OUR FATHER WHO ARE IN HEAVEN
8 Therefore, do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him. 9In this manner, therefore, pray:
“Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
10Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
11Give us this day our daily bread.
12And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
13And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.”
In a liturgical world that followed prescribed prayers, so much within Judaism, as well as from pagan sources, Roman, Greek and Mesopotamian; our Lord Jesus clarified this topic to his disciples, teaching them how to address a prayer to God in the right manner; that means, addressing the proper etiquette we must keep when we address our Heavenly Father, the Supreme God of the Universe; and also taught us to cover every aspect of our existence in that prayer.
Lord JESUS gave what we call ‘Our Father’, not as a liturgical prayer, but as an example to follow, meaning the parts and the manner, simple and direct, and not with many empty repetitive words, ‘as the pagans do’, but also, without dismissing liturgical prayers, which God ordered in the OT.
(Deuteronomy 26:5-10; Leviticus 16:20-21)
(Compare with Luke 11:1-4 and Matthew 6:7)
The prayer is as follows:
1 - OUR FATHER IN HEAVEN, HALLOWED BE YOUR NAME.
An open act of recognition of the deity and power of God before we start doing anything. This is important because it indicates that God is our priority and occupies first place in our hearts, as well as an act of submission to Him and his will.
It is also a recognition of our filial relationship with GOD in Christ. We address now to God, as ‘Father’, taking conscience of our condition as Children of God.
2 - YOUR KINGDOM COME. YOUR WILL BE DONE ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN.
Affirmation of our submission and subjection to God’s will, by claiming the coming of his actual rule on Earth, in a direct and total manner, as it is in Heaven.
This completes our submission to his final decision before we start asking anything from God. He is our God and Father, NOT our servant.
3 - GIVE US THIS DAY OUR DAILY BREAD.
First petition, our daily necessities for our everyday lives. Even though here only food is mentioned, it represents all our bodily necessities, like health, housing, clothing, and food. It should be done daily, to maintain the connection with our Heavenly Father, a daily event; that is why the Lord said: ‘Give us THIS DAY’. This help us to acknowledge that God is our constant provider.
4 - FORGIVE US OUR DEBTS, AS WE FORGIVE OUR DEBTORS.
We immediately pass to ask for forgiveness for our sins. Contrary to popular teaching that considers asking for forgiveness before directing any petition to God, so that we can be listened; this teaching of JESUS contradicts that.
God listens to us because HE is our Father, whether we are in sin or not, because we are justified in Christ before Him (See Romans 5:6,8; 1John 4:10).
But still, we ask for forgiveness because we must repent daily for our sins, which it demonstrates that we love God. Because only those who truly love God, walk according to his will, and resent to have departed from it any time.
‘As we forgive our debtors’, reminds us of the obligation, as Christians, to also forgive our fellow brothers. If we ask for forgiveness, but we hold resentment for another human, we cannot be forgiven by our Father, and fall deeper into sin
5 – DO NOT LEAD US INTO TEMPTATION
After having asked for forgiveness, we must ask God to spare us from temptation; or otherwise, give us the necessary support to survive it.
God does not tempt anyone. Here the words ‘Do not lead us’, refers to allowance, not the actual action of tempting. As Jesus was guided by the Holy Spirit to the desert to be tempted by Satan (Matthew 4:1), but it was tempted by the devil and not by God; the same we ask to be spared from these types of testing, acknowledging our weakness, and placing our strength in God’s assistance and not on our capabilities.
6 - DELIVER US FROM THE EVIL ONE.
The final petition is to deliver us from direct or undirect attacks from Satan, the father of temptations.
This again, places our trust in the invincibility of God Almighty, and NOT on our own forces.
7 - YOURS IS THE KINGDOM AND THE POWER AND THE GLORY FOREVER.
Today, these words has been taken from the ‘modern’ ‘updated’ versions, since it is said that they are not in the most ancient manuscripts, neither are mentioned by the ancient Christians.
However, it fits into the prayer.
If Jesus had intended to proclaim an example of prayer, in comparison to the popular prayers of his time, especially in post Babylonian Judaism, where all prayers ended up with a proclamation of God’s absolute rule; it is quite possible and fitting, that Lord JESUS may have added these words to the end of his prayer, giving it thus, the level of a sacred temple prayer.
Despite if it was done like that or not, we will never know for sure, save what we have received, which could be a re-institution of an ancient detail left aside by the earliest copies.
In these words, Christians end his supplication to God, with the same worshipping attitude the started the prayer, by proclaiming the supreme majesty of God the Father, GOD YHWH, able to do as we requested.
NOTE: We must also ask this in the NAME OF JESUS (John 14:13). Like the disputed words in verse 13; we know, even it is not mentioned here, that all our prayers should be done in the Name of Jesus.