Many of us have heard The Lord's Prayer and may even have it memorized (Matthew 6:9-13). Have you ever really studied the words contained in the prayer? What about the verses right before the prayer? I'm going to take the next few posts to talk about the specifics and I welcome your comments!
Adapted from the outline of Dr. Larry Lea, the teachings of Marcel Murray and personal study.
First, let's look at the verses right before The Lord's Prayer. Jesus had only recently recruited some fishermen to follow Him, to make them fishers of men. He was already being followed by multitudes of people because of his teaching, preaching and healing. He went up into a mountain with His disciples to escape the crowds and spend some quality teaching time with His disciples. We understand from Luke 11:1, that at some point during His praying, His disciples asked Him to teach them to pray. Then Jesus said to them in the very beginning of Matthew 6:9, "After this manner therefore pray ye:" (KJV). The Living Bible says, "Pray along these lines:." When we review these two statements, we can see that Jesus intention was not for us to recite the prayer exactly as He has said it, but instead, to use this prayer as a guide for how to pray. Think about that as you read the prayer.
"Our Father, who art in Heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen."
Next, we will take the first portion of the prayer and talk specifically about how we can use it as a guide in our own prayer life.
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