Now we come to the Lord’s prayer. I think one of the best books I’ve read about the Lord’s Prayer was written by Max Lucado, The Great House of God. If you want to get more in depth with the Lord’s prayer, I suggest reading it.
Before we dive into the Lord’s prayer, we have to wade through the beginning of the verse which kicks it off in Matthew 6:
“Pray, then, [b]in this way:
The word translated as “in this way” in the Amplified version is “houtō(s)”. It means ‘in this way,’ ‘in this manner,’ ‘likewise,’ ‘on this fashion,’ or ‘in like manner.’ It does not mean to pray this exact prayer, but to pray ‘like’ this.
Just a thought. … As I work through this, I can’t help but wonder if the ‘like’ doesn’t just refer to the pattern, or the sentiment, but the length. Just prior to this Jesus said not to go on like the Gentiles with their many words. *shrugs*
It’s also interesting He says, “do not use meaningless repetition,” and yet, if we are honest with ourselves, when we do recite the “Lord’s Prayer,” that is exactly what we do. Come on now, you and I both know it. We say the words, but do not think about them. We say the words, but do not give thought to what they mean or what we are saying. We say the words, but give little thought to how they apply to us. So, in essence, it is ‘meaningless repetition,’ now isn’t it? Ouch!
Let’s take a closer look at the passages what have become known as ‘The Lord’s Pray.’
Our Father in heaven,
Don’t rush too quickly past the ‘Our’, this word means … Our. When we use the word ‘our’ it includes ourselves. Actually, we could very well say, “My Father,” and still be accurate. Does that change the significance of who you are talking to? It does for me. Our … My …
Father, πατήρ, patēr, pä-tā’r, most get the meaning of father, but if we look at Thayer’s, it brings a little more flavor to the word:
(from the root, pa; literally, nourisher, protector, upholder
So we could say, “My nourisher, protector, upholder …” Whoa! How much more significant and personal does that make it?
Most children with a healthy family, find it easy to turn to their parents when they need something. But as we become adults, it becomes hard to do the very same thing with the very same people. I almost have to believe it has something to do with being small, and them being larger. We look up to them, literally. We know they are stronger than us. Maybe this is why Jesus added the “in heaven,” part. Maybe it’s there to remind us we have to look up. Again, Thayer’s definition of this word can have an impact.
by implication, happiness, power, eternity; specially, the Gospel (Christianity):—air, heaven(-ly), sky
What if we said, “My nourisher, protector, upholder above me, in happiness, power, and eternity …” How significant is that? I know, I know, we are getting wordy now, but we’ve gotten so used to saying, *in a monitone, unemotional voice* I know you can hear it right now in your mind’s ear. “Our Father, Who are in heaven …” Right? I don’t think Jesus meant for us to state it, but mean it.
hallowed be your name,
I don’t know about you, but on an everyday basis, when I hear God’s name used it isn’t in a hallowed, holy way. So sad. Even atheist can be heard using His name. O.o The real question is, is God’s name holy to you? How do you use His name?
your kingdom come,
So what do you think this means? Most people automatically think of it as God’s kingdom being made here on earth, in other words, kingdom is a place, a territory. However, there are three ways the original word is used in the Bible. It is used to denote royal power, kingship, dominion, or rule; as a kingdom, territory subject to the rule of a king; and as the reign of the Messiah.
Given the next line, it seems appropriate to think of this as meaning God’s power, dominion, and rule to come into our lives. Or maybe even for the Messiah to reign in our lives. If we take into context Christ’s teachings of the Kingdom, it wouldn’t be far fetched to use the other two meanings, would it?
your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Don’t get all upset with me on this one, but these words seem to be flippantly used. I may only be speaking for myself, but if I truly meant these words when I spoke them, my life would be much different. Can you examine your own and say anything different? Your will, this doesn’t mean YOUR will, it means HIS! HIS will be done. Can you imagine a world where people, even if only Christians, really ALLOWED God’s will to be done?
How different would our lives be if we could say “your will be done, on earth, as it is in heaven,” and truly mean it, apply it, live it?
11 Give us today our daily bread.
What is “our daily bread?” We’ve been taught it is, well, basically, our needs, wouldn’t you say? God’s provision in our daily lives. And I suppose that is what it means. Many times it is associated with God providing manna when the Israelites were wandering. But here is more food for thought in regards to bread.
In the Bible, bread can also signify a bond. In the Tabernacle, the Table of Showbread had 23 loaves of bread on it. The bread was also called “bread of presence.” It was meant as a representation of God’s willingness to fellowship and commune with man.
Not only is God a provider of our daily needs, but He is also willing to be in relationship with us each and every day. He is willing to be present in our lives on a daily basis.
We’ve already established He is or nourisher, provider, and protector (Father). We’ve established He is holy (hallowed). We’ve established we want His power, dominion, and for Christ to reign over our lives (kingdom come) and we want HIS will to be done. If we believe all this, shouldn’t we believe He will give us what we need?
Prior to this, Jesus said, “for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.” So all we really need is for God to be with us, present, in fellowship, commune, and relationship with us, right?
I could be way off here, but in my mind, we could just as easily be saying, “God be with us daily.”
12 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
After Jesus lays out this model for praying, He expounds on this, so we’ll chat about this in the next blog.
13 And lead us not into temptation,[a]
Several thoughts race through my mind as I read this line. A quick flash of Adam and Eve in the garden with the Tree and serpant. Spinning into a mini movie of Jesus facing satan’s temptations. Fading into scrolling words “For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone.” This is soooo confusing.
Temptation πειρασμός peirasmos. Thayer shows the definition for this passage as:
of a condition of things, or a mental state, by which we are enticed to sin, or to a lapse from faith and holiness
Albert Barnes writes:
This phrase, then, must be used in the sense of “permitting.” Do not “suffer” us, or “permit” us, to be tempted to sin. In this it is implied that God has such control over the tempter as to save us from his power if we call upon him. The word “temptation,” however (see the note at Matthew 4:1), means sometimes “trial, affliction,” anything that “tests” our virtue. If this be the meaning here, as it may be, then the import of the prayer is, “Do not afflict or try us.” It is not wrong to pray that we may be saved from suffering if it be the will of God. See Luke 22:42.
Jesus at the Mount of Olives, tells the disciples to pray not to fall into temptation. Jesus also prayed to have the cup (trial, affliction) taken from him. These should give us a good picture of what is mean by this part of the prayer.
but deliver us from the evil one.[b]’
The translation of “the evil one” or “evil” comes from the word πονηρός, ponēros. Strong’s defines it as:
hurtful, i.e. evil (properly, in effect or influence, …
figuratively, calamitous; also (passively) ill, i.e. diseased; but especially (morally) culpable, i.e. derelict, vicious, facinorous; neuter (singular) mischief, malice, or (plural) guilt;
masculine (singular) the devil, or (plural) sinners:—bad, evil, grievous, harm, lewd, malicious, wicked(-ness). See also G4191.
In the commentary by Jamieson-Fausset-Brown, they write:
a number or superior critics think the devil is intended, especially from its following close upon the subject of “temptation.” But the comprehensive character of these brief petitions, and the place which this one occupies, as that on which all our desires die away, seems to us against so contracted a view of it. Nor can there be a reasonable doubt that the apostle, in some of the last sentences which he penned before he was brought forth to suffer for his Lord, alludes to this very petition in the language of calm assurance—”And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work (compare the Greek of the two passages), and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom” (2Ti 4:18). The final petition, then, is only rightly grasped when regarded as a prayer for deliverance from all evil of whatever kind—not only from sin, but from all its consequences—fully and finally.
I guess it’s between you and God how you view this, as from satan specifically, or evil in general. Might just as well say, “God, deliver us from anything outside Your will.”
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
Most commentators agree, it was not in the earliest texts and added much later.
In comparing Matthew and Luke, we see a few differences:
- “who is in heaven.” is not in Luke
- “Your [d]will be done On earth as it is in heaven.” is not in Luke
- Matthew: “as we have forgiven our debtors” Luke: “For we ourselves also forgive everyone who is indebted to us”
- “but deliver us from [h]evil.” is not in Luke