The Lord's Prayer (part 1)
John D. Telgren

When Jesus taught his disciples to pray, he gave them this model prayer.

"Our Father who is 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 also have forgiven our debtors.
And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Yours is the
kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen (Matt 6:9-13)."

In a model prayer, Jesus could have taught us to refer him as "God Most High." Instead, we refer to Him as "our Father." This is because we were adopted to be his children (Gal 4:5). But that does not mean he doesn't love us dearly. As a father, he loves us, disciplines us, and guides us. Father is both a term of endearment and a term of respect. Oh how great and wonderful that our God is also our Father.

The honor and respect due to God our Father is reflected in the next phrase, "Hallowed be Your name." Since we are adopted as his children we also wear his "family name." We honor his name. How do we do that? We honor his name by living according to his ethics and desires and by putting him first in our lives (Dt 28:58; Rom 2:24; 1 Tim 6:1).

We pray for his kingdom to come. To the Jew in that time, they prayed for the restoration of God's rule on earth. However, Jesus has made clear that his kingdom is not of this earth (Jn 18:36). The kingdom we pray for is the heavenly kingdom when He will have abolished all rule and authority and power (1 Cor 15:24). There God will have all rule and authority, and Satan will have been cast away forever (Rev 20-22).

Instead of praying merely for our wants, we ask that his will be done. Since God is all powerful, his will is going to be done anyway. However, our stating so is an act of humble, God-centered submission. We should always consider God's will in all that we do (Jas 4:15). If we pray and do not get what we ask for, it could be that we are asking from selfish motives (Jas 4:3). But if you ask according to his will he hears (Jno 5:14), and gives generously (Jas 1:5).

(to be continued...)