The Lord’s Prayer (part one)-Matthew 6:9-13

Having shown, in verses 5-8, the wrong attitudes in prayer, Jesus now tells us what the right attitude toward prayer should be. He begins by telling us to pray “after this manner”. He is not giving us here a formal prayer to copy, but setting forth principles to guide us as we pray, to guard us from praying “after the manner” of verses 5-8. Proper prayer begins with a proper understanding of exactly who it is we are praying to. We are praying to “our Father”. Jesus here is teaching believers how to pray, and the our here expresses the consistent Biblical teaching that God is not the Father of all human beings, that all people are not God’s children, but God’s creatures. It is only born again believers who are children of God (John 1:12, 1John 3) and may properly address Him as “Father”. In the use of “Father” here, we learn several principles of prayer. The first is that the God we pray to is a person. He is not an impersonal force, but a person, and of all the terms Jesus could use in reference to God, He chooses to describe Him as a father. The one we pray to is one who loves us, and desires to provide for, protect and care for His children. Prayer is therefore to be seen as being offered as an obedient child to a loving Father. In the Bible, the son does what his father does, and prayer offered to “our Father” is offered in the attitude of a child seeking to do what His father would have him do. We are also to acknowledge that our Father is “in heaven”. Our God is sovereign and above all else, in providential control of all circumstances, and this phrase is an acknowledgment of who God is and of who we are. He is in heaven and we are not, and our gaze in prayer is to be upward, not inward, for He is God and we are not. We are also told here to “hallow” his name, with hallow here being a verb in the passive voice. We are here requesting of God that He work on us to make us people who hallow His name (with the passive voice, the action is done to the subject). The word hallow here means to “set apart”, to give God the reverence and honor which are due Him. When we see God as He truly is, and who we are in light of that, we will give God the reverence and honor due Him. He will be foremost in our hearts and minds, and our wills shall be submitted to His. We are here asking Him to make us people in whom that is true, to make us children who do what their Father does.

1 Comment Jesus Christ  //  Prayer

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