9 “This, then, is how you should pray: “ ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, 10 your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us today our daily bread. 12 Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. ‘ 14 For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
In the previous verses, Jesus said, “Do not keep babbling like pagans. They think they will be heard because of their many words. Our Father knows what we need before we ask. This then, is how you should pray…”
This is the Lord’s Prayer because Jesus gave it first, and to his disciples, and as a pattern – but not an incantation.
When we pray, we should pray as the first time and last time, the same – sincerely, from our deep hearts.
There is one fact we should know.
This prayer = given to disciples. It is a prayer that ONLY disciples can pray. Only those fully committed to God can pray it. We can only pray it when we know what we are praying. We can only know it when we enter into true discipleship with God.
This is not a baby’s prayer. It is a disciple’s prayer. God bless us to not be babies.
To WHOM do you pray? What is he like? Who is listening? Do you know who you are talking with? Who is hearing your voice?
#1: We pray to God – God Almighty – the One True God.
God is spirit, invisible, eternal, immutable, unchangeable, omniscient, omnipresent, merciful, gracious, compassionate. Also, he is a person, with a personality – he can speak, he can listen, feel, love, hate, be angry. He is a PERSON.
When we pray, we pray to GOD ~ not men, not angels, not demons, not A god…
There is a big gap between God and we, his Creations.
- He is infinite, we are finite.
- He is perfect, we are imperfect.
- He contains all Creation, we cannot contain all of Him in our brains.
But, we can call such a God in heaven “our Father.” He has become our Father – our imminent Father. Unknowable God becomes knowable Father. Invisible God becomes visible Father. This is the MOST intimate form of communication, between a Father and his children. God loves us, cares for us, as Father.
Can you call God “Father”?
How is this possible? Only in Jesus Christ. Only through and by Jesus Christ. John 1:18 “No one has ever seen God, but God the one and only who is at his right side has made him known.”
“To those who believed in him, God gave the right to be called ‘children of God.’”
If you believe in Jesus, acknowledge him with your mouth, believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, make him Lord over your life, THEN, you are a “child of God.” ONLY THEN, you can call God, “Father.” There is no other way.
Can you call God “Father”?
Not “my Father…” – he IS my Father, but there are NO singular pronouns here – “our Father… our debts… our sins… our daily bread…”
We must remember we are a part of the Universal church – over the whole world. We must not pray for something that would be bad for other members of God’s family. If we pray rightly, we pray for things that become blessings for our brothers and sisters in Christ.
From this prayer, we can see the missional heart of God – he wants all humans to be saved by belief in Christ. If we know this, then we know next for what we should pray.
TWO Parts with 6 items.
Each part has 3 items.
- Part #1: For GOD (3 items)
- Part #2: For Ourselves (3 items)
Sometimes the Bible divides prayer into two parts (prayer and petition) Ephesians = “pray in all occasions with prayers and petitions” Philippians = “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything with prayer and petition, present your requests to God.”
Generally speaking, whatever we say to God = prayer.
Narrowly speaking, asking FOR God = pure prayer. Asking for OURSELVES = petition.
Firstly, we must ask for GOD, and THEN, for ourselves.
Remember, this is a disciples’ prayer.
- For God
- For YOU
- For ME
Remember, babies pray:
- For Me
- For Me
- For Me
This prayer =
- For God’s name to be holy
- For his kingdom to be come
- For his will to be done
#1: HOLY in Greek = “hagios” = separate/different from other things.
Let God’s name be treated differently from other names – let him be given a supreme position. Let God’s name be given its proper position. His qualities, personalities, attributes deserve and demand this.
When will this prayer be accomplished?
“When every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.” THEN this prayer will be fulfilled.
God gave Jesus the name that is above all names… until this day comes, we must continue to pray “hallowed be your name” “holy be your name”
#2: Your Kingdom come
Matthew 6:33? “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be added to you as well.”
This is central to the message of Christ – “the kingdom of Heaven is near – repent!”
- It existed in the past “Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and all the prophets were in the kingdom of Heaven.”
- It exists currently in the present “it’s in the midst of you, among you, in you, near, at hand” – it’s a present reality.
- It will come in the future – we must continue to pray that more and more people will enter the kingdom of God. One day will come when all evil will be destroyed and God will establish a new heaven and new earth (it’s not here yet – Shinchonji…)
Your job is not a secular job, it’s a holy job.
- We make money.
- We contribute to this world.
- We build the kingdom of God (and worship Him through our work).
Outwardly, I’m here to make money.
Inwardly, I’m here to advance HIS kingdom.
Let us pray for God’s kingdom to come among us.
#3: Your WILL be done.
Babies pray to change God’s will to satisfy his OWN will.
Disciples pray to submit OUR wills to God’s will.
The kingdom of God and his will cannot be separated. The kingdom of God is a society on earth in which his will is done perfectly as it is in heaven.
Anyone who did God’s will perfectly in the past was in the kingdom of God. Anyone who NOW does God’s will perfectly is in the kingdom of God.
1 John “This world and its desires pass away, but the man who stands in the will of God will last forever.”
The accomplishment (fully) is still, yet to be, in the future.
Are you in the kingdom of God now?
This is to submit (fully) and obey (fully) God’s will.
To pray for the Will of God = to pray to submit our own wills to the will of God.
- His name = glory
- His kingdom to come
- His will to be done
NOW, we can pray for ourselves…
#1: Provide for our needs (daily bread) – providence
This refers to physical AND spiritual needs. EVERY necessity. “Daily” means God’s constant, non-stop, steadfast provision.
Phil 4:19 “My God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Jesus Christ.”
John “I am the Bread of Life – he who believes in me will never go hungry, will never be thirsty.”
Do you think you provide for yourself because you work? WRONG. God gives you the ability to work – he is your provider and your sustainer.
Jesus does not pray “Give ME my daily bread” but rather “Give US our daily bread” (i.e. don’t be selfish). We can be a channel/tool in God’s answering OTHER people’s prayers. This is not only for US to RECEIVE our daily bread, but also a prayer for us to SHARE our daily bread with others.
God provides our breath, that’s why we breathe. Our houses, clothes, everything we have and enjoy is from God, and for his glory.
#2: Forgive us our debts AS we have ALSO forgiven our debtors.
We must CONTINUALLY pray for forgiveness.
In Jesus, there is no more condemnation, true, we are righteous and holy in Christ. BUT, at the same time, as long as we are in this world, we are not perfect in character, life, tongue, so we continually need God’s forgiving mercy and grace. Every day we wash and shower, like this we need God’s forgiveness.
1 John 1:9 “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves. But if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
v. 14-15 “If you do not forgive, God will not forgive.”
Actually, God’s forgiveness is not dependent on our own forgiving of others. We are forgiven already in Christ. This sentence means, “if we have FULLY experienced the forgiveness of Christ and we do NOT forgive others, then we have NOT fully experienced God’s forgiveness.”
- If you can’t forgive, you don’t know God.
- If you can’t forgive, you are in essence, asking God to not forgive you.
We must learn to love others more and more, to forgive, to forget (God forgets greatly).
#3: Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one (this world is God’s but under Satan’s influence).
We must continue to pray for our salvation.
What does this mean? Can we lose our salvation? NO. That salvation we received is VERY sure. It CANNOT be lost in Jesus Christ.
But, IF we are saved, we must CONTINUE to pray for our salvation.
If we have been saved from the condemnation of sin, we still must pray to be saved from the temptation of sin. We must pray continually for victory over sin.
We cannot escape oxygen – we also cannot escape temptation.
“Help us escape temptation. Help us get victory.”
We must become more and more like Jesus: our model, our perfect example.
In this manner, we pray:
Our Father in heaven…
Let’s pray the Lord’s prayer as YOUR prayer, individually, as a disciple.