Prayer is powerful. However strictly speaking it is not prayer itself that changes the world. Rather it is God Himself Who changes the world and often does it through the prayers of His people.
The Lord’s Prayer is not meant to be just a prayer learned by heart and prayed glibly without thinking. (Though there is nothing wrong with that. All prayer should be a means of expressing our dependence on God Himself and remaining in fellowship with Him.) Rather it is a pattern of prayer taught by Jesus to enable us to bring all our concerns to our Heavenly Father so that He can do something about them.
In the following articles we will look at each section of the prayer to understand afresh just how wide ranging and deep it is.
It is really the prayer you need to pray when you don’t know how to pray. It is also the prayer you are privileged to be able to pray as a child of a loving Heavenly Father. Many believers through the ages have testified that they have received wonderful blessings as they made this prayer the basis on which to build their prayer life and indeed their whole lives.
In the following table we see the two passages which record the words of the Lord’s Prayer in the language of the older King James Version (A.V. Authorised Version) and also in the New International Version of 2011.
|Mat 6:9-13||Luke 11:2-4|
|1||NIV. “‘Our Father in heaven,||KJV. Our Father which art in heaven,||NIV. “‘Father,||KJV. Our Father which art in heaven,|
|2||hallowed be your name,||Hallowed be thy name.||hallowed be your name,||Hallowed be thy name.|
|3||(10) your kingdom come,||(10) Thy kingdom come.||your kingdom come.||Thy kingdom come.|
|4||your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.||Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.||Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.|
|5||(11) Give us today our daily bread.||(11) Give us this day our daily bread.||(3) Give us each day our daily bread.||(3) Give us day by day our daily bread.|
|6||(12) And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.||(12) And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.||(4) Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us.||(4) And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us.|
|7||(13) And lead us not into temptation,||(13) And lead us not into temptation,||And lead us not into temptation.'”||And lead us not into temptation;|
|8||but deliver us from the evil one.’||but deliver us from evil:||but deliver us from evil.|
|9||For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.|
In future articles we will look at each of these sections in turn to see what they may be saying to us as we seek to live for the Lord in this very complicated and confusing world. We will see that the prayer Jesus taught us to pray can show us how to pray for ourselves. It also shows us how to pray for a world that so much needs to see His wisdom, grace, love and power in action.
Blog No.172. Jim Holbeck. Posted on Wednesday 28th January 2016