The Lord’s Prayer (vs 13)

Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil (vs 13)

We just prayed that we would have our sins forgiven and now we are asking that we be guarded from falling again into sin. This is not saying that God tempts us but rather that God protects us from allowing Satan to be let loose upon us.  David once prayed, “Keep me safe, also, from willful sins; don’t let them rule over me.”  (Psalms 19:13 GNB)

Later in Matthew, Jesus said, “the spirit is will but the flesh is weak” and that we should continue to pray that we do not fall into temptation. (26:41) I want to note that it is not a sin to be tempted. Jesus was tempted. Everyone is tempted. The devil wants us to sin and stray so that our witness will be weakened and so that we will not be effective for God’s kingdom. The issue is when we give in to that temptation. You’ve heard the expression, “Just say no”? So when Satan sends temptation our way, just say no!

Deliver us from evil is often translated as deliver us from the evil one. Both are possible interpretations of the Greek text and the meaning is almost the same. Yes, deliver us from evil. However, delivering us from the evil one (Satan) will be delivering us from evil in general. The devil is real and he is constantly trying to get us to fall. As believers, we have the ability, through the Holy Spirit, to resist these temptations. James 4:7 says that we are to “resist the devil” then he will flee from us. Why? Because it is through the Holy Spirit that we are able to resist and the devil cannot stand up to God’s Spirit.

© 2021 Tim Lehmann. All rights reserved.

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The Lord’s Prayer (vs 12)

Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. (vs 12)

Debts, here, is rightly translated as “sins”. Yet “debts” is the right word. Jesus was talking to Jewish people and before Jesus was the Sacrifice there was a debt owed to God for these sins. The payment owed was punishment. Every Jew knew this which is why they were so careful to observe the Temple sacrifices.

While the Jews sacrificed daily and annually in the Temple so as to be forgiven, we know now that there is no way that we can ever make up for our sins; or our Sin. When we pray “Father forgive us our sins” we are asking that the Blood of Jesus be applied toward the debt that we owe. Jesus made the payment, once and for all, for everyone’s Sin and all we have to do is ask and God is faithful to forgive us. (1John 1:9)

Jesus also said that we are to forgive our debtors. Again, this is talking about sins. In this case about people who have done us wrong. It’s easy for me to ask God to forgive me. I know that I am a sinner. The apostle Paul claimed that he was the “chief of sinners” in 1Timothy 1:15. I’m not trying to contradict Scripture, but often I feel that I hold that place myself. I know that I have an accumulation of debts that would be owed if not for His forgiveness. It is also easy for me to want to exact justice from anyone who wrongs me or my family. And this is wrong. It is yet another debt that I must ask to be forgiven. Because we are to let these things go and let God deal with them.

The Bible has thirty-three Vengeance is mine, says the Lord that specifically tell us that it God’s job to repay people, not ours. I have linked to openbible.info where you can look up these verses if you choose.  We are to turn the other cheek rather than insisting on punishment. The prayer that we are studying also says that we are to ask that God forgive us as we forgive others! This implies that if we don’t forgive than He won’t forgive. I tried looking this up and scholars disagree on this. Having said that I still want to do what Jesus asks us to do. We know that He wants us to forgive, so I try. And yes, it’s hard. So let me suggest that you also pray for the grace (strength) to forgive.

© 2021 Tim Lehmann. All rights reserved.

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The Lord’s Prayer (vs11)

Give us this day our daily bread.  (Vs 11)

Jesus tells us here that we are to ask for our immediate needs, not worrying about future needs or about wants and desires above our needs.  When I point this out to people some are quick to bring up the verse in Psalms that says God will give us the desires of our heart. And, yes, it does say that. However you need to read the whole verse.  “Seek your happiness in the Lord, and He will give you your heart’s desire.” If we are seeking our happiness in the Lord then our heart’s desire will line up with His will. If we are looking to do His will and that is our utmost desire, then His granting our desires is giving us what we need to do His will.

A few verses down in this chapter Jesus expands on this beginning with verse 25. We are told not to worry about tomorrow and not to be anxious over things that we need.  In verse 33 He says to “Seek first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”  What things? Food, clothing and shelter. God knows what we need. He created us and who knows better how to care for the creation?

I know, this is easier to say that it is to do. I am struggling with this daily. The Lord has not given me wealth, but I’m not going hungry either. I have been homeless but I have always had a roof over my head even it was a car or a tent. I do not wear Armani suits but I have warm clothing and coats. Would I like to drive an expensive luxury car? Sure I would. But I have a twenty year old Toyota that gets me to church and back with no problem. And it’s comfortable! The radio, heater and air conditioner works and it doesn’t leak. It is what I need. I am learning to be satisfied with His provision.

The Apostle Paul talked about this as well. In Philippians he says, “I know how to live in poverty or prosperity. No matter what the situation, I’ve learned the secret of how to live when I’m full or when I’m hungry, when I have too much or when I have too little.” (Philippians 4:12 GW) what is this secret that Paul has learned? The secret is to ask God for our daily bread and to have the faith that He will provide for us as the Good Father He is.

© 2021 Tim Lehmann. All rights reserved.

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The Lord’s Prayer (vs 9)

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.

© 2021 Tim Lehmann. All rights reserved.

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