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  • Writer's pictureJill Ball

The Lord's Prayer

One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he had finished, one of his disciples said to him,
'Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.'
He said to them, 'When you pray, say
'Father, hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come.
Give us each day our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us.
And lead us not into temptation
Luke 11 v 1 – 4

This is the prayer that Jesus himself taught us. It’s a corporate prayer. It is both what we should pray and how we can pray. So both a model prayer and a pattern for praying.

This, then, is how you should pray
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.
And 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 v 9 – 13

In Luke, the emphasis is on persistence in prayer (Luke 11 v 5 - 10), whereas in the gospel according to Matthew, Jesus talks about not repetitively babbling like pagans, who think they will be heard because of their many words.

Different students learn different points from the same lesson.

How deep this prayer is, with so many layers of meaning. It is such a rich seam of truth to mine. I am going to consider how Jesus exposes the needs of humanity, gives us a pattern for prayer and explains the gospel through these life-giving words.

Our Need

  • Our universal need for a father

  • Our need for holiness and purity, as our world is full of sin

  • Our need for injustices to be righted

  • Our need for a different leader or king, where we are ruled according to the righteous and loving will of God

  • Our need of food every day

  • Our need to be forgiven

  • The world’s need for forgiveness to be freely given to others

  • We know that we all go through difficult times, times of testing or trial. We are asking not to be led into these seasons of life

  • We need deliverance from the evil one, because he seeks to destroy, steal & kill

A Pattern for Prayer

How to address God

- He is our father, but he is also holy

- We see him in his rightful place, as the king of our lives

How to pray for change

- The problem is that humanity has rebelled against the acceptable, pleasing and perfect will of God. We can pray for His will to be done.

- If we want to bring heaven to earth, to right wrongs, to see justice, peace, love and joy, then we need to pray for His will to be done and for His Kingdom to come.

- If we are fighting against God, wanting our own way, we need to lay our ambitions down, trust that Our Heavenly Father knows best and allow Him to take control.

- If we want to see the extension of the rule of God, in our own lives, or in the Church or in the world, we can pray for His Kingdom to come.

How to pray for our physical needs

- Just ask. What father gives his child a stone if they ask for bread? How much more will Our Father in Heaven give us what we need.

- Ask daily for our needs for that day.

How to restore our relationships

- To restore our relationships with others, we need to first forgive them and then be reconciled. This can be harder than it sounds & maybe first we need to understand that Christ offers us forgiveness through the cross.

- To restore our relationship with God we need to ask Him to forgive us.

He will do this, as we forgive others

How to pray against evil

- Difficult times happen. We can ask not to be led into them

- There is a devil, the evil one. He does want to harm us, but he is powerless against Christ Jesus, who is able to deliver us, if we ask Him to.

The Lord's Prayer depicted pictorially

The Gospel

The good news is that we can have a relationship with God as Our Father, if we become his child. He is holy and pure and the world is full of rebellion and sin. The world doesn’t follow the will of God and that is why earth is not like heaven.

To be transformed we need someone else in charge – a new ruler or king.

This is needed for the entire world, and for us individually. All of us have gone our own way, all of us have sinned and fallen short. All of us need forgiveness. Our Heavenly Father wants to forgive us, but he also wants us to learn the Way of forgiveness, so that we can be reconciled with our brother and sister, as well as with God.

Personally, individually we need to submit to the will of God and let Him be the king of our lives. He will provide for our needs on a daily basis.

There may be difficult, testing times in our lives, but God will deliver us from the evil one, who he has already been defeated.

All that is left is an explanation of how Jesus saved us from our sins, their power and their shame, when he died on the cross, defeating death by rising again on the third day.

Let’s Pray

Our Father, who is in heaven

Holy is 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 sins, as we forgive those who sin against us

Do not lead us into the time of testing,

but deliver us from the evil one.

For yours Lord, is the Kingdom, the power and the glory,

forever and ever


Our Father in Swahili

Each day I will include The Lord's Prayer in a different language,

as this is a prayer for all nations and all tongues.

If you want to explore prayer and biblical meditation more look at this meditation on Abide in me

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