THE LORD’S PRAYER
A Pattern Prayer
By Dr. Vicky Moots
“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. Amen” Matt. 6:9-13.
“Which art in heaven:” This phrase separates him from our earthly father. He is our Heavenly Father. A father is a protector and a provider. Earthly fathers are not always capable of doing that. They may lack the strength or the resources, but our Heavenly Father is more than able to meet our needs physically and spiritually. He even knows our needs ahead of time. “…your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him” (Matt. 6:8). But He wants us to come into His presence and ask.
How does He supply our needs? Paul tells us how in Phil. 4:19: “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Not only can He but He shall. It is His obligation as our Father. (Not all our wants, but our needs.) And He will do it according to His riches in glory. Do you think that is sufficient? Will His supply ever run out? He has abundant riches in glory! They are inexhaustible! And how does He do this? It is by Christ Jesus. In Jesus we find everything that we need. Our Heavenly Father supplies everything that we need through His Son. When we accept Jesus as Saviour we have access to all our Father’s riches. If we reject His Son, then we cannot call Him our Father, and He has no obligation to take care of us.
“Hallowed be thy name:” His name is holy and not to be cursed or used lightly. Many people say, “Oh, my God!” When they are upset or use the initials “OMG” on social media. It is irreverent to use God’s name in this manner. They are obviously not considering God’s name to be holy for they are using it as a byword. When we come before His presence in prayer, we must acknowledge His holiness and give honor to His name. But this should also be true in our daily conversation with others. If we are taught to honor our earthly mother and father, how much more honor should we give to our Heavenly Father? We read in Mal. 1:6, “A son honoureth his father, and a servant his master: if then I be a father, where is mine honour?” We give Him honor by recognizing His holiness and the authority and power in His name. Then we will be willing to obey Him and live a life that will bring glory and honor to His name instead of disgrace.
Verse 10: “Thy kingdom come:” Jesus likely prayed this too. “Thy kingdom come” meant to Him that He would have to go to the cross to die to fulfill God’s plan. He was in full agreement with God’s plan and we must be also and be willing to submit to it, even as Jesus did when He prayed, “Not my will but thine be done.” We certainly do not agree with the things that are happening in today’s world, but we know that they are in fulfillment of prophecy so we pray in agreement with God’s plan, “Thy kingdom come” and are looking for Jesus’ soon return. We also acknowledge that God is not only our Heavenly Father but a King and has a kingdom. He is ruler of the universe but wants to be King of our lives and set up His kingdom in our hearts. We submit to His authority as Father, God and King and let Him reign over us now. Instead of looking to an earthly ruler or president to bring peace, we need to look to the Lord to give us peace in our hearts. Matt. 6:33 instructs us: “seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness…”. Letting Him reign as King in our lives now prepares us to reign as kings one day in Heaven with Him.
Verse 10 “…Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven:” Jesus was our example when He prayed to His Father in the Garden of Gethsemane before His crucifixion in Luke 22:42: “Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me; nevertheless, not my will, but thine, be done.” This was spoken by Jesus personally two years after He had given us the pattern prayer in Matt. 6. Jesus submitted to God’s will in Heaven to be done in earth, and so He went to the cross. Are we also willing to bear our cross that is given to us in this life in order that God’s will be done in us? Could God have set up His kingdom on this earth without Jesus going to the cross? He could have, but He had a greater plan. He wanted us to be His sons. God had to sacrifice his Son in order that we could have our sins forgiven and be born again to become sons of God. God could have created us to serve him automatically even as the angels do, but he wanted a family. He wanted us to serve Him out of love. If we love Him, we will trust Him in all things and submit to His will in our lives.
Jesus was the Son of God in Heaven but came to earth in a body of clay. He was then part of the earth as well as Heaven. He wanted God’s will to be done in His earthly body, in earth, as it was in Heaven. Are we willing to do the same, in our earthly body, to submit to God’s will no matter the cost? Can we sincerely pray with Jesus, “not my will but thine be done”? Think about that the next time you pray this prayer.