In the New Testament, the Lord’s Prayer can be found in two places. Matthew chapter 6, verses 9-13. Luke chapter 11, verses 1-4. I would like to emphasise that this Prayer is to be prayed to God alone and not to saints or angels or dead people, for they are the same created beings as we are. They have no power and God will not be pleased if we pray this prayer (or any other) to some other created being as only Him alone, for He created everything, “He made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and everything in them” (Psalm 146:6).
Jesus indicated also that we ought to pray not only by ourselves and for ourselves but with and for others. That is because we are all members of one body (Ephesians 4:25), we belong to each other (Romans 12:5) and we equally care for each other (1 Corinthians 12:25). The first three parts of this prayer explicitly show us that we must pray to God with honour and praise, the last three relate to our own concerns, both spiritual and temporal.
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” (Luke 11:1-4).
“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” (Matthew 6:9-13).
1) Our Father in heaven.
In our prayer, we must come to God as to our loving Father who is in heaven, Daddy, and so we ought to call Him.
God always has been our Father because He created us. And it is because of sin we were alienated from Him and we had no right to call Him in this name for a while. Though now through Jesus the Messiah (His anointed one) we are reconciled back to Him by adoption as sons and daughters (Ephesians 1:5). Jesus called Him – Father, Abba, and so also we must go to Him as to the Father. When we come into His presence, we acknowledge Him as our Father – loving, kind, gracious, forgiving and attentive to our cry (Psalm 86:5). He is always concerned about our good and ready to help and lift us up as we humbly acknowledge our powerlessness to do any good apart from Him. When we say - our Father in heaven, we affirm that we address our speech, and pour out our hearts exclusively to Him alone, the Creator of all things and us. We thank Him alone and praise Him alone. Not only this prayer but all our prayers and petitions must be made only, exclusively to our Father who is in heaven and in no case to some saints or angels or something else.
2) Hallowed be Your name.
In our prayer to Him alone we in no uncertain terms hallow and bless His name and pray may all the world acknowledge Him and bless Him, for only our Father in heaven, our Creator, is worthy of it. Only He alone is Holy of Holies, He is our Holy Father as Jesus addressed it to Him (John 17:11) and we are made holy through Him (Colossians 1:22); through Jesus Christ, who now is in heaven and intercede for us from there, where He is seated next to our Father’s right hand. In prayer, we must bless His name and exalt Him in everything above all things with thankful hearts, with reverence and praise (Matthew 11:25). We bless Him and worship Him alone and not some other created thing or being. All our prayers we must start with thanking Him, praising His name, hallowing and exalting Him for all His goodness, love, grace and mercy upon us, sinners, on whom He lavished all His blessings redeeming us through Jesus blood, He lavished on us the forgiveness of sins in accordance with the riches of His grace and love. We thank Him for forgiving us all our trespasses, transgressions and for making us righteous, holy and blameless in His eyes through Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour.
3) Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
When we say may Your kingdom come, then we earnestly pray for Jesus to come in our lives un rule over us by His Holy Spirit, and may all our wants be in agreement with that what God wants. For it is His kingdom already where we live in, and He is the only Master over all. When we say Your Will be done, then we agree with Him and pray may all good things here on earth be done the same way as it is in heaven where is no disease, suffering, poverty or any other evil which at this time yet rule on earth. So, pray and seek His kingdom and may His will be done (Matthew 6:33).
4) Give us today our daily bread.
By saying this, we recognize and acknowledge our subordination to Him only and that we depend on Him only for our needs to be met, both, spiritual and temporal. In acknowledging it to Him we show Him our desire to meet with Him every day and enjoy His presence as He is enjoying ours when we come to Him and ask for things that we need. He did not say – give us monthly bread or weekly. No, He said – give us today our daily bread. We acknowledge our dependence on Him daily, so it is rightly. God created us to be in close fellowship with Him. So it is our duty to make it to be this way. Every morning and as day goes by we constantly keep our eyes on Jesus and depend on Him alone to lead us, to guide, counsel and satisfy our hearts with all good things which are best for us, both, spiritual and temporal (Hebrews 13:6).
5) And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
Human beings are sinful from their birth (Psalm 51:5).
Our sins are many and so here they are called debts. All of us are in deep debt to God unless Christ comes in and by sprinkling us with His blood, sweeps them away. And even after that, our plea for grace to receive forgiveness for our debts can be satisfied to full only through the Christ redemptive work on the cross that we must accept by faith. We must also forgive others, we must forgive not only with words but with all our heart (Mark 11:25). We are not able to earn forgiveness by any other means as only humiliating ourselves and accepting this precious God’s gift to us (which we receive for free) and so we also forgive others even they do not deserve it. We are not able to forgive others without the help of God, so we also ask Jesus to empower us to help us to forgive others and show us the real condition of our hearts. “…Forgive, and you will be forgiven.” (Luke 6:37).
Here I would like to add that our sins are forgiven from the moment we accept Jesus. We are made holy, blameless and righteous in the eyes of God only because of that what Christ did on the Cross. He paid full praise for us and now we are free and no one can condemn us. We are free from sin and forgiven. Our sins are blotted out and we must learn to live a new life which is in Christ.
6) And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.
Here we ask for grace, mercy and His favour in times of temptations, in times of uncertain, frightening situations and so forth. We ask our heavenly Father to have mercy on us and send help every time when we are too weak to resist evil in our lives (1Peter 5:8).
We may ask God may He be merciful and do not allow come on us too heavy circumstances but if they come then we ask for grace sufficient to us to resist them. We humble ourselves and fully acknowledge our helplessness and weakness, and ask Him to deliver us from all that can cause us to suffer. This includes also asking Him for wisdom to face daily challenges because our fleshly responses can lead us neither to freedom nor free us from the captivity of sin.
Although the blood of Jesus the Messiah has delivered us from sin, nevertheless this deliverance will be fully accomplished only at the end of this life. Now we live only by the grace of our Father relying on His protection daily. Praying this prayer or some another “let us then approach God's throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16).
In conclusion – when Jesus gave this beautiful, Our Father in heaven, this pattern of prayer He did not say we must learn it from the head and recite it as a poem.
He said: - “God is spirit, and His worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” (John 4:24).
So, when we pray by keeping this His given, prayer pattern in our minds and pray to our Father in our spirit. For then our spirit starts to connect with the Spirit of God. Any prayer that we pray to our heavenly Father must come from our hearts. If we start to recite some words just in order to pray then we can’t be sure that our prayer will reach Him who is in heaven.
The Spirit you received (as children of God) does not make you slaves
so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship.
And by Him we cry, "Abba, Father."