‘Pray then like this: "Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name…’ (Matthew 6:9)
The Lord’s Prayer is prayed around the globe in virtually every language. Back to my home town, I used to pray it in my own Iban language ‘Apai kami di serga, kudus meh nama nuan…’ I was young, I understand my need to ask for forgiveness, but I had no idea what most of the prayer meant.
The Lord’s Prayer is not a mantra or fixes formula to pray to God. Rather this prayer is a pattern for all Christian praying. Jesus is teaching that prayer will be acceptable when and only when, the attitudes, thoughts and desires expressed fit the pattern. J.I. Packer author of I want to be a Christian further explain that every prayer of ours should be a praying of the Lord’s Prayer in some shape or form.
He outlines that the Lord’s Prayer requires reference to a spectrum on 7 distinct activities:
1. Approaching God in adoration and trust,
2. Acknowledging His work and His worth, in praise and worship,
3. Admitting sin and seeking pardon,
4. Asking the needs be met, for ourselves and others,
5. Arguing with God for blessing, as wresting Jacob did in Genesis 32,
6. Accepting from God one’s own situation as He has shaped it,
7. And Adhering to God in faithfulness through thick and thin.
‘’Our Father in heaven…’’ Andrew Murray explains that ‘to appreciate this word of adoration correctly, remember that none of the saints in Scripture ever ventured to address God as his Father.’ Therefore, I’m convincing that prayer to God as Father is for Christian only. (You might want to read my previous note on ‘’Knowing God as a Father’’ click title to read.)
‘’…hallowed be your name.’’ Adam Clarke comments (I simply it) ‘We hallow God’s name, 1st with our lips, 2nd in our thoughts, 3rd in our lives, 4th in our families and 5th in a particular calling or business."
‘’Your kingdom come...’’ The Father is a King Who has a Kingdom. ‘’..Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven’’ Faith has accepted the Father’s love; obedience accepts the Father’s will. ‘’Give us this day our daily bread,’’ This mean that we are to pray for all need for material things, all need for spiritual renewing and restoring, and all need for guidance and help.
‘’…and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.’’ God will forgive us the same way as we forgive others. (You might want to read my previous note on ‘They are asking you now, 'Can you forgive me?' click title to read.) Such forgiveness is impossible without a forgiving spirit toward others. ‘’And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.’’ Always ask the protection from all sin and the power of the evil one.
Whenever Reverend Peter Young came to give a talk in local church, camps or conferences, he almost always remind us that the Lord’s Prayer is about: Thy name, Thy Kingdom, Thy will; then give us, forgive us, lead us, deliver us. “Us’’ not ‘’My’’. That’s why the Lord’s Prayer is beneficial, particularly when we use it in a gathered congregation to unite our prayers.
When we pray the Lord’s Prayer, we must do so from the heart, not mechanically. Jesus’ disciples asked Him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray.’ So gives us the model for us to pray. Readers, we are made to pray, therefore we must learn to pray.