Understanding the Lord’s Prayer

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Understanding the Lord’s Prayer
“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. 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). Most people, religious or not, are familiar with this prayer. Some call it a prayer, some call it a chant, and some call it a meaningless set of words. No matter what the opinion is regarding the prayer, breaking it down can be thought provoking and difficult to fully understand. On the surface it is very simple, but below the surface the words have very deep theological implications. According to the New International Version Bible, Jesus said in Matthew 6:9, “This, then, is how you should pray.” However, a problem arises out of this interpretation. The actual Greek to English translation is “Make your prayers go like this.” In other words, the prayer is actually a template of how prayers should go (Rhodes). Often, the prayer is mistaken for something that should be recited word for word. It is not wrong to recite the prayer verbatim, however, God did not intend for people to recite the words as a meaningless ritual. Praying using Jesus’ template shows the following way to form prayers: To acknowledge who God is, to pray for his work to be done on earth, to ask for what is needed, to ask for forgiveness, and lastly, to ask for a way to deal with temptation and opposition (Rhodes). The words “Our Father,” in Matthew 6:9 are two of the most powerful words in the prayer. The definition of the word “Our” is: “Belonging to or associated with more than one person” (www.google.com). The body of Christ is a group of believers that are brothers and sisters in Christ. The first word “Our” suggests being a part of this body of Christ (Ruffin). The second word “Father” is the one whom is being addressed. A prayer should always start by recognizing that the...
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