The Our Father prayer is probably the most well-known and repeated prayer among Christians. It is found in two of the gospels, specifically Matthew 6:9-13 and Luke 11:2-4.
There we can see that Jesus used that prayer as an example to teach his disciples how to pray.
As we look at this pattern of prayer we see that the prayer that pleases God is one that is simple and sincere. It must come from the depths of the heart and express what disturbs our being. When praying we must recognize the power, the greatness of God, and also the need we have for him and for him to intervene in our lives.
our Father who art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.
1. Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name
The Our Father prayer begins by acknowledging that we speak with God, our Father. We are part of his big family! Since we are his children, we can speak directly with him without the need for intermediaries. Our beloved Father listens to us and we can confidently approach him at any time (Hebrews 4:16).
Even so, our attitude before him must be humble and praiseworthy, acknowledging his greatness and his holiness. There is no one like our God! He is holy, holy, holy (Isaiah 6:3). Filled with that conviction, we express the longing that all mankind recognize the sanctity of his name and experience the desire to exalt and glorify him.
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2. Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven
Next, we acknowledge God as our King. Where God reigns things are much better than we can imagine. His kingdom is one of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17). How is it not going to be the best thing for us that his kingdom come? God knows what is best for us at all times and in the midst of any situation. We must learn to submit to his will by fully trusting in his goodness.
With this phrase, we express the certainty of security and protection offered by his arms of love. We know that his kingdom and his will are the best for our lives and for all humanity. And that confidence fills our hearts with peace!
3. Give us today our daily bread
By praying the Our Father we recognize that God is the one who supplies our daily needs.
At the same time, we learn that it is okay to mention our needs to God in prayer. We can ask for daily bread, that God supplies our basic and specific needs of the day. Our requests must also include the needs of our brothers and of all humanity. Our desire must be that we all have food, sustenance, and shelter.
We must remember that our provision comes from God and be content with what he gives us. For example, he is the one who grants us the health and strength to be able to work and thus have enough money to buy daily bread. Everything we have is by the grace of God, let’s not forget to be humble and grateful.
4. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors
The time has come to recognize our mistakes and ask God for forgiveness. He alone forgives us completely, restores our hearts, and gives us a chance for a new beginning.
It is precisely at this time and with this attitude that we must examine our hearts to see what our willingness has been to forgive those who have wronged us. Have we forgiven them? Have we shown the same mercy and grace that God has shown us?
Because if you forgive others their offenses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But, if you do not forgive others their offenses, neither will your Father forgive yours.
5. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one
For yours are the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
We are human and we may be weak, but God does not leave us alone in our fight against temptations and evil. He is with us and he is more powerful than the evil one. In God, and in the armor he provides us, we have true protection against the wiles of the enemy (Ephesians 6:10-13). God fights for us and in him, we have the final victory.
All our prayers should honor and glorify God because to him belongs “the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.” We do not overcome the evil one or forgive or get what we need without the intervention of our God. Our lives are in his hands From him (Psalm 31: 14-16) and it is thanks to our Father God that we are where we are today. Let us not stop glorifying our Lord with our prayers, our praises, and with all our being!