The Lord's Prayer, Our Prayer
by Sandy Simpson, 2000

Two men were talking together. The first challenged the other, "If you are so religious, let's hear you quote the Lord's Prayer. I bet you $10.00 you can't."  The second responded, "Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep. And If I die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take." The first man pulled out his wallet and fished out a ten dollar bill, muttering, "I didn't think you could do it!"

Matt. 6:9-13  This, then, is how you should pray: "Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one."
This model prayer that Jesus taught the disciples to pray contains many important precepts.  It should probably be called "The Disciple's Prayer".  It starts with a very important concept in the first verse.
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,
Because of Jesus Christ we can directly address our Father in heaven.  We can boldly approach the throne of God the Father because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins.  When Jesus died for our sins and rose again to conquer sin and death He purchased for us the way to eternal life.  If we believe in who Jesus Christ is and what He did for us and if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  The Father is holy therefore we must be made holy to have a relationship with Him.  As born again Christians we can boldly approach the Father in heaven.
Heb 4:16   Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
In fact, we have such a close relationship with God as Christians that we can call Him our "Abba", or today it would be "papa" or "daddy". All praise, honor and glory belong to the Father.  This comes first.  Hallowed means "To make holy; to treat or keep as sacred; to reverence." We don't make God holy by our prayer, but we do reverence Him, treat Him as sacred.  This is an attitude of our hearts.  Do we really reverence God first in all things?  Do we treat Him as sacred?  There are many Christians who do not put God first in their lives.  There are even Christians on TV who try to command God to do things and tell Him what to do.  This is not the model Jesus gave us.  We must worship God in "Spirit and in Truth".  We will not worship God in Spirit if we do not acknowledge the truth about God.  God is preeminent, He is first, He should have first place, to Him goes all the glory and honor and power and reverence.  You will notice that in modern days we have put these words on the end of this prayer, even though Christ did not put them there,
For Thine is the Kingdom and the power and the glory, forever and ever, Amen.
This is proper and is a good way to end a prayer, but Jesus was making a point in the prayer He taught us.  This should be at the beginning!  Let's put first things first.  Jesus is teaching us to put first things first in our lives.  If God is not first, then we might as well not pray the rest of the prayer because it will be of no use to us.
your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
The second thing we pray is not to dive right into requests.  It is a very important precept.  In it we admit that it is not our plans and schemes that we want to succeed but the kingdom of God.  We acknowledge that His kingdom is the most important thing to us, not our selves our our plans.

Your will be done.  Jesus prayed this before He was taken away to be crucified.

Mt. 26:39  Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, "My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will."
The disciples also taught us to pray that God's will be done above all.


1 Jn 5:14,15   This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us--whatever we ask--we know that we have what we asked of him.

1 Jo 2:17   And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

Heb 10:7   Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.
Ro 8:27   And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
1 Pe 3:17   For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing
Col 1:9   For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;
James 4:13-16  Now listen, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money." Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, "If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that." As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil.
The reason I am stressing this point is that today there are a great many false teachers on TV and traveling around telling Christians if they pray "Your will be done" they show they do not have enough faith.  This is a false teaching.  If Jesus and the disciples always bowed to the will of God and prayed that way and taught us that we should pray the same, then praying "Your will be done" is not a lack of faith but shows just how much faith we have in God.  By bowing to the will of God we are saying that we trust Him with everything, including our life and what we need.  That brings us to the next line in the prayer.  Notice that asking for our needs to be met comes after our praise and acknowledgment of His name and our faith that His will is the most important and will be accomplished.
Give us today our daily bread.
The word "daily" only occurs once in the New Testament in this prayer.  It emphasizes the fact that we should ask the Lord for our material needs, one day at a time -- not our weekly wages or our annual salary, but our daily bread.
Matt. 6:31-34 So do not worry, saying, `What shall we eat?' or `What shall we drink?' or `What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
We need not worry about tomorrow.  God will take care of those things.  These are words of comfort and assurance by the Lord to believers, but with the condition that we put God and His kingdom first.  Our motives must be primarily to please Him, advance His kingdom, do His will, not merely to please ourselves.
Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
This line is a whole message in itself.  Forgiveness is a necessary part of the Christian's life.  We expect God to forgive us through Jesus Christ.  But do we expect to have to forgive others?  If we have not forgiven others, then we are still living in unrepentant sin and the Lord will not forgive us unless we confess the sin of unforgiveness and forgive whoever has done wrong to us in our hearts.  The Lord may even give us opportunity to express that to the person we have not forgiven personally.  This may not always be the case if it is someone who has died, an enemy, or someone far away out of contact.  But we must forgive them in our hearts and come to the place where we can pray for them, not curse them.  We pray that God will draw them close to Himself and bless them.
Col 3:13   Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.

The Lord will not lead us into temptation if we trust in Him and do not fall into sin.  In any case, the Lord will not allow us to be tempted above that which we are able to withstand.  Notice that God does not tempt us, but He may allow the enemy to do so.  If He does this He will also provide a way out so we can stand up under the temptation, so that we may realize the futile nature of sin and come back to Jesus Christ.
1 Cor. 10:12-14   So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall! No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it. Therefore, my dear friends, flee from idolatry.
Idolatry is putting anything in the place of God.  It can be other gods or demons, it can also be things, other people, or your self.  In this prayer we acknowledge that it is only God who can deliver us from the evil one.  We acknowledge that we can be tempted, but cling to God and His promise to protect those who flee from idolatry.

So the model prayer contains these elements: (1) Adoration (2) Submission (3) Petition (4) Forgiveness (5) Deliverance.

But this prayer is more than an outline.  It is not some thing we are to repeat mindlessly to get what we want from God.  It is a prayer that should be at the very heart of our faith in the Lord.  We show our complete worship and submission to our Father.  We ask Him to meet our needs.  We don't just expect Him to forgive us but we also forgive others.  We ask Him to protect and deliver us from the evil one.  We are completely dependant on Him for everything.

When we finally reach maturity as a Christian, we begin to realize that to give God all the glory and to do His will is the most important thing in this life.  We begin to realize what Jesus said when He stated:

John 4:34  "My food," said Jesus, "is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.
We must trust in the Lord and give Him praise daily to finish the work he has for us here.  Do you know that God has work for you to do?  There is a song that expresses the desire for God to mold us into the worker He wants us to be for His kingdom.

Have Thine Own Way Lord

Have thine own way, Lord! Have thine own way!
Thou art the potter, I am the clay.
Mold me and make me after thy will,
while I am waiting, yielded and still.
Have thine own way, Lord! Have thine own way!
Search me and try me, Savior today!
Whiter than snow, Lord, wash me just now,
as in thy presence humbly I bow.
Have thine own way, Lord! Have thine own way!
Wounded and weary, help me I pray!
Power, all power, surely is thine!
Touch me and heal me, Savior divine!
Have thine own way, Lord! Have thine own way!
Hold o'er my being absolute sway.
Fill with thy Spirit till all shall see
Christ only, always, living in me!

Finally, there here is something to think about with regard to the Lord's Prayer.

I Cannot Say . . .

I cannot say "Our", if my religion has no room for others and their needs.

I cannot say "Father", if I do not demonstrate this relationship in my daily living.

I cannot say "Who art in heaven", if all my interests and pursuits are on earthly things.

I cannot say "Hallowed be thy name", if I, who is called by His name, am not holy.

I cannot say "Thy kingdom come", if I am unwilling to give up my own sovereignty and accept the righteous reign of God.

I cannot say "Thy will be done", if I am unwilling or resentful of having it in my life.

I cannot say "On earth as it is in heaven" unless I am truly ready to give myself to His service here and now.

I cannot say "Give us this day our daily bread" without expending honest effort for it or by ignoring the genuine needs of my fellowmen.

I cannot say "Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us", if I continue to harbor a grudge against anyone.

I cannot say "Lead us not into temptation", if I deliberately choose to remain in a situation where I am likely to be tempted.

I cannot say "Deliver us from evil", if I am not prepared to fight in the spiritual realm with the weapon of prayer.

I cannot say "Thine is the kingdom", if I do not give the King the disciplined obedience of a loyal subject.

I cannot say "Thine is the power", if I fear what my neighbors and friends may say or do.

I cannot say "Thine is the glory", if I am seeking my own glory first.

I cannot say "Forever", if I am too anxious about each day's affairs.

I cannot say "Amen" unless I honestly say, "Cost what it may, this is my prayer."

Author Unknown, The Evangel, 3/27/85