Exploring the Meaning of the Lord’s Prayer: Priority, Intimacy, and Significance. 

The Lord's Prayer, also known as “Our Father”, was taught by Jesus to His disciples as the way to pray.…
Chinny Ameh

on May 26, 2024

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  • The Lord’s Prayer, also known as “Our Father”, was taught by Jesus to His disciples as the way to pray.

    It is a prayer that has held great significance for believers throughout history. In fact, most Christian denominations incorporate this prayer within their worship services. That’s how significant “Our Father” prayer is to believers.

    This article discusses everything you need to know about the Lord’s Prayer, including the possible time it was taught, it signifies, and other theological insights.

    Where Is The Lord’s Prayer Found In The Bible?

    The Bible recorded two versions of the Lord’s Prayer.

    The first version is longer and it appears in the Gospel of Matthew (Matthew 6.9-14). It occurred as Jesus delivered His Sermon on the Mount. During this major sermon, Jesus taught His disciples the principles of God’s kingdom. And these principles included prayer.

    The Gospel of Luke has a shorter version of the Lord’s Prayer. See Luke 11.1-4. Here, Jesus had finished His personal prayers when one of His followers said to Him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.’ And as always, Jesus was more than willing to teach.

    Now, some schools of thought believe that both versions happened at different times. They believe Jesus taught the Matthean version early in his mission in Galilee, while the Lucan version was held in Judea, a year later.

    Our Father Prayer: Meaning, Priority, and Intimacy.

    The prayer started with an acknowledgement of who God is to us – Our Father. Then, it was followed by seven petitions.

    the lord's prayer graphic

    For the purpose of this study, we shall concentrate on Matthew’s version since it is a longer version. The first three of Matthew’s petitions address God, while the other four revolve around human needs and concerns.

    Also see; Bible verses about prayers

    Let’s dive right in;

    #1. Our Father, Who Art in Heaven.

    The prayer begins with an address to God as “Our Father.” The next verse says, “Who art in Heaven.” This reaffirms our core belief as Christians that God is our heavenly Father, who is both with us in spirit and above us in Heaven. 

    This emphasizes the importance of our relationship with God as our Father. Recognising God as our “Father” emphasizes the close relationship we enjoy with Him. Acknowledging God as our Father expresses assurance, comfort, and faith in His power. 

    This address “Our Father” also brings Christians from all over the world together as siblings from one Father. 1 John 3:1 states, “See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are.”

    #2. Hallowed Be Thy Name.

    The phrase “hallowed be thy name” acknowledges God’s holiness and glory. It teaches us the importance of recognising and honoring God’s name in our prayers.

    1 Samuel 2:22 confirms this. It states, “There is no one holy like the Lord.”

    As Christians, we must recognise and reverence God’s name as “holy”. This prayer doesn’t only remind us to honor God’s name. It also teaches us the need to ask that the entire world recognize the holy name of God as the only true God, the Ruler and Creator of the world, when we pray.

    #3. Thy Kingdom Come.

    When praying for God’s kingdom to come, you have to keep two things in mind. The first is the importance of praying for the earthly manifestation of God’s Kingdom.

    In Psalm 57:5, we see the Psalmist say, “Be exalted, O God, above the heavens! Let your glory be all over the earth!”

    The second point is to pray that the promise of a “new heaven and a new earth” be fulfilled. While on earth, Jesus promised to prepare a place for us in Paradise (John 14:2-6).

    In 2 Corinthians 5:1, Paul boasted in this promise, saying, “For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.”

    And just like Paul, let us rejoice and boast in this promise. Knowing that when the promise of a new heaven and earth is fulfilled, we and all who believe will live with God in His Kingdom forever.

    #4. Thy Will Be Done on Earth as it Is in Heaven.

    By praying for God’s will to be done, we express total submission to Him and prioritize His plans over ours. This prayer represents a selfless surrender to God’s plan.

    Surrendering to God’s will also expresses our faith in Him. It shows we understand that His His plans, will, and purpose are always for our best interest.

    Jer.29:11.Psalm 143:10 reads, Teach me to do Your will, For You are my God; Let Your good Spirit lead me on level ground.

    1 John 5:14 also demonstrates selflessness in prayer. It says, This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.

    And, while asking for His will, ask for the strength to follow it and live a life that honors Him.

    the lord's prayer graphic

    #5. Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread.

    Many Christians interpret this to be a request for our daily needs, but way deeper than that. While it is not wrong to pray for what we need (John 16:24), Remember that Jesus has told us in Matthew 6:8 that our Father knows what we need.

    So, what really is this petition about? 

    Like Proverbs 15:30 puts it, “good news nourishes the body,” in the same way, The Good News of Christ (The Gospel) is nourishment to every soul that hears it. 

    According to Deuteronomy 8:3, “man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”

    So when we pray, “give us this day our daily bread,” we are asking for spiritual sustenance to enable us to spread the Gospel to the world. 

    Now, this daily bread can only come from studying and reading God’s Word, as well as communicating with Christ.

    Remember that Christ is the “bread of life” (John 6:48-58). And feasting on this bread is what we need to gain strength to carry on the work He has called us into.

    #6. And Forgive Us Our Trespasses, as We Forgive Those Who Trespass Against Us.

    The second half of this section of the Lord’s Prayer may be the most difficult to pray and follow. It is easy to ask for forgiveness and understand why you should be forgiven. However, offering this act of generosity to someone who has hurt us is often difficult. 

    In Matthew 18:21-35, Jesus shared a story of a servant who was forgiven a large debt but refused forgiveness to another servant who owed a smaller debt. This is not how God intended for us to act.

    God has freely forgiven us, we ought to reflect His grace and love to others, even if they hurt us. 

    Replacing resentment with forgiveness is proof that God’s love is in us. As a result, we can come boldly before God. 

    the lord's prayer graphic

    #7. And Lead Us Not into Temptation.

    “Lead us not into temptation” shows our vulnerability to sin and temptation. However, what is far more important is that it demonstrates that God is more than able to deliver us from our fleshly desires (1 Corinthians 10:13).

    It reveals our desire to align our will with God’s purposes and to be led by His Spirit.

    We are humans, and it is important that we admit our weaknesses to God. Not for fear of the devil, but with trust, knowing that Our Father is capable of delivering us from the devil’s trap.

    To overcome our weakness, we ask God to guide us and give us the discernment we need to avoid temptation and sin.

    #8. But Deliver Us from Evil.

    This section of Our Father prayer covers the many times that we fall into temptation and sin. For the times where we give in to sin, we need to know that God is here to help us out (1 John 1:9, Psalm 34:4-7).

    During these times, asking God to deliver us shows that we depend on His saving grace, wisdom, and discernment. It prioritizes our spiritual well-being and our commitment to walking in righteousness.

    Why is The Lord’s Prayer Important.

    This popular prayer is often called the Lord’s Prayer because it was given by Jesus to His disciples as a model of prayer. 

    The Lord’s prayer is more like a prayer guide given to us by Jesus. It comprises what we as believers should ask for when we pray. Why a Christian isn’t expected to always pray this prayer word for word everyday, it is a good guide of the pattern to pray.

    The Lord’s Prayer can be divided into five parts to help us understand how to use it most effectively during prayers.

    the lord's prayer graphic
    • Acknowledging God’s Fathership.
    • Expressing gratitude to God for who He is.
    • Pray for His work on earth to take full course.
    • Praying for our daily needs.
    • Praying for forgiveness and the grace to forgive others.
    • Praying for help in your daily struggles.

    This prayer teaches us what God desires while also expressing God’s nature to us: a loving and merciful father.

    Significance of the Lord’s Prayer in Building Intimacy in Prayer.

    The Lord’s Prayer teaches us to put God’s will over ours. As Christians, when we pray for God’s will, we recognise that His will is perfect for us. Putting God’s will first helps in building intimacy with Him.

    It increases our trust and faith in “Our Father.”Our Father prayer reminds us of God’s role as a provider and sustainer. And believing this expresses our trust in His faithfulness, as well as His ability to deliver and guide us.

    Finally, this prayer contains a request for strength to forgive others, indicating a desire to be in God. The Bible states that God is love, and that whoever abides in Love is in God, and God is in him (1 Jhon 4:16). So loving others as Christ loves us shows how much of God we have on our inside.

    Also see; Ways to draw closer to God daily

    Conclusion On The Lord’s Prayer.

    The Lord’s Prayer is a widely recognized prayer among Christians worldwide. This is because it was taught directly by Jesus to His disciples.

    This prayer helps us focus on what to pray about and how to approach God when we pray. It summarises what Christians should pray about – praising of God, acceptance of His will, protection, forgiveness, as well as forgiving others.One important feature of this prayer is thar it assures us that God is Our Father. He’s not just a God to us, we are His children.

    Chinny Ameh
    Hi, I'm Chinny, a Christian writer with the desire to guide people on their journey with God. Through carefully researched writings and the leading of the Holy Spirit, I encourage believers to embrace their faith, conquer life's challenges, and experience personal and spiritual growth.
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