions of the prayer based on the Scripture. I found additions to the prayer. I found different prayers based on denomination! And this was all on one web page.
I know that the prayer is given by Jesus twice. Once, in Matthew, He tells followers during the Sermon on the Mount how to pray and once, as recorded by Luke, He is asked by one of the disciples how to pray and His response is the Lord’s Prayer in a slightly different format. I had hoped to do a study on the prayer itself so I’m going to go with Matthew 6:9-13 in the King James Version of the Bible. If you are interested in the other versions or denominational renderings feel free to look check the link I have above.
Jesus starts out,” After this manner therefore pray ye.” While I’m not condemning our repeating this prayer, it should be noted that this was not the Master’s intent. He did not say repeat after me rather He said “after this manner” or, as the Good News Bible puts it, “This, then, is how you should pray.” There’s nothing wrong with saying or reading the prayer either personally or in a congregation as long as it is meaningful and heartfelt. Jesus was very clear not to pray in “vain repetitions” the same thing over and over. You could say that Jesus was saying something like, “Here is an idea of the basic format that you should use when you are praying.” (Personal paraphrase) So let’s look at this prayer format.
“Our Father which art in heaven” directs our prayer to Almighty God above. John Wesley, in his Notes on the Bible says, “The preface, Our Father, who art in heaven, lays a general foundation for prayer, comprising what we must first know of God, before we can pray in confidence of being heard. It likewise points out to us our faith, humility, love, of God and man, with which we are to approach God in prayer.”
We must understand that He is God Almighty. He loves us and wants us to seek Him for help and guidance, but we can never forget where He stands and where we stand. This is emphasized in the next line, “Hallowed be thy name.” This means “may your name be kept holy.” Again, positioning God above us.
I’m going to break here. Be sure to like and follow so that you don’t miss any of the following posts as I continue this study.
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