The Lord’s Prayer

Scriptures: Mat 6:9-13

“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.”

The Lord’s prayer begins with the expression of worship, “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name”. What does it mean? God in heaven who created us is our Father. We are not only created by Him, but born of Him as well. We are His children. The apostle John wrote, “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!” (1 John 3:1). It is because of His love that we come into existence in this world and it is because of His love that we who were once sinners become His children. There is no other god who loves us so much. There is no other god like the Father in heaven. Therefore, we should hallow, that is, honor greatly, His name.

The Lord Jesus said, “The hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.” (John 4:23) True worship is worship in spirit and truth. When we worship God, we acknowledge Him both as our Creator and our Father. Worshiping God as our Creator produces godly fear in us whereas worshiping God as our Father produces divine love in us. Therefore, when we have become true worshipers, we will have the fear of God and the love of God in our  lives. We will keep His words and do His commandments because we love Him. The Lord Jesus said, “He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me.” (John 14:21)

The Lord’s prayer continues with the expression, “Your kingdom come”. What does it mean? God the Father rules and reigns in His kingdom in heaven, but He wants to extend His kingdom to the earth. He wants to rule and reign over us on this earth, but He will not force us. He will only come and bring His kingdom into our lives if we really want it. It is like when all the tribes of Israel came to David at Hebron and told him that they wanted him to be their king (2 Sam. 5:1-3) So, we can choose whether we still want to rule in our own lives or we want God to rule in our lives. Therefore, “Your kingdom come” is the expression of our desire to have God rule and reign in our lives as our king.

The apostle Paul wrote, “The kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”

(Rom. 14:17) The kingdom of God is not about the matter of eating and drinking, like what food we can eat or cannot eat, or what drink we can drink or cannot drink, or how we can have food and drink in our lives, but it is about righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. The first thing about the kingdom of God is righteousness. What does it mean? The kingdom of God is about what is right to God. Therefore, if we want to experience the kingdom of God, we should always seek first what is right to God.  The Lord Jesus said, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” (Mat 6:33) When we live and walk according to what is right to God, then we shall have peace and joy that come from the Holy Spirit in our lives.

The expression “Your kingdom come” is followed by ‘Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven”. What does it mean? The will of God can only be done in the kingdom of God. The will of God is always done in heaven because the kingdom of God is in heaven. However, the will of God will not be done on earth before the kingdom of God comes to the earth. Therefore, by saying “Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven”, we want the kingdom of God to come into our lives so that the will of God can be done in our lives. When we always seek what is right to God and we have peace and joy from the Holy Spirit in our lives, then God will always work in us both to will and to do for His good pleasures.

The expressions “Your kingdom come” and ‘Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” in the Lord’s prayer teach us that prayer primarily is not a means of bringing our earthly concerns to heaven, but a means of bringing heavenly concerns to earth. What are these heavenly concerns? The kingdom of God and the will of God. The kingdom of God in heaven comes to the earth and the will of God in heaven is done on the earth. The Lord Jesus, when He was praying in the garden of Gethsemane before He was arrested and then later crucified, said, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.” (Mat 26:39) Even though the Lord Jesus had His own will as a man, in His prayer He sought what was right to God and put the will of God above His own will.

After the expression of worship, submission to God’s authority and surrender to God’s will, the Lord’s prayer continues with a request for daily need, “Give us this day our daily bread”. What does it mean? We should trust God daily for our needs. We should not worry about tomorrow, but should learn to live day by day; depending on God to meet our needs every day. The Lord Jesus said, “Therefore, do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’  For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” (Mat. 6:31-32,34)

The expression “Give us this day our daily bread” in the Lord’s prayer teaches us to be content in whatever state we are. What does it mean to be content? We always give thanks with such things as we have, free from worry as well as greediness. When we have little and suffer need, we are not worried. When we have much and abound, we are not greedy. The apostle Paul wrote, “I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Phil 2:11-13)

The Lord’s prayer continues, “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” What does it mean? The apostle John wrote, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. But, if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our  sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:8-9) In our walk with God, we all stumble in many things (Jms 3:2). Therefore, we should always humble ourselves and not delay to ask forgiveness from God whenever we fall into sin. It is written, “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” (Jms 4:6)

Besides always being immediate to ask forgiveness from God, we should also be quick to forgive those who sin against us. God has forgiven us when we first believe in the Lord Jesus and He always forgives  us whenever we fall into sin. Therefore, we should always forgive others. The apostle Paul wrote, “bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.” (Col. 3:13) God forgives unconditionally, sincerely and completely. So must we.

The expression “Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors” in the Lord’s prayer shows us that forgiveness is necessary to maintain our communion with God. It is not only the forgiveness that we receive from God, but also the forgiveness that we give to others as well. The Lord Jesus Himself said, “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” (Mat. 6:14-15) If we do not forgive, we disconnect ourselves from God and we fall into the hands of the enemy.

“Do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one” is the next expression in the Lord’s prayer. Does this mean that God leads us into temptation? No, because God does not tempt anyone (Jms. 1:13). This expression is actually the expression of watchfulness. The Lord Jesus said, “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Mat. 26:41) We should ask God to help us be watchful so that we do not yield to the weaknesses of our flesh, but follow the desires of our spirit.

The expression “Do not lead us into temptation” in the Lord’s prayer teaches us to depend on God when we deal with temptation. Temptation does not begin from the outside, but from the inside. The apostle James wrote, “Each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.” (Jms. 1:14) Therefore, we must be watchful not to be drawn away by our own desires. We should always put our own desires under control and even crucified. The apostle Paul wrote, “And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” (Gal. 5:24) and “But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.” (Rom 13:14)

The Lord’s prayer is the prayer of deliverance from the evil one who comes only to steal, to kill and to destroy. “Deliver us from the evil one”. He comes to steal whatever God has given to us. He comes to separate us from God so that he can kill us.  He comes to tempt us to sin so that he can destroy our lives. The apostle Peter wrote, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” (1 Pet. 5:8) When we always watch and pray, the devil will have no place in our lives (Eph. 4:27). He cannot devour us.

The Lord’s prayer ends with the expression “For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.” It is an acknowledgment that everything belongs to God. The kingdom belongs to God. The power belongs to God. The glory belongs to God. Forever. The Lord’s prayer begins with God and ends with God. The apostle Paul wrote, “For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.” (Rom. 11:36)

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