“He said to them, “When you pray, say: “‘Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come.” ~Luke 11:2
Jesus teaches the disciples how to pray in the verse for today. When it comes to what most refer to as “The Lord’s Prayer” I have heard differing ideas about its usage within the church and in the daily lives of believers. During my life so far I have only experienced a small sampling of different churches and denominations. Some churches recite it every week, some only at communion and others at special services. What I believe to be true for me, may not be true for you and that’s completely okay. The wonderful thing about being a child of God is that we are all loved by God and we are all individually loved by God. At least, that’s how I see God. God is the creator of all things, to include the whole human race. God is also the creator of each human-being, separately and individually. God’s Word tells us about our own uniqueness throughout the Bible, in chapters and verses such as these:
Psalm 139:13-16 ESV “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.”
Jeremiah 1:5 ESV “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”
Psalm 139:13-14 ESV “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.”
Jeremiah 29:11 ESV “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
Jesus taught the disciples how to pray and gave them an example to pattern after. How Jesus taught the disciples to pray is recorded in both Matthew and Luke. “The Lord’s Prayer” most often referred to is the Matthew example and is used in many churches every week.
Matthew 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. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’”
And, like this passage in Luke, which includes the verse for today. Luke 11:2-4, “He said to them, “When you pray, say: “‘Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation.’”
Some people believe Jesus was teaching the “literal” usage of these words while others believe Jesus was saying, pray in this “manner.” I choose to believe that both can be true. If simply stating the words from memory with no intentionality of why you are saying the words, then I would say that’s not what Jesus intended. I find that when I say the words to “The Lord’s Prayer” my thoughts are focused on speaking the words clearly and purposely for God to hear, it is for me a spiritual connection with God. If we are saying the words just so others hear, we are doing exactly what the hypocrites were doing in Matthew 6:5, when Jesus says these words, “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.” My advice would be to recite the prayer if it draws you closer to God, in my opinion that is the essence of prayer, to connect with God on a spiritual level and to seek His guidance, His counsel and His forgiveness. Jesus goes onto tell His disciples where to pray.
Matthew 6:6-8, “But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.”
I am thankful for the example of “The Lord’s Prayer” it has taught me not only how to pray, but what to pray for and for who I am to pray for. It’s an intimate conversation we are able to have with God, the God who created us and the God who loves us.
Breath Prayer: God, your will be done!
~Blessings and Peace~