Our Lord’s Prayer Prototype
Today’s Text: Matthew 6:9-13
You may have been required to memorize or recite it daily. It’s that familiar to Christians. The Lord gave us this prototype when the disciples asked Him how to pray:
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, forever.
Commonly called “The Lord’s Prayer,” Jesus emphasized the personal nature of prayer. Prayer is not speaking to an impersonal force, but literally to “Our Father in heaven” who always seeks the welfare of His children and always does what is right (v. 9). His name is to be “hallowed”—honored, esteemed, revered, worshipped.
Taking the initiative to come before God in prayer is an acknowledgment of our dependence on Him. Personal prayer is meant to be an affirmation of our confidence that God knows what is best for our lives.
As we pray “Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven” we demonstrate willingness to participate in God’s plan and purpose (v. 10). It is imperative that our “will”—thought process, motivation, determination, resolve and desires—be aligned with God’s will as it relates to the reality of our daily lives.
We also must trust Him with respect to every area of life—both in the physical reality of our “daily bread” and spiritual realm of forgiveness. Again, taking the initiative to come to God in prayer is an admission that He not only supplies all we need, but knows what we require even before we ask (Mt. 6:8). The Greek grammar of the text implies that those seeking forgiveness from God—which inherently includes every professing Christian—willingly “forgive” the offenses of others.
Although the previous aspects of the Lord’s Prayer are imperative, the next petition is often overlooked, but vital to our well-being. Jesus teaches us to specifically ask God to “lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil” (v. 13). This aspect of prayer should be on our lips every moment of the day. Not only a request for guidance, it is a plea for protection and deliverance from anything contrary to His will. As finite mortal beings, it is essential we recognize that we require God’s protection in a world system currently dominated by our adversary, the devil.
Described in Scripture as the god of this world who behaves like a ravenous lion seeking to devour and destroy, we are no match for him in our own strength (2 Cor. 4:4; 1 Pet. 5:8). The God of creation, however, is more than able, “because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” (1 Jn. 4:4b). Whether facing adversity on a personal level or experiencing the effects of evil in prevalent culture, we have the freedom to approach our Father in heaven assured that deliverance comes from Him alone.
Using the Lord’s Prayer prototype is your privilege.
- Seek His will.
- Acknowledge His provision.
- Ask for His forgiveness with willingness to quickly forgive others.
- Entreat Him to deliver you from evil.
This privileged activity is as important today as when the Lord first offered the prototype for prayer to the disciples. When you make prayer personal, you can be confident of God’s help, leave His presence reassured and enabled to encourage others.
Charles E. McCracken is an international Bible teacher, long-time friend of Israel and advocate for the Jewish people. Rev. McCracken authentically communicates biblical truth making his presentations relevant for those seeking to understand the significance of Israel and the church in Bible prophecy. He staunchly supports the nation of Israel and the Jewish people’s right to exist and live in peace.
© Charles E. McCracken 2016, devotional comments only. Repost/Reprint with permission from the author. Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved. (Emphasis added).
1) Bible opened to Isaiah. By Ken Horn, [CC BY 2.0] via Wikimedia Commons – Enhancement: MKM Portfolios
2) Le Pater Noster (The Lord’s Prayer). [PD-US, PD-Art].