This short statement that was made by Jesus when HE taught on the Sermon on the Mount brings us to understand that HE established the standard for PRAYER. Jesus said IN THIS MANNER, THEREFORE, PRAY: (Matthew 6:9a NKJV). Itís very important that we bring out this fact, because we must realize that itís not your Pastor, Faith-Writers or me who is trying to persuade you to PRAY. Itís Jesus who is challenging HIS audience to PRAY.
Outlining the PRAYER
I would like to outline the Our Father Prayer and then share several facts that we need to know about this Prayer that the Holy Spirit revealed to me over 21 years of studying it and Praying it and teaching it to others. Iím using the New King James Version of Matthew 6:9-13;
In this manner, therefore, pray:
Our Father in Heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
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.
Explaining the Facts about this Prayer
1. This Prayer is still a Powerful PRAYER. We can still use it today. The only thing is we need to include the name of Jesus at the end. Finishing the PRAYER off with something to this effect;
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever Father, in Jesusí name amen.
Why do we have to include Jesusí name after the PRAYER? Jesus restructured the principle of PRAYING just before He was about to be crucified during the last supper and on His way to the Garden of Gethsemane with His disciples.
In John 14:13-14 NKJV, Jesus said, and whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.
Allow me to be very clear about this point, when Jesus spoke to His disciples about this new approach to PRAYER with His name being included. It was in reference to the GREATER WORKS CONCEPT that HE was trying to explain to them in John Chapter 14:7-14 NKJV.
And then later on as we read the book of Acts 4:24-31, we read about how the Apostles PRAYED by using Scripture from the Old Testament to parallel their situation to what Scripture already said they will encounter and by including Jesusí name to access the Power of GOD OUR HEAVENLY FATHER.
What relationship does this OUR FATHER PRAYER has to do with the instructions that Jesus was giving His disciples in John 14:13-14 and how the disciples Prayed in Acts 4:24-31 you might ask? Youíre basically asking for the same thing! When we say, Your kingdom come, Your will be done (Matthew 6:10 NKJV). Do we realize the meaning of what we are requesting? Your kingdom come means-His Glorious Power thatís invisible to be manifested by the Holy Spirit on the earth Super-naturally, and have an impact in the physical realm. In the book of Acts His Glorious kingdom came down with Power and filled the Apostles and shook the earth. (This is the actual application and experience of the request for Godís Kingdom to come). Meditate on this!
2. The other facts that we need to point out is the religious approach we must NOT PRACTICE. Jesus said; 1) We should not be Hypocritical by standing in the streets or in services and showing off that we are spiritual by praying out loud to get peopleís attention(Matthew 6:5 NKJV). 2) We should PRAY privately (Matthew 6:6 NKJV). 3) We should not use vain repetitions or speak a lot thinking God will hear us if we say it over and over or share the whole story of our situation in prayer (Matthew 6:7 NKJV). 4) We should be confident that OUR HEAVENLY FATHER knows what we need before we ask HIM! (HELLO) (Matthew 6:8 NKJV).
My Testimony with this PRAYER
When I was about 8 or 9 years old I was brought to the Catholic Church to do my communion (which by the way has nothing to do with the Biblical Practice of Communion). I was supposed to attend classes for about 6 weeks. We would start with a few Hail Mary Prayers (thatís not in the Bible) and then the OUR FATHER PRAYERS that was word for word in the Bible. We were taught to recite it, memorize it, and pray it for protection and forgiveness.
They never taught me what Jesus said about being repetitious about PRAYER, that we are not suppose to repeat it over and over (Matthew 6:7 NKJV).
They never explained what is Hallowed be Your name.
They never explained Biblically what is Godís kingdom like or how can we experience it.
They never explained to us, what is Godís will that needed to be experienced on earth as it is in heaven.
Knowing What Youíre Praying
Jesus taught the Sermon on the Mount with detailed practically that the scribes and religious leaders of His day could not teach with clarity. Jesus taught with Authority and they were astonished (Matthew 7:28-29 NKJV).
Jesus explained clearly that OUR HEAVENLY FATHER knows what we need before we ask HIM. So this should send a shock-wave of revelation into our hearts about our approach to Prayer. We should know before we Pray that OUR FATHER is aware of the situation weíre in, HEíS aware that we donít have a job, HEíS aware that we are backed up on our bills and rent, HEíS aware that the Pastorís son is trying to have sex with your daughter, HEís aware of the fact that unless you do what you need to do you wonít be able to pay your bills and you know itís wrong but youíre trying to survive. HE knows your problem, He knows your trying hard to be a good Christian but you just want to slap your co-worker silly and cuss them out.
This is why Jesus said to PRAY THIS WAY or IN THIS MANNER PRAY!
OUR FATHER IN HEAVEN- HEíS in HEAVEN looking down on earth to show HIMSELF Strong on your behalf (Psalm 33:13-15 NKJV) HE is fashioning our hearts to learn to deal with each other.
Hallowed be Your name-HIS name is MIGHT, POWERFUL, HIS name is not to be used in a cuss word or taken for granted. The children of Israel new Godís name EL-The Strong One, ELOAH-The Mighty One, ELOHIM-The Almighty, JEHOVAH ďHE ISĒ-the SELF-EXISTING ONE, ADONAHY-LORD and there is many more names and attributes we have that give us a sense of awe and respect to who HE is and what HE does.
Your kingdom come-we are to request HIS POWER, HIS MIGHT, HIS Divine abilities to enable us toÖ
Your will be done- so we may do HIS WILL not ours. Jesus applied this in HIS PRAYER when HE was seeking to be delivered from the upcoming arrest, torture and crucifixion. Jesus said nevertheless not as I will, but as You will (Matthew 26:39 NKJV).
The practical application could not be any clearer when it comes to praying in-line with the OUR FATHER PRAYER. However, notice that we may use only parts to this PRAYER that fall in-line with our situation. For example, look again at Jesusí PRAYER in Matthew 26:39 NKJV. Jesus used only 2 lines of the 10 lines we have in this PRAYER; that was MY FATHER, and not as I will, but as YOU will.
This is another revelation that we have in Scripture to use this OUR FATHER PRAYERónot repetitiously but maturely as we grow to properly PRAY with the Biblical examples that was given to us in Scripture. We can use small portions of this PRAYER to zero in and narrow down our request because OUR FATHER doesnít want a song and a dance with PRAYER. HE desires it simple.
I will continue to share more on this Prayer in my next article God willing, amen.