READ: Matthew 6:9-13
- Craig Keener calls this “The Kingdom Prayer.” Someone else named it, “The Disciple’s Prayer.” Most commonly, it’s labeled “The Lord’s Prayer.” Among the various liturgical resources, it’s normally referred to as “The Our Father.” And, even though many modern-day Christians believe it should not merely be repeated but used as a guide, the early church was instructed to repeat three times a day (The Didache).
- In reality, this isn’t Jesus’ prayer (those are found throughout the Gospels, the most extensive being in John 17). This is given as part of Jesus’ instruction about not praying like the pagans pray. Luke’s version of this prayer is in response to the disciples asking, “Lord, teach us to pray.”
- The prayer naturally falls into two parts. Verses 9-10 include three “God-centered” requests. Verses 11-13 record three “man-centered” requests. Jesus instructs us to “hallow the name of God, seek His rule and accomplish His will” while we ask for “daily supply, forgiveness, and strength against temptation.” The entire prayer begins with the acknowledgment of God, balanced in relationship as Father, and yet, sovereign as reflected “in heaven.”
- Which title for this prayer seems most fitting to you? Why?
- Compare the prayer (v9-13) with what Jesus says immediately before hand (v1-8).
- How do you utilize this prayer in your own life?
PRAY: Thank God for giving us a guide to show us what’s important in our prayers. Ask Him to help us be invested in the coming sermon series stimulated by this text. Commit yourself to submitting to His will…no matter what.