The Lord's Prayer
Updated: May 19, 2021
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.
(Matthew 6:9-13, KJV)
So, if you’re anything like me, you know the Lord’s Prayer just as well as you know your first and last name. As a child, I would ramble off the prayer because that’s what I was taught. But as I got older, I wanted to ensure that I knew what I was praying. Momma use to warn us about singing or rapping songs that we didn’t know the meaning of. So, I think it’s only right to know the meaning of a prayer that that I’ve known and repeated since my adolescence. I think most of it is self-explanatory but a few points became clearer to me as I learned more of God and His Word. So, here’s my little break-down.
Our Father which art in heaven: This is a salutation to God. Before we speak to Him, we need to reverence Him. We need to understand that He is our Father. He is our Abba Father. I did some further research on the word “Abba”. Some said it means “Father”, others said it means “Daddy”, one blog even said it means “Father, I will obey”.
I don’t have a degree in Theology, so I won’t pretend to know the exact meaning. But I do know that God is our Father and we are His children. But He isn’t like an earthly father because He is our Father that is in heaven. Ecclesiastes 5:2 states:
Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few.
Because He sits high as our heavenly Father on the throne in heaven and not as an earthly father in a recliner chair, we ought to obey Him. He is Father in the sense of creating us from dust, not father as in impregnating your mother. Because He is the Father of fathers, because He is the Alpha and Omega, we should reverence Him. Because He stretched the heavens and the earth and gave us the opportunity to breathe, move and have our being (Acts 17:28), we should acknowledge Him as our Father – For He is Holy! Which leads us to the next phrase of the Lord’s Prayer.
Hallowed be thy name: Hallowed by thy name means Holy be Your name. It means that the name of the Lord is sacred. This isn’t just any ol’ name that you are calling when you call out to the Father. His name is the holiest of names! You know God is holy because when Moses went on Mount Sinai with God to retrieve the 10 Commandments, He came back down with his face shining. His face shined so brightly, so holy-like, that it frightened the children of Israel. Just imagine how holy God is if the mere residue of His presence on Moses’s face scared them! We’re talking BIG holy!
God also notes His holiness when he spoke to Joshua in Joshua 5:15. When Joshua realized he was talking to the Great I Am, he fell down on his face and worshipped God. God then responded, "Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy". Whenever we enter sacred territory with God through prayer, we need to remember we are speaking to the same God that Moses and Joshua spoke to. We need to truly wrap our heads around the fact that we are speaking to the most holiest of holy. We wouldn't speak to our boss, the POTUS, or even our mothers in any ol' kind of way. So, keep in mind that we need to speak to God with the respect and honor that He is due.
Thy kingdom come, Thy kingdom come meaning Your Kingdom come. This is a prophetic phrase. One day heaven and earth will pass away, and the kingdom of heaven will be completed. When the final trumpet sounds, those who chose to live a life according to His Word, those who were born of water and of the Spirit (John 3:5), and those who confessed Christ on Earth, (Matthew 10:32) will be a part of the grand kingdom of God. A kingdom in which the streets are paved with gold and there will be no need for the sun or moon because the glory of the Lord will full the vicinity (Revelation 21:21-23).
Sometimes in the daily humdrum of life we may forget that His Kingdom is still coming. We may forget that the the heavens will pass away with a great noise and the elements will melt away with fervent heat (2 Peter 3:10). But saying "Your Kingdom Come" in our daily prayers is a reminder that it will one day come, and we should be prepared by staying close to God by way of prayer, reading the Word, and fasting.
Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven: Just as God has set his angels to work under His command and to reverence Him in heaven, we should work under His command and reverence Him on earth. This next point goes back to the holiness of God. In Isaiah 6, we see that the angels of God had wings to cover their faces. God's holiness is so grandeur that even the angels cannot withstand His full glory. The angels cried out "Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory." If angels can acknowledge God in heaven, should we not in the earth?
Also, bare in mind that angels don't just fly around in paradise with no real purpose. Recall in Matthew 28, an angel whose appearance was like lightening and whose clothes were as white as snow, came to the tomb of Christ to give a message. The message was that Christ had risen. Hebrews 1, reveals the purpose of angels:
To which of the angels did God ever say, “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet”? Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation? (Hebrews 1:13-14, NIV)
Angels are created to minster to us. Remember how the angels came to Joseph, Mary, Daniel, etc.? Angels always had a message because giving messages is God's will for angels. And not surprisingly, that is also His will for us. Right after the angel in Matthew 28 gave his message, Christ gave us a message. Before He departed, Christ said,
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen. (Matthew 28:19-20, KJV)
Looks like angels aren't the only ones created to give a message :-) If you aren't sure how to give the message that God has given you to give, pray about it. He'll show you how to fulfill your purpose. He'll show you how His will can be done in the earth with us just as it is in heaven with the angels.
Give us this day our daily bread: "That's a First World problem" is what my husband loves to say. And in the grand scheme of things, he's right. Being thankful for food is highly overlooked as a blessing in most First World countries. We just assume we will have access to food because we have always had access to it. But it's such an underrated blessing. We ask God to "give us this daily bread" in recognition that if it weren't for Him, we would not have it.
Look how the world was flipped upside down during the 2020 Pandemic. Recall how famine fell upon the Egyptians right after they had seven great years of surplus (Genesis 47). We become so accustom to some blessings that we just assume we will always have them... and prayerfully we will! But let's remain humble and remember that our daily bread comes from God. Let's remember to thank Him for the food that we receive and count it apart of our daily blessings. We are so blessed that not only do we have food, but we usually have food that we want. Remember this the next time you sink your teeth into your favorite meal.
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors: This is a self-explanatory part of the Lord's Prayer, but necessarily an easy part of the prayer. While it is easy to ask God to forgive us of our sins, it's not as easy to forgive those who crossed us. But here's an incentive for you. Listen at Jesus's words:
Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.
(Matthew 5:23-24, KJV)
We cannot ask God to bless our gift(s) while being at an ought with our family. We have to forgive and let go if God is going to bless us. Granted, the olive branch may or may not be accepted. Yet, their acceptance is not your responsibility. But it is our job to, as often as possible, live peaceably with all men (Romans 12:18, KJV)
Forgiveness can be a work in progress. Matters of the heart, wounds on the heart, can take time to heal. But if we remember how many times Christ had to forgive us just in the last few days (for a righteous man falls seven times but gets up - Proverbs 24:16), then we may be more willing to forgive others. And if we remember the disciples asked Christ if they should forgive a brother who sinned against them seven times and Christ said forgive them seventy times seven (Matthew 18:21-22), then we may grant others the same grace God granted us.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: Temptation's magnetic allurement is a force to be reckoned with. But it's a force that can be bounded by the power of prayer. Whether it's the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, or the pride of life, prayer is your sword to combat it. When Jesus went off to pray he told his disciples:
Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. (Matthew 26:41, KJV)
Jesus knew that our flesh would be weak at times. He knew that we would want to give in, even when our spirit wants to do right. But He said to pray. This is a testament to the power of prayer. Christ said to watch and pray so that we would not enter into temptation. Thus, prayer is the remedy to temptation. Bada Bing, Bada Boom!
But it also says "deliver us from evil", which insinuates that temptation and evil are two different things. We can ward off temptation, but evil can still be lurking to subdue us. In the book of Job, we see that Satan said that he walked "to and fro" on the earth, seeking who he can destroy. In the New Testament, we see various people possessed with evil spirits that were cast out by the power of the Holy Spirit or by Christ Himself.
Evil is ever present. There are rulers of darkness and spiritual wickedness in high places. But if we just stay in prayer, if we put on the whole armor of God (Ephesians 6), we can withstand both temptation and evil. Praise God that He has given us the antidote to both issues.
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen: This is the conclusion. We close the Lord's Prayer once again acknowledging His authority. We say once again that the kingdom is His. We must never forget that this Christian journey is never about us. Our praise, our worship, and even our blessings, are not for us. They are for God.
In Isaiah 41, God promised to open rivers in high places and to put springs of water in the dry lands. But Isaiah 41:2 explains why He would do these things. It says, "That they may see, and know, and consider, and understand together, that the hand of the Lord hath done this".
It all comes back to God, His power, and His glory. Referring back to Matthew 28 after Christ rose 3 days later, He said,
"All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth."
(Matthew 28:18, KJV)
Please understand that when we say the Lord's Prayer, we are acknowledging Christ as Lord for He has all power. In the book of Revelation, which is the Revelation of Jesus Christ, we see that Christ says, "I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending... which is and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty."
In John 8:56-58, Christ mentioned how Abraham was glad to see His day. When the Jews asked Him how He knew what Abraham said considering He wasn't even fifty year old, Christ said,
Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.
When you close the Lord's prayer, remember you are praying to the God who was, is, and will always be. Recall that that same God in all His glory and power humbled Himself to live and die for us. So, the very least we can do is remember how He said to pray to Him. Remember that the kingdom, the power, and the glory will forever be His. And let's in turn be grateful that a God so mighty and great, saw fit to grant such an unfit people like us access to Him through prayer.
It is such an overwhelmingly underrated and underused blessing to have access to God through prayer. You would think we would be counted too "ugh" for God to even look upon us. If angels cannot even look upon Him, what gives us the right to speak to Him through prayer?
Jesus. Jesus does. Through the sacrifice of Christ, we have access to the most precious gift heaven or earth has to offer... and that's God Himself. Let's take full advantage of this gift and pray to God as often as we feel persuaded, which should be all the time... because let's be honest, we need it!
So pray for me, as I pray for you. Have an amazing day and week you guys! God Bless!