(9) After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. (10) Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. (11) Give us this day our daily bread. (12) And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. (13) 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.
(2) And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth. (3) Give us day by day our daily bread. (4) And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.
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Jesus' simple introduction, “In this manner, therefore, pray,” indicates that He intends the prayer to guide His disciples in their everyday prayers. (In fact, the verb “pray” is present tense, imperative mood in Greek, suggesting habitual performance.) It is a kind of outline or model on which they can hang their own words as their circumstances warrant.
Generally, the outline provides a primary focal point of prayer: the Father Himself. Praise and honor of God begins and ends the prayer, forcing us to acknowledge the Eternal God's holiness and power. We should never forget that the One listening to our words is the Almighty, Ever-living Sovereign of the universe and that we live and act by His grace.
After this, Jesus points to every Christian's goal: the Kingdom of God. It is God's goal, too, the height and culmination of His purpose for humanity. For millennia, the Father and Son have been working (John 5:17) to bring it to pass, first on earth during the Millennium and Great White Throne Judgment, then for eternity throughout the universe. It is God's will that we cooperate in making it happen, so we must ensure it is top of mind as we pray.
Christ places our personal needs in the middle of the prayer, covering daily needs, forgiveness, and help with trials and Satan's opposition. God realizes that we are still fleshly beings who need constant physical and spiritual maintenance and frequently fail to live up to His standards. We can take our needs to Him in prayer to receive the help we need, whether food for the table or a respite from the Devil's attacks.
Jesus never intended His model prayer to cover every situation or problem. For instance, He leaves out praying for the church or the healing of the sick. But it does give us our priorities: God Himself, His Kingdom, and doing His will. If we keep those things in mind, our prayers will grow in spiritual maturity, and our lives will better represent our Savior before the world.
— Richard T. Ritenbaugh
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