The Lord’s Prayer
The Model Prayer
Relationship and Worship
Our first lesson on the Lord’s Prayer is limited to verse 9 because the verse needs to be meditated and reflected upon. This verse identifies God and establishes the relationship between God and the person praying. Do you view God as your heavenly Father or are they just words you recite? Has the Lord’s Prayer become a convenience for you, allowing the words, like so many memorized recitals, to pass through your mind without a conscious thought of their true meaning?
The non-believer who is following the lessons regarding the Lord’s Prayer will find that God reveals Himself, many aspects of His personality, through this prayer. The Lord’s Prayer or model prayer is a good introduction to God.
(9) Pray then like this: Our Father in heaven; hallowed be your name. (10) Your kingdom come, your 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 also have forgiven our debtors. (13) And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. Matthew 6:9-14 (ESV)
The Lord’s Prayer is found in the Bible at the 6th chapter, starting at verse 9, after the disciples ask Jesus to teach them how to pray. Some scholars refer to this prayer as the model prayer and not the Lord’s Prayer because it teaches the elements of prayer and is not considered by them to be a prayer of our Lord. They consider it to be instruction on how to pray.
Let’s start by looking at verse 9 of Matthew 6. Pray like this: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Jesus’ first lesson in prayer is simple, call out to God, “Our Father in heaven.” Some believe that God is universal. This is not what the Bible teaches. The Bible teaches that God is triune: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. In prayer it is important to call out to the living God, because the others won’t hear because they do not exist. In these first few words, God is called upon and the word, “Father” reveals the personal nature of the relationship God has with those who call upon his name. We are his children and He is our Father. Father is a word of comfort that assures us that God cares about us, listens to our prayers, and gets personally involved with our lives.
Verse 9 continues, “hallowed be your name.” Holy is your name. Holy is your name. Holy is your name. An incredible contrast from the intimate beginning of the verse, “Father in heaven,” to the worship filled phrase, “hallowed be your name.” Although we are to strive for a personal relationship with God, He demands that we grant Him the reverence due Him and acknowledge Him as creator and Lord of all.
Verse 9 instructs us to acknowledge God and state our relationship with Him. It identifies God, as the God of heaven; it speaks to His personal relationship with the believer, and identifies his total authority over all things. You can use your own words to address God, the point that Jesus was making to the disciples was to address their prayer to the only true God, to have comfort in His desire to have a personal relationship with each of us while acknowledging Him as creator and ruler over all things created.