“And when you pray, do not heap up phrases (multiply words, repeating the same ones over and over) as the Gentiles do, for they think they will be heard for their much speaking. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him. Pray then in this way: Our Father Who art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy 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 debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one, For thine is the kingdom, And the power, and the glory, Forever, Amen!”
– Matthew 6:7-13
In Matthew 6:7-13, we find Jesus, with His disciples on the mount, speaking to them concerning prayer. This is a truly beautiful teaching of the Lord, as of course all were and are, but it is not a prayer as we think of prayer. Jesus did not say, when you pray, pray this prayer, rather He said, “Pray then in this way:” (Matthew 6:9).
He gave them the principle, a pattern to follow as they went to the Lord with their petitions and requests.
1.) “Our” The first word, “Our”, reveals a new dimension in our lives. We are no longer a solo act, doing our own thing, but we are now in a community, a fellowship that includes many brothers and sisters in the Lord. We may not always be in their company, but we are always members of the same body and such, no longer alone. We are addressing the Father of us all.
2.) “Father” This second word tells us that we are part of a very large family with the One God and Father who is reaching out to us. He is the One you are opening your heart to; the One who has tender ears to hear His children calling out to Him.
3.) “Who art in heaven.” This is a given knowledge, of where your petition is being heard. He who sits in the heavens as quote in Psalms 2:4a, “The One enthroned in heaven…”, is He Who resides in His kingdom and sits upon His throne. He is also the One who has sent His Son to redeem us and we are now not our own, but we are His property as quote in 1Corinthians 6:19-20, “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.” He rules and reigns over the universe from His eternally divine position.
4.) “Hallowed be Thy Name” Now you are really at the part that could be labeled worship, which we all should move into as we go into prayer. We are calling on the Almighty God and we are first acknowledging His holliness (‘hallowed’); what an awesome thought.
5.) “Thy Kingdom come” You have entered the kingdom of God. It is the dimension that embodies the way God does things. You are to call into this earth realm, by prayer to God, His kingdom answer to every need. Jesus said that it should be in the earth the same as it is in heaven. What you are in reality asking, is that the Father not only send the kingdom of God to the earth, but send the revelation in our hearts as well, so that we can alter our live’s thinking accordingly.
6.) “Thy will be done in the earth as it is in heaven” How is it in heaven? His liberty in Christ Jesus, free of illness and affliction, free of lack and poverty, and free of all oppression, and the strength of the Almighty expressed through your weaknesses as was Paul’s in 2 Corinthians 12 where God said that His strength and power are made perfect and show themselves most effective in our weaknesses. The Supernatural expressing Himself in the natural. Remember, that His word is His will, so study to show yourself unto God.
7.) “Give us this day our daily bread.” Here you are addressing Jehovah Jireh, God our Provider, asking Him to provide your daily bread. Yesterday has passed and you have today to rejoice and be glad in and He will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. He declared this in Philippians 4:19, and nothing escapes His sight and heart, for your ‘needs’ can cover much ground, and not just your financial needs. Jehovah Jireh literally means, God who sees ahead. He knew your daily needs ahead of all time, since before time was, and He made advance provision for all of them. In prayer, you are traveling a course that will cause you to intersect His supply for you. In the trek through the wilderness, when Manna fell from heaven, they were only allowed to take just what the day would demand for their well being. More taken would only spoil, except on the weekend when they could get an extra portion, to meet every need until the Sabbath passed. This is the marvelous avenue to build faith and trust on and God is faithful to the promises in His word. He is our provider and is to be trusted completely.
8.) “Forgive us our debts as we have also forgiven our debtors.” There is a great measure of God’s will in this portion- ‘Forgiveness’. One of the most important words to be grasped in this is ‘as’. When we have any unforgiveness in our hearts, then we are basically saying: judge me as I am judging the one that I have an aught against. We have amplified the ‘as’. In Mark 11:24-25, you will find Jesus discussing this with His disciples and relating it to prayer: “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.” Here you can see how much emphasis the Father puts on our forgiving others in order to have our prayers be effective. Forgiveness is one of the conditions of answered, believing prayers and is an important condition that the Father places on receiving an answer. Forgiveness and answers are tied together. God’s love is to be radiant virtue of the righteous and His word in 1Corinthians 13:7: “It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” declares that love believes the best in every person and as such forgiveness is the way of life for the Christian.
9.) “And lead us not into temptation.” Here we need to see the word that the Greeks used for the word ‘temptation’ properly translated makes this a more palatable request. The word is ‘peirasmos’ and means trials with a beneficial purpose. The way this verse reads when this translation is used is, ‘lead us not into a hard trial or testing.’ Again, we look at the book of James 1:13, “When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone;” Jesus was saying, don’t pray yourself into a hard spot, your Father is loving and will not be a part of that. He wants only that which is beneficial for you and that might occur in testing and usually does, but not because you pray for it, it just comes as a part of life’s journey and it comes daily, but the Holy Spirit is always there to strengthen you, for He is the strengthener. Spiritual testing is always a growing experience and mature growth is a most desperate need in the Body of Christ.
10.) “But deliver us from evil one.” The Bible never gives any doubt that there is a power of evil in this world. The Bible does not teach that evil is some sort of principle that is an abstract, but rather it is a very active personal power, an enemy, an adversary called the devil who opposes God and all He stands for. It is from that power of destruction, that Jesus has us to pray for deliverance. In 1 John 4:4, there is a powerful statement on our behalf and it declares: “You, dear children, are from God [you belong to Him] and have overcome them [the agent of the anti-Christ], because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” The agents of anti-Christ here are the powers of evil and He has already disarmed them and triumphed over them and made a public display of them.
11.) “For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen!” All glory to God, Who is able to answer all prayer, prayed in the right manner and context. Prayer is to be a simple conversation with the God of all creation. He is your creator and the lover of your soul and He does not know how to hurt and He is more desirous and willing to answer than you are to pray. Look at Him, seek His face and not His hand and He will meet you at the intersection of any need you have and any desire your heart longs for. Sit down and talk to Him, He is so easy to know and He desires that you know Him well.
CONCLUSION: “There is nothing on earth or in heaven, for time or eternity, that God’s Son did not secure for us. By prayer God gives us the vast and matchless inheritance which is ours by virtue of His Son. God is glorified and Christ is honored by large asking.” (E. M. Bounds)
Always remember, we are heirs of God, joint heirs with Christ Jesus. Remember though, all we have been sharing is not a prayer, but rather it is the “Lord’s Own Principle” for praying, it is a rich pattern to follow.
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©New International Version translation by Biblica