The Lord’s Prayer
Matthew Chapter 6: 1- 13
Millions of Christians through the ages have prayed the
Lord’s Prayer. It is probably the most well
known prayer of all time: though lately it is seldom
prayed in the churches. This Sabbath we will study this
prayer, paying particular attention to how Satan has
attacked one of its vital truths.
1. Our Father
This is a family or group prayer, a prayer that is prayed by at least two true
believers who acknowledge the God of the Bible as their heavenly Father.
We know this because the words ‘our’ and ‘us’
are used throughout. This fact - that we are praying as a group
on behalf of the Almighty's church, and our own particular responsibilities
within it, lifts this prayer above ordinary prayers in which believers concentrate
on personal needs and requests. I repeat, in this prayer we are praying as a
believing church to our Father. We are not praying to an earthly father,
a priest or pope, but to our heavenly Father which is in heaven. And not merely
to ‘our Father,’ but too the God of our spiritual
ancestors Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
As many of you know, we true believers belong to the family of
the most High and are spiritually bound together by a common parentage.
||13: “And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them?|
14: And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.
15: And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations.”
|1 John 3:
||1: “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.|
2: Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.”
In short, this prayer is addressed to ‘our Father,
the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel.’
2. Which Art in Heaven
The Father we are addressing is in heaven. He is not on earth. What or where is heaven?
The Bible tells of several heavens: the ‘atmospheric heavens,’
in which the birds fly. The ‘starry heavens’ in which the stars
and planets orbit and the ‘third heaven,’ a spiritual location
in which our Heavenly Father dwells. Physically that may be a lot nearer than some imagine.
||25: “I beheld, and, lo, there was no man, and all the birds of the heavens were fled.”
||10: “The LORD your God hath multiplied you, and, behold, ye are this day as the stars of heaven for multitude.”
||19: “The LORD hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all.”
||15: “Look down from heaven, and behold from the habitation of thy holiness and of thy glory: where is thy zeal and thy strength, the sounding of thy bowels and of thy mercies toward me? are they restrained?|
16: Doubtless thou art our father, though Abraham be ignorant of us, and Israel acknowledge us not: thou, O LORD, art our father, our redeemer; thy name is from everlasting.”
|2 Corinthians 12:
||2: “I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven.”
3. Hallowed Be Thy Name
The word ‘hallowed’ means ‘set apart
for holy use.’ Yahweh's Name is sacred. He is a holy God. He
wants His children to be holy and ‘set apart for holy use,’
to hallow His name in their thoughts, words and deeds. Yahweh wants His family to
be holy like He is holy. Being in fashion, or being a popular hero are not the best of
aims for believers, especially if it means sacrificing godly behaviour. We must be people
who hallow Yahweh's Name by being holy people. What we should aim for is:
Hallowed be thy name in my life.
4. Thy Kingdom Come
The world is in turmoil. There is chaos on every side and everything worthwhile seems
to be fading away. No earthly government is able to stem humanity's slide into
disaster. The world is suffering from a terminal disease called ‘sin’
and ‘sin’ is on the increase. The only ray of hope on the horizon
is the coming Kingdom of God. Being fully aware of this fact the Saviour tells us
to look forward to the Kingdom and to pray for the Kingdom of God to come.
See Lesson 12 concerning the
Kingdom of God.
5. Thy Will Be Done
Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
Yahweh's will is that the human race accept salvation and obey His law;
the law He gave through His servant Moses and which was magnified in the life
of His Son Jesus Christ.That is Yahweh's will. That is what He wants all
mankind to do, to love and obey Him.
Alas! the world at large has rejected Yahweh's Son and Yahweh's
law. Sad to say even the majority of Christendom have rejected
Yahweh's law. Have you noticed how few believers are really
interested in doing the Almighty's will? Comparatively few know
what His will is. The Master however tells us to pray about this
problem in these words:
‘Thy will be done.’
After those initial, vital facts concerning Yahweh's Name, His Kingdom
and His Will, comes the requests section of this great prayer.
Notice how often the word ‘us’ is used. I repeat,
this is a prayer we pray together. It is a family or church prayer for
food (literal and spiritual) for forgiveness, for power
and for protection.
- “Give us this day our daily bread.”
The God of Israel is well able to supply His children with food, even
if it means dropping it from heaven. But in doing so He may put them to the
test to see whether or not they keep His commandments. (Exodus 16: 4)
“Then said the LORD unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread
from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain
rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my
law, or no.”
- “And forgive us our debts (trespasses, sins) - as we
forgive our debtors!
Note how in (Nehemiah 1: 6) the prophet prays on behalf of all
Israel. We read: “Let thine ear now be attentive, and
thine eyes open, that thou mayest hear the prayer of thy servant, which
I pray before thee now, day and night, for the children of Israel thy
servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel, which we
have sinned against thee: both I and my father’s house have sinned.”
- “And lead us not into temptation,”
(1 Corinthians 10: 13) We read “There hath no
temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God
is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are
able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape,
that ye may be able to bear it.”
- “But deliver us from evil.”
This word ‘for’ precedes a vital fact in the
‘Lord’s Prayer:’ a fact that spells out
‘why’ all the preceding requests should or can
be met. In effect it says, all this is possible because:
Satan, also called Lucifer the fallen arch-angel, is not
happy that Christians voice this final summing up of the Lord's
- Thine is the Kingdom: Because Thou art the supreme
and ultimate authority in the universe.
- And the Power: Because with Thee alone is absolute
power and no one can stand in Thy way. Because we are weak and
powerless to arrive at these objectives without Thy help.
- And the glory: Because in the final analysis
any glory that may come as a result is really Thine. Because the
whole universe must recognize - for its own good - that Thy will
is really the best course to follow. Because Thy name needs to
be cleared of slander and blasphemy. Because the glory that is
Thy due must be recognized and openly declared by all mankind.
Only if we pray in this mode will we find our mental bearings
and achieve worthwhile results. All other prayers are doomed to
For Thine is the Kingdom, and the power, and the glory,
That is why Satan has arranged for this whole phrase to be either
[bracketed] or omitted from modern translations
of the Bible. In one swipe the Devil has sought to remove the guarantee
that this vital prayer will be answered. Full well does he know that the
Almighty God of Israel alone has the authority the power
and the will that it takes to answer this prayer. No other
soul in the universe has that power.
When those vital words “thine is the kingdom, and the power,
and the glory, forever,” are omitted from the Lord's prayer,
it will not be answered; simply because it is not directed at the
only One in the universe who is capable of answering it.
7. For Ever
The Most High is immortal. His Kingdom is everlasting and His power
endless. Not only are these true and eternal facts, but this prayer
ends with our total agreement and acceptance of them.
The word ‘AMEN’ means ‘so be it’
or ‘so it is.’
So ends the perfect prayer that will always be answered - if prayed in
its entirety by the church, the family of the living God. This
prayer should be prayed by the church on behalf of the church, for
the benefit of all mankind and the eternal glory of the Almighty
God, the Father of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen and
Amen! So be it and So be it!
In the final analysis a group is judged, not by its numbers, its
knowledge, its wealth or its possessions: but by its
effectiveness in prayer. We must continually ask ourselves this question:
Are our prayers being answered? And if not, why not? We must also question
ourselves concerning: How often do we pray? What do we pray for? Do we get
results? Does the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel listen to our prayers?
If not, why not?
(Matthew 6: 9-13) After this manner therefore pray ye:
- Our Father which art in heaven,
- Hallowed be thy name.
- Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
- Give us this day our daily bread.
- And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
- And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil:
- For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever.
In the Son’s Name — For the Father’s glory.
Elder: Max W. Mader