The Lord’s Prayer
Matthew 6: 5-9
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.
I have prayed this prayer since I was a little girl. I felt empowered by praying this prayer. Gathering on Sunday mornings as a church body and praying this gave me a sense of comradery. So...what does it mean? It was called and is called, the Lord’s Prayer.
What was Jesus trying to tell us when He prayed this prayer? Why did He say the particular words He said? Why do people single out this prayer to pray as the “all encompassing prayer”? Quite frankly, there is a prayer that Jesus prays to the Father before He is taken out of the earth that, to me, should be considered the Lord’s Prayer.
This particular prayer is found in John 17: 1-24. In this text, Jesus prays that the Father will be glorified through His atoning work on the cross. He makes it clear that He alone has been given the authority over the ones that God has given to Him. (The ones who will acknowledge Him as Lord are known as the elect.) Jesus knew that His work on this earth was completed and He calls to the Father for oneness of Spirit for his disciples. He protected them while He was with them and prays that the Father will protect them when He is gone. He calls for purification of these disciples and prays that when He is gone, they may also be sanctified by the same truth that resides in Jesus (The Spirit). The atoning work of Christ enables the Holy Spirit to come and guide us into all truth. Each one of us can partake in the Holy Spirit’s indwelling if we choose to. To me, that particular prayer Jesus prayed is the Lord’s Prayer. It is complete in itself. But for this letter, we want to focus on our text in Matthew 6: 5-9. Let us examine each verse and I will give you the revelation I received about them.
Verse 5: Jesus tells us not to be like the hypocrites with vain repetitions. He is describing people who go on and on and pray as you have never seen anyone pray before. Yet lives are lived in an entirely different way a lot of the time and lived in defeat. There are those of us who could probably recite this prayer backwards, forwards, and upside down, while our lives reflect something else totally. We are told not to be like those people. I can tell you that I just went to God, knelt on my knees, started talking and it got the attention of Heaven. I didn’t use fancy words because I didn’t know what kind of fancy, religious words to use. If I can do it, you can do it.
Verse 6: Jesus tells us to go into our room and pray to Him. He who sees in the secret place (God) will reward you openly. I can tell you from years of praying publicly and privately, I will take private prayer alone with my Father over public praying. I am not talking about leading people in prayer or declaring the works of the Lord in public. Those prayers have to be prayed by the leading of the Holy Spirit. I am talking about getting all juiced up with Heaven so you can function in your public life. I do not do this for man but for myself and my walk and life here on earth. If you are looking to other people for the answers in your life, wanting them to affirm you as something, you will always be disappointed. Pray to someone; the only one who can change anything about what is happening in your life. Your life will eventually reflect how much time you spend with the Lord. I can tell you God TESTS the mind and heart. Many people have little or no effectiveness because of their lack of spending time with the Father in private.
Verse 8: Jesus tells us not be like the hypocrites. It is time for you to come out from among them and be separate unto the Lord. If you want His best, it will be up to you. The choice is laid before you, not me. I have been doing this for years. He already knows what you have need of but I can tell you that He likes you to tell Him everything. Sometimes just sitting and talking to Him helps me come to grips with what I feel that I am lacking (and what He already knows I need or want), and it takes the edge off of my flesh while He is waiting for the right time to give it to me. This way I can go on with confidence knowing He has heard my cries for help and understanding.
Verse 9: Our Father in Heaven; hallowed be your name…let’s take a look at this. Here, Jesus is telling us to worship the Father and those who worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and in truth. Worshiping in Spirit does not mean that we constantly speak in tongues or are in some Hoodoo Voodoo trance. I follow Jesus and quite frankly, I don’t see one time where it said that He stopped and spoke in tongues or went into a trance. You can speak in tongues all you want. However, if you are broke, busted, and disgusted, what good is this doing you? If there are no apparent changes for the better year after year in your life, what good have they been for you? Remember: the proof is in the pudding and in this scenario between Heaven and you, you are the pudding….and He is your Father. Instant pudding just lays there ‘til you add the milk (prayer) and then if mixed just right, becomes something wonderful.
We stand and we say “Our Father”. This was to be a model prayer for us. We must not think that this prayer can be said only one time and then believe we have done our part. But sadly enough, that is almost what we have turned this prayer into because of our fleshly nature and our “I am too busy” lives. It is just easier in the convenience of this life to say one prayer, be done and then say, okay, God, I feel a little better. Now do your part. All I ever knew was Jesus. I didn’t even know God as my Father until I turned my heart over, and then it still took several more years to understand that He is my Father. Separating Jesus from God, the Father, was a major shift in my heart. Upon closer examination, we see that Jesus is telling us something much more and much deeper. He is trying to give us the keys to the kingdom of heaven.
Verse 10: Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Jesus raised His eyes to Heaven. Jesus is trying to get us into the Kingdom of Heaven while we are here on this earth. He is the model who is pointing the way for us (the higher way), trying to get us to give God rule over our lives and spirits. We need to relinquish our control. I can tell you that I have been walking with the Lord for many years now, but not until about two years ago did I totally surrender all control to Him. He says jump and I say how high? He says go and I say where? He says give and I say how much? This is so I can have Heaven on earth while I am here. So that your kingdom (God's) come on earth as it is in heaven. Let God be the pilot.
Verse 11-12: Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. I had someone who owns their own business say, “Okay, Father, I am counting on you to give me my daily bread.” That sounds nice but it didn’t cut the mustard. You have to walk in obedience with your money and most of all, have forgiveness for others who have wronged you. You have to deal in your business honestly. You need to have a clean heart before the Lord. You can’t wrong others with money and expect God to give you all that you want daily. I learned long ago that God is a God of honest weights and equal measures. In other words, “do the right things” by people as you would have them do unto you. With the measure you use, it will be measured back to you…so you can have your daily bread. Don’t think you can rob God and ask for whatever you want each day because it won’t work but so far.
Verse 13: 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. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you from being tempted to do fleshly things when you know you shouldn’t. Each day, ask the Holy Spirit to rise up within you and take over your fleshly body to help you go through your day. Plead the Blood of Christ over your life everyday for protection. Acknowledge that God alone has the power and that He will protect you from any evil. Acknowledge that He has the glory and that you will crucify your flesh everyday so that He might be glorified in your life for that one day. Temptation can be a big thing to overcome, I can tell you that I have been tempted with things ranging from chocolate cake to men, but the Holy Spirit was faithful to help keep me on the straight and narrow. Don’t get me wrong; it wasn’t easy and still at times isn’t, but that is what the Holy Spirit can help you with if you will ask Him. Remember, He isn’t a puff of smoke. The Holy Spirit gave me the tools but I was the one who had to use them. No flesh can glory in God’s presence. In other words, you are going to have to die to yourself. Humble yourself before the Lord. Being with God can make or break your everyday life. God says that when YOU come to Him to pray, go into the secret place. He who is in the secret place will reward you openly.
Take it from someone who was a novice at all of this, even though I could recite the Lord’s Prayer I had such defeat in my life. That prayer was of no benefit to me as a child of God because I didn’t even know what I was saying it for. That particular prayer is more than just repeating some words out loud in a service. It is a matter of how your heart is towards heaven and learning the deeper things of God so you can gain the victory and win on this earth.