In Matthew 6:9-13 Jesus taught His disciples to pray. The prayer He prayed and the words He used still carry significant meaning and insight into how we should live each day.
Our Father… Just the simple word, father, reminds us of relationship and family. Whether you had the dad of the year, your dad was absent, or worse present and abusive—we all know what a great father is supposed to be like. Jesus’ prayer begins by establishing that God is our Father.
In heaven… We are family. We will be going home. Heaven is home.
Hallowed be your name… Literally, “hallowed” is “holy”. God is so perfect, so righteous, so set apart from everyone and everything else, that even His name is Holy.
Your kingdom come… This is our hope. We want His kingdom—a kingdom without bureaucracy, falsehood, deception or struggles for power.
Your will be done… This is our mission. We do what we can to bring about His will. We allow Him to use us, His Holy Spirit to dwell in us, and we seek daily to do His will.
On earth as it is in heaven… A reminder that His will, will prevail. There is nothing that can circumvent, detour, or run His will off track.
Give us this day our daily bread… Without God’s provision we would not exist. From the air we breath, to the life in our body to the food we eat. All of it comes from God. We must remember that.
And forgive us our debts… We are sinful creatures. we need forgiveness. We cannot earn it, we don’t deserve it, but we need it. And we are fortunate that our God is rich in mercy and love and will forgive us if we ask Him.
As we also have forgiven our debtors… We are reminded that not only do we need forgiveness, we need to be people who forgive.
And lead us not into temptation… We hold fast to the promises of God. We ask for His protection, His deliverance, His strength and His guidance in everything.
But deliver us from evil… Finally, we have a reminder of what He has been doing since the garden. He is the only One who can deliver us from evil. He is the only One who can defeat evil.
This prayer is not about the using the right words. It is about living the right life, in relationship to God every day. You cannot sincerely pray this pray this prayer and not be changed by Him through it.