Our Father

Our Father in heaven
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom Come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom
and the power and the
glory forever. Amen.

DEAR READER,

Have you ever felt that you needed tο pray? Have you ever been so desperate that you cried out to God for help? Have you ever been so overwhelmed by the beauty of the world around you that you couldn’t help but breathe out the words, “Thank You, God”? The pages of the Bible are filled with the spontaneous and sincere prayers of people just like you and me.

Some of these prayers have been prayed by well-known heroes of the faith – like Job, Jonah, King David, and Mary, the mother of Jesus. The Bible also contains the thoughtful prayers of people who are not so well known, like Jabez, Nehemiah, Simeon, and Hezekiah. But one prayer stands above the others as a pattern for all prayers – the Lord’s Prayer – which Jesus gave His followers.

The Lord’s Prayer is “the sum and abridgement of all other prayers. All other prayers are contained in this prayer” (Hugh Latimer, who was killed for his faith in 1555). Whatever we need, whether for the body or soul, is addressed in this prayer. Perhaps the Lord’s Prayer is so familiar to you that you repeat the words without actually praying them. Or perhaps this is a brand-new prayer for you. Either way, will you take a moment to look at this simple prayer with me?

Our Father in heaven

Jesus instructs us to direct our prayers to “Our Father in heaven,” not to angels or saints. Our prayers are to be directed toward God, and Jesus tells us to call Him “Father.” Are you a child of God? Have you asked Jesus to be Lord of your life? If not, take a moment and keep reading to learn more about becoming God’s child.

Hallowed be Your name

Hallowed means to be revered, honoured, and glorified. In this we praise our heavenly Father for who He is and what He has done. God created the world to reveal His glory, and this is the chief thing His children should seek – ”that in all things God may be glori­fied” (1 Peter 4:11). Have you praised your heavenly Father for all that He is and does?

Your kingdom come

This is a request for God to establish His king­dom, His rule and authority, on earth. God will then banish Satan from the earth and will “wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor cry­ing. There shall be no more pain, for the for­mer things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4). Imagine a time without evil and suffer­ing! Do you long for the things of this world or for God’s kingdom?

Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven

Our truest happiness comes from our com­plete submission to God’s will. Here we pray that people on earth might submit to God’s will as perfectly, readily, and unceasingly as the angels in heaven. Is there an area of your life that you need to submit to God?

Give us this day our daily bread

Here we are taught to acknowledge our com­plete dependence on God for our day-to-day needs. We ask for “bread” as the simplest of our wants, and in that word we include all that our bodies require. God will give to us whatever we truly need. What a great Father we have! Is there something you need today?

And forgive us our debts

Next is a petition for God to forgive our sins. We must confess that we are sinners and need God’s daily gifts of pardon and forgiveness. We are instructed to keep up a continual con­fession at the throne of grace, a continual habit of seeking God’s mercy. Is there some­thing you need to ask God’s forgiveness for?

As we forgive our debtors

We should not, however, expect our prayers for forgiveness to be heard if we pray with malice and spite in our hearts toward others. We must not expect to be forgiven if we can­not forgive. Is there someone you need to forgive?

And do not lead us into temptation

Here we acknowledge our desperate weak­ness when facing temptation and God’s great strength. Ask God to strengthen you to keep you from sin.

But deliver us from the evil one

Jesus teaches us to ask God to deliver us from the evil in the world, from the evil within our hearts, and from the evil one – the devil. As long as we are on this earth, we constantly see, hear and feel the presence of evil, and we need to ask God to protect us. Do you need to be delivered from the grip of evil?

For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen

This prayer rightfully ends with a hymn of praise. Here we affirm our belief that God, our Father, is the ultimate ruler, and that He alone holds all power and deserves to receive all glory. Can you say “Amen” to these beau­tiful words?

The Lord’s Prayer is meant to be prayed by God’s children. The privilege of being God’s own son or daughter does not belong to everyone – it is only for those who put their trust in Jesus Christ. “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12). “For you are all sons of God through faith in Jesus Christ” (Galatians 3:26). Perhaps the time has finally come for you to become a true child of God through faith in Jesus Christ. Will you ask Jesus into your life today?