“Now it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.’ So He said to them, ‘When you pray, say:
Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us day by day our daily bread.
And forgive us our sins,
For we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us.
And do not lead us into temptation.
But deliver us from the evil one.’” Luke 11:1-4
This is the second recording in the gospels of this similar prayer and the circumstances surrounding both are different so it stands to reason that possibly this was two different instances. Jesus gave the same model for prayer twice. But it can also be noted that it was not identical which meant that maybe it is just a model. I love the Lord’s prayer which we quote many times from Matthew chapter 6. I think it is beautiful and I love to hear it quoted but it does appear that Jesus is saying, as he says in other places in scripture not to get caught up in the routine or the exact phrases. So let’s break it down as to what each line means to us when we pray.
“Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.” The first thing we should always remember and recognize is God’s holiness. We approach Him as Our Father with intimacy but we should always remember that He is in Heaven and His name is to be revered and praised. He is Holy, Almighty, Majestic, All Knowing, All Powerful, our All in All, The Great I AM! Whatever we are bringing to God, we must first remember His Holiness and that He is God and most importantly ~ We are not!
“Your kingdom come, Your will be done. On earth as it is in heaven.” No matter what we are praying for, God’s ultimate will in the situation is the outcome to pray for. God will always have the outcome in mind that is best. It may not always feel like the best on this side of eternity, but we can be assured and know that it is the best outcome in light of His glory. I am not saying I do not pray for specific things, I do. But when you are praying for a specific outcome, you must also remember that His Will in the situation is the outcome we are truly looking for.
“Give us day by day our daily bread.” It is so ok to ask God to meet our needs. God is our Father and He wants to meet the needs of His children. As we pray this prayer for our daily bread, we are asking God to meet our daily needs of food, clothing, a roof over our heads.
“And forgive us our sins, For we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us.” Just as important as our daily needs being met is, so is forgiveness for our soul. But this one comes with a little something more. We ask God to forgive us, and in turn, we are making a promise to forgive everyone indebted to us. OUCH! But Lord, does this really mean everyone? Even that person who hurt me so bad that I can’t even look at them without feeling the hurt all over again? Yes, even that one. And that one might be a process, that you have to ask God for help with. You may have to pray really hard for God to show you good things in another person to be able to forgive. Ask God to show you how He sees that person who has hurt you so. Forgiving other people is not an option and when we think of what Jesus did on the cross for us to receive His forgiveness, well then we know what it’s like to be forgiven, and we must show forgiveness.
“And do not lead us into temptation. But deliver us from the evil one.” God will never lead us into sin. The word for temptation here is not a solicitation to evil, it literally means test. God will allow us to be tested in our faith. This line is a way of asking God for protection from the testing that will be too much for us. We are also asking God for protection from the evil one. We know that the devil is alive and well and prowling and seeking someone to devour. We should ask God for protection from him but in so doing we also need to be mindful of what we walking into. You can’t ask God for protection and then go right on in and put yourself in situations that you know will be tempting to you. The alcoholic does not need to hang out in bars. The one who is addicted to pornography should be extra careful about what they watch in movies and television. Satan never lays the big stuff in front of us first, he knows our weakness and just like in the garden he will start with your mind leading you to think just one little bite of the apple won’t hurt. We can ask God’s protection from the evil one, but we must also not set the apple in front of ourselves so that it is a temptation that becomes too hard to bear!
This is a model prayer from Jesus and it really covers all of the bases of what we can do when we want to start a prayer life. But the most important thing is not the model. The most important thing is to pray. Just talk to Him. Remember His holiness, but you can bring your wants, your desires and your needs to Him. Also ask for His will to supersede any of our will and ask Him if your will does not line up with His to help you to change yours so that it does. He will do that too. Then also ask forgiveness, extend forgiveness and ask for protection and be sure that when you see yourself leaning toward that, that you know will be weakness for you, back up, guard your heart and ask His protection and for Him to lead you away from it. Praying is our means to build our relationship with God. The more you pray, the more you want to pray!