The Lord’s Prayer (Part 3)

Reading Time: 7 Minutes

This is the third blog article on the Lord’s Prayer. My hope in writing these articles is to help us pray with greater clarity the greatest prayer of all time.

Jesus taught us to pray in this way.

“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
10 Your kingdom come.
Your will be done,
on 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 do not bring us to the time of trial,
but rescue us from the evil one.”
(Matthew 6.9-13 NRSV)

Daily Needs

Right in the middle of the greatest prayer of all, Jesus encouraged us to pray for our daily needs.

Jesus made it clear that the Father is willing to hear and answer prayer. In the Sermon on the Mount, he once again makes this point (Matthew 7.7-11). The Gospel of John contains seven promises from Jesus that our prayers will be heard and responded to by the Father.

Paul reasoned like this, “If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for all of us, will he not with him also give us everything else?” (Romans 8.31-32).

Paul also wrote, “And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4.19).

Jesus told “a parable about [the] need to pray always and not to lose heart” (Luke 18.1). There was a harsh judge who didn’t respect God or people. A widow kept coming to him with her request for justice. The judge finally relented and gave her the justice she deserved.

Jesus compared our loving heavenly Father with the unjust judge and said, “Will not God grant justice to his chosen ones who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long in helping them? I tell you, he will quickly grant justice to them. And yet, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” (Luke 18.7-8).

Jesus made it abundantly clear that the Father is ready to hear and answer our prayers. However, Jesus questions whether he will find faith from us, faith enough to bring our requests to God and to trust him for a solution.

As we come to this petition in the Lord’s Prayer, we are free to list our needs to the heavenly Father. We present these issues to God and trust him to do the rest.

Forgiveness

Forgiveness is at the heart of the good news of Jesus Christ. Jesus told a parable about a man who owed his king an enormous debt that could never be paid off. The king was about to sell the man and his family into slavery to help recoup some of his losses, when the man begged him for forgiveness. The king forgave the man and released him from his debt.

The man left the king’s presence and found a man who owed him a debt the size of breakfast and coffee. He grabbed him by the throat and told him to pay up or else.

The king heard what had happened and said, “You wicked slave! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. Should you not have had mercy on your fellow slave, as I had mercy on you?” (Matthew 18.32-33).

The entire parable can be found in Matthew 18.23-35. I have modernized the cost of the two debts, but I have not exaggerated what was owed.

Jesus knows how difficult is is to forgive offenses. We carry around hurts from other people like a debt that needs to be paid. When we set people free from their offense, we set ourselves free at the same time.

During the time I have been in ministry I have seen people released from resentment into joy and vibrancy, because they were finally able to find power through Jesus to forgive other people. Please work with the Lord and see what he can do with you.

Deliverance from Evil

Deliverance from evil and the evil one is as individual as one person becoming free from a habitual sin. It can also be as far ranging as war, oppression and injustice.

I am frequently frustrated with the sins in my life that seem to grow like weeds in a garden. I think they are gone for good, and then one day they are back again. My sins remind me that I need a daily connection with the Lord.

When we ask Jesus to deliver us from evil and the evil one, we can be sure that he will help us. He desires us to live free from sin as much as I don’t want my grandchildren to pick up spiders and snakes. If they were to say to me, “Bob, please look out and make sure I don’t get bitten by a spider or a snake,” I would be quite vigilant. God is certainly no less concerned for our well-being than I am for my grandsons.

I have paraphrased the Bible at this point and stated this part of the prayer as deliverance from “evil and the evil one.” Some versions simply say, “deliver us from evil,” and others say, “deliver us from the evil one.” Both are correct translations, so I have included them together.

If you are concerned that our government has spent 6 trillion dollars on war over the last twenty years, this is a good prayer to pray. The United States reports expenditures, where countries like Russia and China don’t. We just have to imagine how many resources go into the evil of war. That is why we pray for God to deliver us from evil and the evil one.

If you are concerned that 50 million people were displaced from their homes through out the earth by war, famine and disasters, once again, this is a good prayer to pray.

According to the United States’ Secretary of State in 2020, 25 million people have lost their freedom and are being trafficked as slaves for various purposes. If you are concerned about this, praying for deliverance from evil and the evil one is an important prayer to bring daily to the Father.

If you are concerned about systems of injustice and oppression, God has given you this prayer to pray, opening the door for him to deliver us from evil and the evil one.

Traditional Ending

Most of us are familiar with the traditional ending to the Lord’s Prayer, as is found in the King James Version of the Bible. It reads, “For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen” (Matthew 6.13).

Modern translations have the advantage of archaeological research that has found the manuscripts of the Lord’s Prayer that omit the traditional ending. For precision purposes the modern translations are accurate in omitting this sentence from the prayer.

That being said, I think it is perfectly proper to end the prayer with this verse of praise. With these words, we declare that God is the only one worthy to rule. We confess that he is the only one who can provide the power to answer the requests in the prayer. Certainly, he is worthy of honor and glory for ever.

“Amen” is a declaration or affirmation that says in effect “May all that I have prayed be so.”

Today’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 this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And do not bring us to the time of trial,
but rescue us from the evil one.
For the kingdom and the power and the glory are yours forever. Amen.

4 Comments

  1. The forgiveness section in the study is something so profound, yet overlooked. One experience I had with that, involved a grudge set up in my heart I felt I had a right to. I even plotted to do a like evil to the person I felt had wronged me and my family. Thank you God for reminding me of the great measure of forgiveness You have afforded me. This was something big I had to deal with for some time, but with prayer, God took that resentment away most mysteriously and it was gone. In it’s place, a peace beyond understanding, and a new knowledge of the inportance of weeding out anything resembling resentment that could hinder my walk with God. This ability to forgive, given by God alone, has added years to my life. Rather than being consumed by wrongs, I have been given a much better life beyond them. Thank you again Bob, for your teaching and your blog which I have made a daily part of my life.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for diving into this prayer – it’s easy to just recite it and not grasp the meaning of the words and the nuances it contains. It’s one of the first things I learned in Sunday School, I think. The older I get, the more I understand the power it gives our lives. It’s just a few words – but it can accomplish so much! We don’t need flowery speech and great oratory to see God’s work in our lives – just an open heart, acknowledgement of our sin and inadequacies and a simple request for His power and glory. Amen!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Lee. Thanks for your comment. You are one of the most gentle and kind men I know. If you had resorted to revenge, you probably wouldn’t be that person today. Praise God for his grace that forgives us and gives us direction.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s