5. The Lord’s Prayer
After this manner therefore pray:
Our Father who is in heaven,
May your name be hallowed,
May your kingdom come,
May your will be done in the earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us today our food as you always do.
And forgive us for our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.
And don’t lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one:
For yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory,
Forever, Amen. (So be it!) Matthew 6:9-13
After this manner therefore pray, so then we should pray in this manner. In the previous verses the LORD was showing some of the wrong ways to pray, like repeating things over and over, so He certainly doesn’t mean we should repeat the Lord’s Prayer over and over! He says we should pray in thismanner, meaning along these lines. This is an amazing thing to consider, that God our Father has actually communicated to us how He wants us to pray to Him.
The Lord’s Prayer spells out the priorities of God the Father. Praying thru it, by faith, reminds us of His priorities and He empowers us to bring our priorities in line with His. It should not be about how we want to pray but about how He wants us to pray, after all He is God. That’s the way we have to read this. These are requests from our Father concerning the way He wants to be addressed. He is requesting us to bring these points of prayer to Him and in the order He has requested. It is a protocol of heaven. It is the honorable way to approach the Almighty God, our Father.
If you were to visit the White House you would be advised as to the proper protocol to be observed, the appropriate order. God our Father gave us His protocol. So think about it. Don’t just pray it without thinking first about what you are saying and whom you are talking to. Don’t rush it. Take your time. Pray it intelligently. It could even take you up to one hour to pray thru the Lord’s Prayer, as the Spirit leads. I contemplate every point and enlarge on each point before proceeding to the next point, and even go back to previous points if need be. Even on the first line, Our Father…. I will sometimes spend much time just contemplating on the wonder of what it means to call God my Father and the subsequent ramifications of that, that if He is your Father then you must be His child, His son. So we are to understand it is a child coming to talk with his Father.
And this Father isin heaven. We are to understand we are speaking right up into heaven and heaven can hear us. The Father in heaven can hear. In heaven speaks of absolute sovereignty, absolute power and rule over all things. We are bringing requests to a One who has the authority to grant them.
Hallowed be your name, or May your name be hallowed. Here is the first request coming from our Father. The first thing He wants us to be concerned about before anything else is that His name is hallowed in the earth. Hallowed means glorified, it’s His true Holiness revealed and seen for what it is. So the glory of God, the glory of Jesus is always the first and overarching issue touching everything.
May your kingdom come, May your will be done in the earth, as it is in heaven. Now it gets even more interesting! What is this Kingdom and how and when does it come? If we are asking for the Father to cause His Kingdom to come then we should understand what it is we are asking, right? He partly interprets the meaning for us in the next part, May your will be done in the earth, as it is in heaven. That is the Kingdom coming. When does He want His will done in the earth? : Today. Therefore His plan is for His Kingdom to come today, as well as tomorrow, until the great and glorious Day of the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ when He brings the fullness of His Kingdom to earth, when He will judge the nations and then rule and reign a thousand years on this present earth.
So, to pray your Kingdom come means to pray that Jesus physically and bodily comes soon to judge and rule the world, and also that Jesus will extend His spiritual Kingdom now in the hearts of men and women, building up His people and drawing new souls into His Kingdom daily.
And when he was demanded by the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God comes not with outward observation: Neither shall they say, See here! or, See there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you. Luke 17:20-21
So, in this part of the prayer we can insert the names of those we are praying for, like, Father, bring your Kingdom in my friend Bill’s life today and help him to do your will. In this way we spend a considerable time praying for the Kingdom to come today in the lives of many people.
The thing about Kingdom and the fact that our Father has asked us to pray for it to come is that we have to ask the Father to bring it because we can’t bring it ourselves. If we could bring the Kingdom then there would be no need to ask the Father to bring it. Sure, He enlists us as co-workers with Him and works in us to bring it, but then it’s still Him doing it in us and not us. It’s His grace working in us and that’s why we are requesting and acknowledging His grace to do these things.
What is the Kingdom coming, this side of the second coming of our LORD Jesus? It is the rule of this King, the King of Kings. That He would rule and reign in men’s hearts! When His Kingdom comes it means He is conquering men’s hearts and bringing them captive to His love. The message of the Cross of Calvary is the way He conquers and captures men’s hearts by love. Lifted up on the Cross He draws all men unto Him!
The Kingdom coming also means Him conforming of our nature and character to His. It means so much. So when we pray the Kingdom come in the lives of our friends we are asking that their lives be transformed into the very image of Jesus Christ. Take your time! God is not in a hurry. Pray for many people today for the Kingdom to come in their life and the Father’s will to be done, and then He will work and He will guide them into His will because you asked Him to. Of course His Spirit prompted you, it was not your idea, it was the Father revealing His will to you.
Give us this day our daily bread, or Give us today our food as you always do. No need to get hung up here over whether He means spiritual or physical bread for it surely means both, as we need both. Concerning the physical bread, our Father wants us to daily acknowledge that He is the source and the provider of it. It is a given that He will give it for it is our daily bread, and even if you didn’t ask He would still give it, but He wants us to ask, so let’s ask and give Him the acknowledgment and the credit and the thanks.
At this point in the prayer it would be most appropriate to spend some time giving thanks for His faithfulness in feeding you every day of your life so far, and resting in the assurance that He always will. We can also incorporate others into our request for daily bread, those whom we know are in need.
Just to note that this prayer is to Our Father, not my Father. This means it is to be prayed as a covering prayer over all our brethren; we are praying and representing them to the Father, just like the High Priest in the Old Testament who wore a vest over his chest with all the names of the tribes of Israel – he was carrying the people of God close to his heart and bringing their needs to God. And that’s why it may take some time to pray thru this prayer as you apply it to all your brethren, as the Holy Spirit leads.
And forgive us for our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us. We are asking forgiveness for the sins of all our brethren and not just our own sins. And we are praying that they will walk in forgiveness, just as we ought, for the LORD Jesus said that if we don’t forgive others then we won’t be forgiven – it’s as plain as that. Note that we are well into the prayer before sin is mentioned. That is because it is the prayer of sons. It is the prayer of saved people, of whom God is truly their Father. It is not the prayer of those who are approaching God for the first time as sinners. The Father designed the prayer this way so that we are forced to acknowledge His Fatherhood before we acknowledge our sin. As a saved and redeemed sinner it is important to note that you are to ask the Father to forgive your sins on the basis that He is indeed your Father and you are His child! You are not to think you are an outsider pleading to get in, and hence God ordained that confession of sin be put down the list a little, for His sons.
And don’t lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. In other words don’t allow us to be tempted more than we can bear and provide a way of escape from temptation:
There has no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted above that you are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that you may be able to bear it. 1 Cor. 10:13
And deliver us from the evil one, from the demonic forces which are working to tempt us into sin. Here we acknowledge that our Father has all power over the enemy, Jesus defeated him at the Cross and therefore He has the power to deliver us from being overcome by demonic powers and their suggestions and influence. We should be sure our flesh is crucified so as not to give the enemy any flesh which he could place his hooks and get a hold and get us hooked. We are to give no ground, no place to the enemy. Repentance means to take away the ground we once gave to satan, so that he has no grounds and no place in us. Jesus said that satan has no part in Him (John 14:30) so this should also be our desire considering that Christ dwells in us.
For yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, Forever, Amen. So we finish up right where we started, with the Father’s Kingdom and eternal Glory. Yours is the Kingdom… this is so important. It is our Father’s Kingdom. It’s not ours and it’s not the devils, and it’s not anyone else’s! Don’t we need to be reminded of this in these days as men build their petty little tinsel kingdoms?
Forever – Eternity: We end on this note of considering eternity. It’s worth considering eternity as it’s a long time; worth considering where you will be and what you will be doing for eternity, and then live today with eternity in view as it is closer than any of us know.
What would happen if prayer became the most exciting part of your life?