Millions of Christians through the ages have prayed the Lord's Prayer. It is probably the most well known prayer of all time: though lately it is seldom prayed in the churches. This morning we will study this prayer, paying particular attention to how Satan has attacked one of its vital truths.
1. OUR FATHER
This is a family or group prayer, a prayer that is prayed by at least two believers who acknowledge the God of the Bible as their heavenly Father. We know this because the words 'our' and 'us' are used throughout. This fact - that we are praying as a group on behalf of the Almighty's church, and our own particular responsibilities within it, lifts this prayer above ordinary prayers in which believers concentrate on personal needs and requests. I repeat, in this prayer we are praying as a believing church to our Father. We are not praying to an earthly father, a priest or pope, but to our Father which is in heaven. And not merely to 'our Father,' but too the God of our spiritual ancestors Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
As many of you know, we believers belong to the Family of the Most High and are spiritually bound together by a common parentage.
|13: And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto
the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of
your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to
me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them?
14: And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.
15: And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations.
|1 John 3:
|1: Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed
upon us, that we should be called the Sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not.
2: Beloved now are we the Sons of God, and it doth not appear what we shall be: but we know that when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
In short, this prayer is addressed to 'our Father, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel.'
2. WHICH ART IN HEAVEN
The Father we are addressing is in heaven. He is not on earth. What or where is heaven? The Bible tells of several heavens: the atmospheric heavens, in which the birds fly. The starry heavens in which the stars and planets orbit and the third heaven, a spiritual location in which our Heavenly Father dwells. Physically that may be a lot nearer than some imagine.
|25: I beheld, and, lo, there was no man, and all
the birds of the heavens were fled.
|10: The LORD your God hath multiplied you, and,
behold, ye are this day as the stars of heaven for multitude.
|19: The LORD hath prepared his throne in the heavens;
and his kingdom ruleth over all.
|15: Look down from heaven, and behold from
the habitation of thy holiness and of thy glory: where is thy
zeal and thy strength, the sounding of thy bowels and of thy mercies
toward me? are they restrained?
16: Doubtless thou art our father, though Abraham be ignorant of us, and Israel acknowledge us not: thou, O LORD, art our father, our redeemer; thy name is from everlasting.
|2 Corinthians 12:
|2: I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years
ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the
body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the
3. HALLOWED BE THY NAME
The word 'hallowed' means 'set apart for holy use'. Yahweh's Name is sacred. He is a holy God. He wants His children to be holy and 'set apart for holy use', to hallow His name in their thoughts, words and deeds. Yahweh wants His family to be holy like He is holy. Being in fashion, or being a popular hero are not the best of aims for believers, especially if it means sacrificing godly behaviour. We must be people who hallow Yahweh's Name by being holy people. What we should aim for is: Hallowed be thy name in my life.
4. THY KINGDOM COME
The world is in turmoil. There is chaos on every side and everything worthwhile seems to be fading away. No earthly government is able to stem humanity's slide into disaster. The world is suffering from a terminal disease called 'sin;' and sin is on the increase. The only ray of hope on the horizon is the coming Kingdom of God. Being fully aware of this fact the Saviour tells us to look forward to the Kingdom and to pray for the Kingdom of God to come. (See Lesson 10 concerning the Kingdom of God.)
5. THY WILL BE DONE
Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven
Yahweh's will is that the human race accept salvation and obey His law; the law He gave through His servant Moses and which was magnified in the life of His Son Jesus Christ. That is Yahweh's will. That is what He wants all mankind to do, to love and obey Him.
Alas! the world at large has rejected Yahweh's Son and Yahweh's law. Sad to say even the majority of Christendom have rejected Yahweh's law. Have you noticed how few believers are really interested in doing the Almighty's will? Comparatively few know what His will is. The Master however tells us to pray about this problem in these words:
After those initial, vital facts concerning Yahweh's Name, His Kingdom and His Will, comes the Requests Section of this great prayer. Notice how often the word "us" is used. I repeat, this is a prayer we pray together. It is a family or church prayer for food (literal and spiritual) for forgiveness, for power and for protection.
This word 'for' precedes a vital fact in the Lord's Prayer: a fact that spells out 'why' all the preceding requests should or can be met. In effect it says, All this is possible because:
Satan, also called Lucifer the fallen arch-angel, is not happy that Christians voice this final summing up of the Lord's Prayer:
That is why Satan has arranged for this whole phrase to be either [bracketed] or omitted from modern translations of the Bible. In one swipe the Devil has sought to remove the guarantee that this vital prayer will be answered. Full well does he know that the Almighty God of Israel alone has the authority the power and the will that it takes to answer this prayer. No other soul in the universe has that power.
When those vital words 'thine is the kingdom, and the power,
and the glory' are omitted from the Lord's prayer, it will not
be answered; simply because it is not directed at the only One
in the universe who is capable of answering it.
7. FOR EVER
The Most High is immortal. His Kingdom is everlasting and His power endless. Not only are these true and eternal facts, but this prayer ends with our total agreement and acceptance of them. The word 'amen' means 'so be it' or 'so it is'.
So ends the perfect prayer that will always be answered - if prayed in its entirety by the church, the family of the living God. This prayer should be prayed by the church on behalf of the church, for the benefit of all mankind and the eternal glory of the Almighty God, the Father of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen and Amen! So be it and So be it!
In the final analysis a group is judged, not by its numbers, its knowledge, its wealth or its possessions: but by its effectiveness in prayer. We must continually ask ourselves this question: Are our prayers being answered? And if not, why not? We must also question ourselves concerning: How often do we pray? What do we pray for? Do we get results? Does the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel listen to our prayers? If not, why not?
Matthew 6: 9-13 After this manner therefore pray ye: