The Lord’s Prayer

Matthew 6:9-13

This prayer is called “The Lord’s Prayer” because the Lord Jesus gave it to us. The best one word description of this prayer is beautiful. It is powerful, simple, brief, clear, universal, comprehensive and complete in itself. It is short and sweet. All prayer is epitomized in this single prayer. It is Jesus’ “Mission Statement.”

But Jesus never intended for people to mindlessly repeat this prayer. In fact, just prior to this He warned His followers about empty, repetitive prayers (v. 7). There is no proof His disciples ever repeated it. He gave us no rote prayers to recite. These verses prove that God cannot be manipulated by pious entreaties. His desire is for us to come to Him and communicate with Him not invent lofty platitudes. The ecclesiastical crowd blindly recites cold, written prayers, but God desires personal, spontaneous conversation.  This prayer sets forth the proper framework on which to build our prayers. The Church has used it for two millennia and has never worn it out.

All human desires are contained in these few words. We are reminded of Solomon’s warning in Ecclesiastes 5:2, “God is in heaven, and you are on earth, therefore let your words be few.” God is not saying that He prefers short prayers, but He gives this prayer as an example to illustrate the proper attitude we must have when we approach God. Only Jesus, because He is God, could have provided this formula. And He gave us only this one and no other.

Verse 9:
“After this manner, therefore, pray.”  He did not say one must use these exact words. No denomination has the right to claim that the prayer they call “The Our Father” somehow builds brownie points with God the more often it is recited. Prayers are not poker chips by which you accrue credit with God. He said, “After this manner” (after this fashion or pattern), perhaps in contrast to the heathen ritualistic petitions He just warned people about. He showed the way to approach the Father, but never said we must repeat this exact prayer verbatim. Humans need a guide for prayer, for we “don’t know how to pray as we ought” (Romans 8:26). Jesus helps us by giving us this outline.

We are commanded to pray, but not how often or for how long. Paul seems to view prayer as something that should take place continuously in the life of every believer, so he tells the Thessalonians to “Pray without ceasing” (I Thessalonians 5:17). 

God does not want you to preach a sermon to Him using impeccable rhetoric. He desires a dialogue not a monologue. Talk with Him as you would your best friend: He is.

The long, monotonous prayers of the Pharisees were laced with egocentrism and hidden agendas. In giving us The Lord’s Prayer, Jesus proves that human beings desire deep communication with God. It shows that the Father is not ashamed of us and we are not to be ashamed of our personal relationship to Him.

Jesus offered a simple pattern of prayer and introduced a new element: addressing God as Father. Concepts depicting God as “the man upstairs” or “the great spirit” are meaningless. Jesus told us simply to “pray after this manner” and talk to God as a parent. All countries have moms, dads and children, so the entire human race can relate to the concept of God as a Father. The Lord’s Prayer depicts the Father as being both accessible and available. Jesus taught this prayer to show that contact with God is not only possible, it is essential. When Jesus prays, He addresses God as “Father.” Think of the privilege! So can we! In fact, Jesus commands us to.

The Lord’s Prayer is very much like an email to God. Like any letter, it contains the following elements: An addressee: our Father. A destination: who is in heaven. A date: this day our daily bread. The contents of your letter: personal. A conclusion: the Amen.

“After this manner, pray: Our Father.” The word “our” is important, for it makes our prayers intimate. It is a scene of close, personal and loving conversation between a father and daughter or son. It’s the pattern of the prayer of a needy child, not a greedy child. Jesus also taught us that a loving Father only gives to His children things that are beneficial (Luke 11:11) in His interactions with them.

Although God is our personal God, He must be shared with others. He is “Our Father” because we are joined by millions who all have similar needs. Speaking of His ascension, He said He was “going to My Father and your Father” (John 20:17). He is “Our Father” because all believers are equal in God’s sight as His children. There is nothing in the Lord’s Prayer that permits sibling rivalry, kids who are demanding, manipulating, dictating, murmuring and complaining—only trust, adoration and mutual expectation. This thought alone should eliminate much of the envy, strife and quarrels within church families.
 
The Lord’s Prayer proves that God is a loving God and that He desires dialogue with us. Jesus knew that the character of our prayers depends upon our concept of the character of God. Those with only a superficial relationship with God can never know the true depth of this prayer. The privilege to address Him as Father is a part of our birthright only if we are born into His family. Knowing God as Father bespeaks affection, concern, obedience and child-like trust. In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus gives God a title and it is “Father.” We really cannot begin to pray in earnest until we know God as our Father. And we cannot know God as Father until we know Jesus as Lord.

  “Our Father, Who is in Heaven”

We are to give God the same place in our hearts that He holds in the universe: He must rule in our hearts as well. God made us to love Him not to completely comprehend Him or His heaven. Since God is there and we are here, we must trust Him. The fact that heaven is mentioned in the Lord’s Prayer serves to remind us that one day we will be with Him.

But God is not isolated there. He incarnated in the Person of Jesus to come to earth and teach and die for our sins. As heirs of eternal life, we must have an eternal place to dwell.

The Bible describes heaven in myriads of ways:

<> It’s a place of worship, for only worshippers are in heaven.
<> It’s a place of celebration, for the Marriage Supper takes place there.
<> It’s a place of protection, for the gates of the city have no need to be shut at night.

Knowing that heaven exists is a great encouragement, for we have a reward to look forward to.

Meditate on this description of heaven written by an unknown saint in 1911:

“Better to limp all the way to heaven than to not get there at all. Earth has no sorrow that heaven cannot heal. There are but two requirements to enter heaven: your sins must be pardoned and your nature must be changed. No one will go to heaven that has not sent his heart there while he lives on earth. Heaven attracts to itself only that which is congenial to its nature: those who love holiness. On that great day, the righteous shall be gathered from the ruins of this world to adorn that eternal city that has no need of the sun to shine in it, for the Lamb is the light thereof.

Though the road is narrow, the gates of pearl open wide to the saints of God. Since we are heirs, then heaven must be the place where my inheritance awaits. Yonder is the land of everlasting brightness, where the soul drinks freely from the living springs of love that roll by the throne of God.  Every saint in heaven is a flower in the garden of God. Every soul there is a note in some concert of glorious music. Every person there is a jewel in the Father’s crown.

In heaven awaits perfect purity, fullness of joy, everlasting freedom, eternal health and absolute security. Remember that you are nearer to your eternal home than you were yesterday, nearer to your Father’s house, closer to the place where you lay your burdens down forever, and at His feet, cast your crown. O, how wonderful it will be to inhale the atmosphere of paradise divine, and to enter into that divine rest which awaits the sons and daughters of God!”

Knowing that He desires to be known as our Father in heaven should cause us to exclaim “Behold, what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called the children of God” (I John 3:1).

  “Hallowed be Thy Name”

The Lord’s Prayer is divided perfectly into seven sections. The first three concern God and the latter four concern human beings.

Concerning God:

1. Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name.
2. Thy kingdom come
3. Thy will be done, here as in heaven

Concerning humans:

4. Give us our daily bread
5. Forgive us our sins as we forgive others
6. Lead us not into temptation
7. Deliver us from evil

The Ten Commandments (cf. Exodus 20) are similarly divided: the first five concerns God and the last five concern other people. The pattern for prayer given to us in this passage is very natural, for our requests must be subordinate to the glorification of our heavenly Father. We are to “give unto the Lord the glory due His Name” (Psalm 96:8). By acknowledging that He is our Father in heaven, we acknowledge His position in the universe. Only then can we proceed with our petitions. We must reverence His name, for God Himself is represented by that Name. And Jesus teaches us that His name is “Father.”

“Hallow” is hagiazo – to set something apart for a sacred purpose. The root word means to revere something or someone as holy; to esteem; venerate; to prize and adore. To “hallow” God means that we must approach Him with the utmost respect and honor. Since He is holy, it should clue us never to ask for anything that would contradict His holiness or His Word. We cannot pray for alcohol, drugs or pornography. We cannot pray for God to send us someone to fornicate with. We cannot pray for money to go and eat and drink at Hooter’s. We can only truly honor God as we honor His laws. “If you love Me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15).

By praying that God’s Name be held in reverence, we are not praying that God will make His name more holy, for it cannot be. What we are asking is that it be manifested so that all men will understand that our Father is worthy of worship. When we come to God in prayer, our foundational desire should be that others will come to know Him intimately.

Through respectful prayer, we “believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of them who diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6). To venerate His name as holy is to acknowledge that we value our relationship with Him. To acknowledge His heavenly position is to acknowledge His power and omnipresence—that He is directing all things from on high by interacting with us here on earth through His Holy Spirit. 

We come to Him as His children, giving Him praise before we say anything else.

  “Thy Kingdom Come”

This petition is the briefest and most comprehensive of the seven petitions in the Lord’s Prayer. It is connected with the first petition, for His Kingdom will come as a result of His name being honored. The arrival of His kingdom is also linked with the next phrase, for His will must be accomplished. Jesus does not tell us to pray for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, to win the lotto or to fulfill The American Dream. These words remind us that that we are not to build a personal kingdom for ourselves here on earth “where moth and rust corrupts and thieves break through and steal” (Matthew 6:19). Because so many of our prayers center on self, this phrase is meant to help wean us away from the temporal things of this world. As the Lord’s Prayer opens, we are specifically reminded to keep God and His kingdom in focus.

But exactly what is the Kingdom of God? While it is a literal kingdom, it is both visible and invisible. It was the soul of Jesus teachings (Luke 4:43). When all passages pertaining to it are studied as a whole, we find that His kingdom is both spiritual and physical. Although the Kingdom of God is within us (Luke 17:21), there are many references to a literal heaven (cf. Rev 21-22).

Kings have Kingdoms and God is no exception, for His is the greatest of all. “Kingdom” is basileia and refers more to sovereignty and dominion than a geographical location. The prospect of entering His kingdom in the fullest sense must be dominate in our prayer life. To pray for His kingdom “to come” is to ask that it totally manifest itself in the fullest possible sense. The word “come” is the aorist active imperative of erchomai, indicating a sudden, instantaneous arrival. This Greek verse could literally be translated “Let thy kingdom come now.” Thus, in another sense, “thy kingdom come” can mean that we should pray for the Rapture of the Church. Although Jesus never specifically taught on the subject of the Rapture, His Kingdom cannot be manifested until this event takes place. One of the final phrases of the Bible is, “Come, Lord Jesus” (Revelation 22:20). This part of the Lord’s Prayer should be especially appealing to twenty-first century believers, for it can help to keep us “rapture ready.” The coming of His kingdom in all its fullness points to the time when we can be with Him forever.

Because of the phrase regarding His kingdom, there are those who would argue that the Lord’s prayer is totally eschatological. But this cannot be, for we are told to pray for bread to satisfy our current hunger. We are instructed to forgive those who offend us every day. And, in the perfect world of His future Kingdom, there will be no temptations to avoid (cf. v. 11-13).

To pray for “His Kingdom to come” is to pray for the success of His entire program of world redemption. When we pray this phrase, we are praying for Him to be enthroned in our hearts and the hearts of others today, yet also anticipating that day when we experience His kingdom at its awesome future consummation.

His kingdom is where our King is. As our ultimate destination, we must keep it in focus.

  “Thy will be done on earth”

The connection between this phrase and the last one is easy to see. Because the doing of God’s will brings glory to Him, the coming of His kingdom and performance of His will are inseparably linked. No one can know God’s personal will for them without personal contact with the One who alone has this knowledge. By praying “Thy will be done,” we acknowledge that we desire God to fulfill His will in and through us.

In one sense, His will is already written down for us in the Bible. But as a personal God, One Who desires to be seen as Father, He has a personal will and plan for every life. For example, it is God’s will that all come to repentance (II Peter 3:9), for no one allows Him to begin to work effectively in their life until they are born again. We must understand that, although God has a perfect will, each person has a personal will, and therein lies the problem of His will being accomplished. Our goal must be to have our personal will line up with God’s perfect will. When we disobey God, God has to go to a sort of “Plan B” and make adjustments so that a person can be used of God after repentance. The Lord’s Prayer echoes Jesus prayer: “Not my will, but Thine be done” (Luke 22:42). The more one seeks to do God’s will, the more successfully and efficiently God can carry out His will in his/her life.

    “As it is in heaven”

To illustrate what God demands of each of us concerning His will, Jesus gives the illustration “as it is in heaven.” If His will was not opposed here on earth, this clause in the Lord’s Prayer would be unnecessary. Each person’s obedience to God contributes to allowing His Kingdom to manifest itself here on earth “as it is in heaven.”  Heaven has already been mentioned as the Father’s location (v. 9). By pointing us toward heaven once again, Jesus seeks to have us acknowledge that we need heavenly assistance to carry out God’s will. A glimpse into the book of Revelation verifies that God’s plans are always carried out exactly and precisely in heaven.

Jesus’ illustration here is to show that He desires each believer to be committed to performing the personal revealed will of God. It is a mockery to praise God, ask for His will to be done, and then be disobedient to His instructions. Jesus asks, “Why do you call me Lord but don’t do what I say?” (Luke 6:46). The doing of God’s will has a direct connection with our entrance into heaven.  Heaven is set before us as more than an illustration. It is given to show how reasonable obedience is, since heaven is our ultimate destination.

This phrase begs the question, “How is God’s will done in heaven?” Is it done grudgingly, reluctantly or partially or is it done gladly and reverently? From the brief insights into heaven that the Bible gives us, it is evident that His will is carried out promptly and perfectly. The saints and angels serve him day and night (Revelation 7:15)  No one is in heaven who does not perform God’s will perfectly. By praying “as it is in heaven,” we are also asking that more people come to know Him as Father, making earth a bit more like heaven with every soul that is saved.

  “Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread”

We now come to the second half of The Lord’s Prayer. Whereas the first half directs our attention to God Himself, this portion deals more with our personal needs and our relationship to others. In the first part, God’s honor, authority and dominion are in focus. In the second, Jesus tells us that it’s OK to ask for personal needs. The fact that we are told to pray this is in itself an assurance that this prayer will be answered.

Jesus has already indicated that generic prayers are superficial and meaningless (6:5). But the pattern for supplication as indicated in The Lord’s Prayer allows for personalizing our prayers. Jesus teaches us that the Father is not so busy running the universe He has no time for individual requests. In fact, we are instructed to pray for our common, ordinary needs as indicated by the term “daily bread.”

We are asking God to freely give us sustenance every day, for daily bread is a term used to refer to everything necessary to sustain life. Everyday prayer is the expected norm, for He does not instruct us to pray weekly or monthly but daily. The manna fell in the wilderness every morning and the Israelites were forbidden to store it up (cf. Ex. 16).

But there is something else. God does not promise to send you bread from heaven. You must work for it. “By the sweat of your face shall you eat bread” (Genesis 3:19). God never blesses slothfulness. A wise woman “does not eat the bread of idleness” (Proverbs 31:27). Paul says one should not be fed who is too lazy to work (II Thessalonians 3:10). We should never allow ourselves to believe that we can supply our own needs even though we must pay the grocer.

This clause also assumes one will be grateful for such provision, for thousands of people starve to death every day. Praying this phrase is a protection against believing that we can take care of ourselves without God’s help. In asking God to supply our everyday needs, we are recognizing Him as our Source. The request “give us” must be based on childlike trust in the Father to supply our essentials. Although God is pleased to do so, He still likes to be asked. By asking, we also show our dependence upon God. We are not told to ask God to lend us anything or sell us anything but to give it to us. By asking for a daily portion, we place ourselves in a humble position before God. Thus, gratitude expressed in our mealtime prayers should come naturally. Our need to pray is as essential to our spiritual life as eating is to our physical life.

This clause in the Lord’s prayer at first may seem out of place, for the rest of it involves intangible things. In this prayer, Jesus speaks about heaven, the Father’s holy name, His kingdom, His power, His glory, His will—even human temptations and forgiveness. But God means to teach us that supplying our physical needs is as important to Him as supplying our spiritual needs.

By praying for daily needs, we are reminded to not be stressed out about the future. 

  “Forgive us our debts”

The use of the word “and” in verse twelve means that the request for bread and the plea for forgiveness are directly connected. We pray to the Father to “forgive our debts,” for only a creditor can absolve a debtor.

<> We pray first for food, then forgiveness.

<> We ask God to supply our physical needs, then our spiritual needs.

<> We ask God to give food to us, then we give forgiveness to others.

As food is needed daily so is our need for forgiveness. Our sins somehow constrict the channel of His blessings and prevent us from enjoying even the ordinary things in life. Like having a full stomach, forgiveness brings satisfaction but a lack of pardon breeds spiritual starvation. Although He is our Father, we are His guilty children and we are caught with our hands in His cookie jar every day. By praying this, we show that we do not take His mercy for granted.

The Greek word for “forgiveness” refers to “sending something away; to dismiss it.” When we forgive someone, we are sending away their offenses, dismissing any wrong done to us. When God forgives our sins, He sends them away, as the use of the scapegoat in Leviticus 16 perfectly illustrates.

God forgave our past sins when we became born again. But our current sins must be confessed to God as well. By praying this portion of the Lord’s Prayer, we are asking for His constant forgiveness of the daily sins we commit. This clause of His prayer serves to remind us of our infirmities and should serve as an incentive to watchfulness.

In asking God to forgive us our debts, we acknowledge that our sins indebt us to God and it is a debt we cannot pay (Romans 8:12). Non-payment of our debt of sin accrues impending punishment. We beg His forgiveness in order that His obligation to punish us may be canceled. His only Son paid the price for our sins on the cross. He pled for the forgiveness of His murderers from the cross. Stephen reflected that same attitude as he was martyred (Acts 7:60). Here in the Lord’s Prayer, the same is demanded of us.

“As we forgive our debtors”

The use of the word “as” here does not imply that we earn merit because we forgive others nor that we are only to forgive others in the same exact proportion as they forgive us. We must forgive as God forgives, without reservation or hesitation.

When I forgive someone, they are no longer indebted to me. If someone “owes” me an apology, what is that compared to the enormous debt that I owe God? By forgiving others, I show that I understand Jesus’ teaching in 6:15, “If ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Through His daily forgiveness of my sins, He demonstrates that I am His child. By my forgiving others, I demonstrate that He is my heavenly Father.

If we seek to access the Father’s heart, we must also access the hearts of our brothers and sisters. By forgiving those who offend us, we do not change the Father’s heart: we meet His conditions for His forgiveness of our own sins.  In God’s economy, only forgivers can ask for forgiveness. Jesus teaches that it is unfair for us to ask for mercy from God without being willing to extend it to other human beings. With the privilege of prayer comes the responsibility to cancel the debts people owe us.

God demands that we put first things first:

<> After we get saved the blessings begin to come to us.

<> After we tithe then the windows of heaven are
        opened (Malachi 3:10).

<> We must first cast the beam out of our own eye.
Then we can see clearly to cast the beam
out of our brother’s eye (7:5).

<> Dealing with the topic of forgiveness in 5:25,
      Jesus teaches us to first be reconciled to
          your brother, then offer your gift to God.

<> This verse clearly teaches – we must first forgive others.
then we can expect our Father’s forgiveness.

We must get on speaking terms with others if we seek to be on speaking terms with God.

  “Lead Us Not Into Temptation”

This phrase follows very naturally after the one which preceeds it. After asking for forgiveness, the Lord’s Prayer pleads with God to keep us from those things which tempt us. Jesus turns now from the subject of past sins to the harsh realities of the danger of potential sins. While we need forgiveness for former sins, we also need protection from the temptations of tomorrow. By praying thus, we are telling God we do not want to be exposed to those things that cause us to sin and thereby offend Him.

Does this verse imply that God will cause us to be tempted? No, for James 1:13 clearly tells us that God tempts no one, but people are drawn away by their own lusts (internal desires) and enticed (external allurements). By praying “lead us not,” we acknowledge that God has ultimate control over all evil. Jesus would never ask us to pray this if the Father was powerless to help us. “Lead us” brings to mind a picture of a Good Shepherd, leading His flock in paths that are safe from harm. This prayer should teach us not to walk on dangerous cliffs. We are to pray that the Lord guides us onto paths where the lure of sin is not prominent. Of course, it is better to avoid sticky situations in the first place than to pray for deliverance after we get there.

By praying this phrase, we acknowledge the existence of evil desires all around us. This particular petition is a safeguard against presumption, for I admit my weakness. I confess my need for God to keep me out of potentially sinful situations. It is a cry for vigilance, to be alert and on our guard against satanic deceptions.

  “But deliver us from evil”

This phrase is linked so closely with the one preceding it, it is difficult to separate the two connecting thoughts. This type of prose is known as “antithetic parallelism”. We find this many times in the book of Proverbs. To ask God not to lead me into temptation and/or to deliver me from it, is actually one single thought. In the first part, the Tempter is in view: in the second part our Deliverer is in view.

“Deliver” here means “to snatch, seize or rescue quickly.” The plea is not for grace to endure temptations; but for grace to escape them. “Evil” here in Greek is actually “the evil one,” referring to Satan. Although the concept of evil is general, the devil makes evil very personal. We are praying for God to snatch us away from the snares of the evil one called “the tempter” (Matthew 4:3). Drawing people away from God is one of his favorite ploys. Reading the story of the temptations of Christ in Matthew 4 reveals his demonic strategy. Satan knows your weak points, so Jesus tells us to seek God’s help in circumstances where temptations are especially hard to resist.

But in a larger sense, evil here refers to the sum total of all moral wickedness. It includes all the shame, guilt and estrangement which damages one’s relationship with the Father. We pray for deliverance because the evil of sin results in heartache, pain, grief and separation from God. We pray to be rescued from the Evil One, and ultimately to be delivered from this evil world forever.

But whether the temptation comes from demonic influence or our own lusts, we must pray to be delivered from any powerful attraction which may lead us away from Jesus. We are not praying that we will have the power within ourselves to resist every temptation, for this petition expresses a healthy distrust in our own ability to resist evil. There would be no need to ask Him to deliver us if we could deliver ourselves. We are asking that God so order and direct our lives that we do not get into situations we are hard pressed to overcome.

We must pray to be delivered from Satan’s snares and traps, but we already know what he uses for bait. One can picture a person walking through a minefield of the temptations of this world…trying to get safely to the next world. Satan loves to see Christians step on landmines, but the Holy Spirit is faithful to direct our steps away from them. This final petition in The Lord’s Prayer expresses the ultimate desire of all Christians: to be permanently delivered from this world of evil and settle in His powerful and glorious kingdom forever. Amen.

The doxology of The Lord’s Prayer reminds us of I Chronicles 29:11:  “Thine, O Lord, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for…thine is the kingdom, O Lord, and Thou art exalted as head above all.”

The seven petitions in this prayer form a complete circle. They are wonderfully interwoven and interdependent. It opens by addressing God as Father and ends by recognizing Him as King of the entire universe. As we close The Lord’s Prayer, we ascribe to God all that is rightfully His, for thanksgiving and praise are the essential elements of prayer. We recognize His ability to supply daily bread, keep us from evil and to give us grace to forgive. As a result, we praise Him for His wonderful Name, kingdom and power and affirm our desire to perform His will. The final statement of the prayer is one that both praises God and pleads for Him to grant our requests. We thereby expresses faith that He will both hear and answer us.

But what does The Lord’s Prayer actually teach us?

1. That it is our duty to pray
2. That it is our privilege to pray
3. That we must accept His pattern for prayer
4. That our faith is built by prayer (Jude 20)
5. That we must be respectful, thankful and submissive
6. That God alone can control Satan and temptations

  “For Thine”

The little word “for” means “on account of” or “because” and is the connecting link of all previous thoughts, affirming all glory belongs to God. We acknowledge that He has the power to supply our needs, deliver us and answer our prayers.

  “is the Kingdom”

Throughout His prayer, we never lose sight of His heavenly kingdom (cf. v. 9, 10 & 13). Earlier we prayed, “thy kingdom come,” that His will be manifested in its fullness one day to all people. The word “kingdom” is always the same in the New Testament (basileia) and refers to the royal rule of a King. Although Satan is referred to as “the god of this world” (John 12:31), we recognize our King’s indisputable dominion of His everlasting kingdom.

  “and the power”

The word “power” is dynamis from whence we derive the word dynamite. In this context, it refers to the Supernatural Being with miracle-working powers and dynamic administrative ability.

It would be pointless to pray to a powerless God. By confessing that all power belongs to Him, we agree that He alone has the ability and willingness to answer our petitions. To accept this fact is to accept our own powerlessness and inability to answer our own prayers.

  “and the glory”

“Glory” is doxa and means “splendor and brilliance”. It refers to the awesome light that radiates from God’s presence and acts of power. For example, His glory is manifested in the Holy of Holies (Exodus 16:10) and on the Mount of Transfiguration ( II Peter 1:17). His return is always depicted as glorious (Philippians 3:21). Recognition of His glory should teach us to pray with the reverence and respect due His Name. His glory is simply the exhibition of His character and attributes, and is revealed in every way He has chosen to express Himself. This is especially true as it concerns the Person and work of His Son Jesus Christ (John 17:5).

But doxa also bespeaks “the honor that results from a good opinion.” Our opinion of God is tied to our faith and our faith is tied to our trust in Him to answer our prayers. It is for His own glory that He manifests Himself as the Answerer of our prayers. The glory of God—and not our own—is the supreme goal of all true intercession.

  “forever”

The last line of the prayer is a statement of trust that we will enjoy a glorious future with God. Confessing that everything is His eternally under His control gives our prayers focus. Since God is unchangeable, His glorious, powerful kingdom will be manifested throughout eternity.

  “Amen.”

This one word is a condensed petition in and of itself, expressing great expectation. It means “truly; so be it!” To say “Amen” is like an exclamation point at the end of a sentence. By concluding with an “Amen” we admit that we totally agree with what God has declared and that we mean serious business with God. It is great to finish our prayers with an affirmation that we really believe that God will communicate with us.

The sincere repetition of The Lord’s Prayer is a statement of faith that affirms that we understand and respect God’s priorities.

 

Maxim of the Moment

Love is blind, but marriage is an eye-opener.