- Matthew 6:7-13
- Matthew 6:25-34
- Luke 2:49
- Luke 11:2-4
- John 13:34-35
- 1 Timothy 2:1-2
Day 2 | "Our Prayer"
One day, one of Jesus’ disciples came to Him asking, “Lord, teach us to pray” (Luke 11:1). Jesus responded by praying a prayer we now call the Lord’s Prayer. Appearing twice in scripture (Luke 11:2–4 and Matthew 6:9–13), the more well-known version in Matthew begins, “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name” … and you can probably finish the rest. This incredibly famous prayer is memorized and recited by millions all around the world. It has shown up in countless films, TV
shows, books and songs. The Lord’s Prayer is so famous and widely quoted, many people think of it as just an old prayer from the past. In fact, so many people have recited it over and over, it has almost become commonplace. And because we know it so well, we don’t always think about what it really means.
Maybe the title is part of the problem. Yes, the words of this prayer are the Lord’s, but He provided it as a model for the disciples. “The Disciples’ Prayer” would perhaps be a better title. Or, if you take it one step further, you could even call it “Our Prayer,” because the way Jesus instructed His disciples to pray applies to us today just as much as it did back then. This is “Our Prayer” from the Lord. It’s what the Lord wants us to pray. This prayer isn’t just a famous saying from the past ... it’s powerful truth that should define how we live in the present.
When we call God “Our Father,” and proclaim that His name is “hallowed” (or sanctified), we’re placing ourselves under His authority. We are saying that He comes first.
When we pray “Your kingdom come” and “Your will be done,” we’re inviting our heavenly Father to work in all of His authority in our lives and in the lives of those around us. Like Jesus, we’re saying we want to be about His business (Luke 2:49).
When we ask Him to “give us this day our daily bread,” we’re saying we trust Him to provide for our everyday needs. We don’t have to worry about tomorrow because He’s taking care of today. And He’ll continue to take care of us and guide us in the days that follow, because He knows exactly what we need.
We pray “forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors,” because, having been the recipients of the unconditional love and forgiveness of our Father, we are to love, forgive and live in right relationship with others.
Because we’ve submitted ourselves to His perfect authority, we ask that He would “deliver us” from temptation and evil. We don’t want to be a part of anything that goes against His will.
This prayer gives us the basic principles of how we should relate to God and others. As we submit to His authority as our loving Father and trust Him completely, we can live out His plan for our lives as we forgive and love others.
What’s truly fascinating about this prayer is its length. In just a few short sentences, Jesus provided His disciples and us, His followers, with a prayer containing the most important things we need to know and believe. He packed so much into this little prayer, and we’ve barely begun to scratch the surface. So the next time you hear or say the Lord’s Prayer, know that it’s also your prayer. Pray this prayer to Him—with all your heart—knowing that this is how He has called you to pray.
Even though Jesus taught His disciples this prayer [The Lord’s Prayer] in Hebrew, in an entirely different setting nearly two millennia ago, the petitions contained in this short prayer transcend time and are appropriate to the modern-day disciple. Today, perhaps more than ever before, Jesus’ followers need to be challenged again to respond to His timeless message.
~ Brad H. Young
Lord, thank You for showing me how I should pray. Help me make the Lord’s Prayer my own prayer to You. As I pray the way You have shown me, reveal more of Yourself and Your truth to me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
- Read the Lord’s Prayer and let each line sink in.
- Over the next few days, pray it out loud.
I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. 1 Timothy 2:1–2 (NLT)