by Grace Kline (Leadership Training School Student)
Matthew 6:9-13 (ESV) Pray then like this:
“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 also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
The Lord’s prayer is often complicated for people because the wording can make the prayer seem dated. No one is talking about needing forgiveness from their debtors in the 21st century. As a child, many people were taught to memorize the Lord’s prayer, but typically when it is recited back it comes out as monotone and robotic. If God instructs us to pray like that then shouldn’t it have meaning and shouldn't we be excited to pray exactly how He asks us to?
I think the issue is in learning the Lord’s prayer, we are asked to memorize it but do not know the meanings of the words that we are saying. The prayer starts with addressing the Father and asking His name to be ‘hallowed’. When a name is hallowed it means that it has been set apart, above all other names and to be kept holy.
It then says “Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” which is giving God our verbal permission to use us to do His will, to complete His plan in order to bring heaven into the earth and show His face.
“Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors” is asking God to provide us with our day-to-day needs and forgive us of our sins, both monetary and non-monetary. It is also asking for guidance to forgive the people who have done wrong to us.
The prayer ends with “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” which is specifically asking the Lord to turn our faces from the temptations of the world and turn us back to Him, away from the darkness of sin.
The Lord’s prayer holds such power and its words hold so much weight. Asking God to keep us from sinning but also forgive us from our daily sins, and providing each of our needs in order to survive. The reason the prayer starts with declaring that the Lord’s name be hallowed is it should be the first of our worries. When the Lord’s name is hallowed He has the utmost power. Scripture can be difficult to decipher but when you decide to take a specific passage and truly study to understand the wording there is so much more to soak up.
How often should we be praying this prayer? What should our heart posture be? What should our thoughts be? Take time to really go in-depth with the Lord’s prayer and take in every bit that He is giving to you.
Prayer: (recite the Lord’s prayer before ending in this prayer) Hey Jesus, help me to keep Your name at the highest spot in my heart. Use my body for Your work of bringing heaven onto earth. Provide me and my family with everything we need today, and instead of being tempted with worldly objects, turn my face into You, to learn Your character and face. Amen.