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  • Writer's pictureJane Wheeler

The Lord's Prayer


The Lords Prayer are the words of Jesus as He taught His disciples how to pray. This prayer is found in 2 places in the Bible: Matthew 6:9-13 and Luke 11:2-4 (a shorter version)


“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 evil.” NIV


The following line is believed to have been added much later: For thine is the kingdom, and the power and the glory, for ever. Amen.


The Jewish New Testament translates is like this:

“Our Father in heaven!

May your Name be kept holy,

May your Kingdom come, your will be done on earth as in heaven.

Give us the food we need today.

Forgive us what we have done wrong, as we too have forgiven those who have wronged us.

And do not lead us into hard testing, but keep us safe from the evil one.


The Lords Prayer has been toted as a “Christian Prayer” except for the fact that it was Jesus who spoke it and Jesus was Jewish and what do we do with that?


Scholars agree that Jesus summed up Jewish theology in the prayer as well as offered the prayer to anyone, anywhere to use.


Have you ever sat and really thought about the Prayer? I was one of the children in school – such a long time ago, where we started every school day by reciting the Lord’s Prayer. It got to be simply habit – I do not remember any teaching as such on the prayer, just that we were to say it.


Our Father in Heaven! – I love the exclamation mark in the Jewish version. We should come to God the Father with excitement and expectation every day.


May your Name be kept Holy – how have we tried to keep God’s name separated from this “world”? How have we tried to keep it “Holy” or “set apart”? I have found that the phrase “Oh my God” has taken away the value of the name of God. God commands us in the 10 Commandments to keep His name Holy.

The first commandment says: No other gods before Me.

The third commandment says: You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.


These 2 commandments instruct us to not use the name of God in an empty and meaningless way. The name of God was so Holy, so esteemed by the Jewish people that when the Name of God was written the scribes even changed their clothes and the pen to write out the name of God and then changed back again after it was written. In some cases only the first or last letter was written and in some cases it was not written or spoken out loud for fear of offending God. The Name of God is to be treated like the precious Name that it is. It should not be tossed about in the world in a “slang like” version where you do not even know which “god” you are talking about. Stand in a crowd and listen – the OMG phrase will be one of the most popular things you hear, in and out of the church. When did we loose the reverence of Gods’ name and make it common place?


May your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

This statement should cause us to take notice. We have just proclaimed that Gods will is what we are after. This statement takes away any of the “I” things. I want, I need, I must, I can, I….. We are proclaiming that we want what God wants. Think about it, when Jesus came to earth, they were all waiting for Jesus to conquer the Romans, take over the world and be the King over all, that is what they wanted. They were so confused when instead Jesus said things like: Love your enemy, feed your enemy and offer kindness to all. When Jesus was crucified they were defeated and beaten down because their hero was dead.

They had no idea, and Jesus did tell them, that He came to die, that was His sole purpose to come to earth – to die on behalf of men and women, to take their punishment for their sinfulness and make a way for all people to get to God. That was God’s will and still is – is that what we want or do we want Him to do it our way and on our time table?


Give us today our daily bread.

Ensure that we have food to eat today please God, we acknowledge that everything we have, the air we breath, the money we spend, including our food comes from the hand of God and we are to be grateful.


Forgive us what we have done wrong, as we too have forgiven those who have wronged us.

If none of the other statements above have stopped you in your tracks and made you ponder it, this one should.

It is kind of like saying: ‘God – you can judge me in the same exact way that I have judged other people.’ Who would ever be brave enough to think or say that? Not me!


Can I honestly even say the Lords Prayer and ask God for my own forgiveness, if I have not forgiven those people who have wronged me? Jesus says I must. It is not a suggestion, it is a command and it really does not matter if I want to. Tough stuff to do – and yet Jesus says we must.


We talked about forgiveness at our Bible study last week, it left a few people unsettled, unforgiveness is something that we like to think we have a right to, that it is okay if we do not forgive those people and that we can hang onto it and protect our “right” to not forgive because you have no idea “what they did”. I have battled with God many times over “unforgiveness” and “those people who hurt me”. God’s answer was always the same, “forgive them”. Did you know that for every circumstance we probably need to look at forgiving 3 people: Other people, God and Ourselves?


How many of us have thought to fogive God for those things we think are unfair or why did He not show up when we needed Him? God has addressed this with me many times. You cannot go forward while hanging onto the past and forgiving God is one of the steps.


Forgiving ourselves can be the most stubborn block of all. If we have hurt others, we often think we should suffer forever out of guilt. That is not living - it is a life sentence. Jesus paid for that with His life, let Him carry it, not you. Forgive yourself.


Those hurtful other people – we know who they are and God has asked us to forgive them because it is for “our benefit” not theirs. Those people will probably not even know you have forgiven them. But unforgiveness will put a block, a wall between you and God, it hinders your prayers, it stops you from hearing the voice of God clearly or at all. Unforgiveness in our hearts grows into a hard and ugly mass if we sit and let it fester.


You block God’s hand in the situation because you are so busy holding it in your own hands and will not let it go. He will not force you to do anything, you have to give it up voluntarily and you guessed it, forgiveness is the answer. It is not a matter of shrugging your shoulders and saying, “oh well I guess that’s done”, it is giving the situation into God’s hands and letting Him deal with it as He sees fit. It is so you can clearly say: “God forgive me because I have forgiven those who have hurt me.”


And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

God does not tempt us, but the devil sure will and we, ourselves can sure be tempted with certain things, can’t we? The devil watches and waits to see what kind of things you are drawn to, and then he sends temptations your way. Asking God to lead you in the other direction is a very wise move!


Temptations are like mouse traps! It is all looking really good and then SNAP! You are suddenly caught and cannot get out. We need to daily ask God to keep us from temptations and listen to Him when He tells us to go the other way.


In Canada, every school used to start its day with the Lords Prayer and sing O Canada.

Every government session used to open with The Lords Prayer.

Most churches used to recite the Lords Prayer every Sunday.


We have gotten out of the habit of saying the Lords Prayer – perhaps it is time to put it back in. I kind of think God thinks so too. I have attached a song that is climbing up to be a #1 top Christian song in North America. It is called “The Lord’s Prayer”. A catchy little number – the song starts about 30 seconds into the clip, the first part is warming up. I am praying no "ad" is at the beginning of the song, I had a horrible one pop up.


Enjoy and sing it out – you probably know the words. Teach it to your children and your grandchildren because it is a keeper and a wonderful way to live.



Link to the song: The Lord's Prayer by Matt Maher https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=36hBlBGVFSs







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2 Comments


Kevin Bolen
Kevin Bolen
Apr 19, 2023

How timely! I was going to teach on forgiveness today, using Joseph and his brothers as an example, but I think I need to use an example in my own life when someone from the church hurt me! It happened a couple of years ago, but has been replaying in my mind ALOT lately, along with my justification for my resentment. Time to get on my knees and let it go!

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rayofsunshine382
Apr 19, 2023
Replying to

Bless you hugely as you take this step! Thanks for sharing.


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