Many people call the traditional titled prayer in Matthew 6, The Lord’s Prayer, but the fact is, Jesus never actually prayed this prayer, he said the prayer. Praying and talking are two different things. When Jesus said the words of Mt. 6:9-13, he was teaching us how to ask God for what we need, not what we want. The peculiar fact about this model prayer for us, is that no where does it contain a single word of thanksgiving. There is not a word of gratitude in it, because it is all about what we need to ask for, or should I say, beg for! It is kind of like God’s list for His agenda when we need to have a meeting with Him, this is what He wants us to make supplications and requests for. Jesus says we must address Him, the God of the Universe as “Father”, more precisely, a holy and righteous father, see how Jesus does this in John 17:11 & 25. Here is my numbered explanation of the 5 items on God’s agenda for us.
1. “May Your Name be Honored”, we really need to express our desire for God’s authoritative name to be respected in our life and in the world. Or else, (Rom 1:28) just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what should not be done.
2. May, “Your Kingdom Come…” Express your desire for God’s reign over your heart to be shown, and that God’s reign over the hearts of people yet to believe and obey his reign, will take place. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7. The rule of God is the Kingdom, and Christ’s rule came & was established in Jerusalem by the Apostles, Col. 1:13. However, the Kingdom did not come into the hearts of the worldly people that persecuted Christians letting Christ rule over their hearts.
3. “Give us our daily…”, Express our dependence upon Him for our daily needs, not next weeks desires. If your supervisor wants next week’s work schedule finished and submitted to him by a certain deadline, do it & do it right, as best as you can, but don’t worry about your supervisor rejecting it. Mat 6:34 So then, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Today has enough trouble of its own.
4. Please, “Forgive us…” We must ask God for the ability to be forgiving of others who have sinned against us, so that we ourselves can be forgiven when we sin against God. Eph 4:32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
5. “Deliver us…”, Ask for mercy from testing trials (NRSV & BBE), and that God will help us stay away from the Devil himself. Many versions of the Bible use the word “temptation” but the original Greek word in most manuscripts of the original text actually uses a word for temptation that really is precisely meaning a “test or trial under duress”, The fact is God tempts no one, James 1:13. But yes He can lead us into situations that are very painful, if we are not aware of His desire to stay on the straight & narrow path of righteousness in this life. Jesus himself was led into the desert to be tested and tried to see if the Devil could make him do what was wrong and it was painful, Mat. 4:1-10. But Jesus does not want us, to be led into that kind of deliberate test of our ability to do what is right. He knows God loves us and will protect us from ignorantly entering into bad situations, so ask the Father to keep you on the straight & narrow, and when it feels like your life is out of control and the Devil meets you on the straight and narrow to beat you up and throw you in the ditch half dead, make sure your asking God to deliver you from the Evil One. He answers these kinds of prayers! Do you believe this?