The Most Powerful Prayer for Me
Updated: Feb 5
Years ago, I heard a Christian refer the Lord’s Prayer, Matthew 6: 9-13, as a prayer for children. True most of us were taught this prayer almost as soon as we could speak. We were able to recite in for as long as we remember ourselves. But, I’m quite sure that there was a time when we didn’t know the meaning of the words even though we knew the words and could recite it whenever appropriate. But when I heard Matthew 6:9-13, the Lord’s Prayer that I was taught, being referred to as a child’s prayer, I realized that I too thought of it being a simple or childlike prayer.
The fact that I thought this was very unsettling to me. Jesus was not a man who talked “down” to people. He valued and loved each person in that crowd in Galilee. I knew I must be missing something in that prayer. So, I decided to “unpack”( as much as I could) the words of the Lord’s Prayer to get a better understanding of what this seemingly “childlike prayer” was all about. This is what I came up with.
“Our Father which art in heaven”. Wow! Jesus is giving us permission to call God ‘our father’. He established the relationship between God and us. The one who created the world, the one who breathed into us the breath of life, the one who is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, Savior of the world, Omniscient, all knowing God, Omnipotent, The all-powerful God, the Omnipresent God, This God, is my Father! What have I to fear? Think about all the characteristics of God. That is who my father is! Think about the love of our earthly father or for some, the love we would want from our earthly father, and multiply that by more numbers we can imagine. And that’s exactly how much God loves us. Because of that kind of love we can truly trust.
“Hallowed be thy name” Hallowed means Holy. Our father is Holy. We are a part of his inheritance. A part of his holiness has been imparted to us. Because he is our Father, we have inherited a portion of his holiness. 1 Peter 1:16 states “for it is written ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy’.”
“Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven.” Jesus gave us the privilege to ask God to have his will be done in us. Since our momentary home is earth, when God’s will is done in earth it is done through us. The idea of having God’s will be done in us as it is done in heaven is too much to understand. It is beyond what can be imagined. Can you really imagine heaven and God’s will in heaven? My mind is too small to comprehend. But the joy I feel when thinking about this is overwhelming!
“Give us this day our daily bread”. Jesus answered Satan by saying “Man cannot live by bread alone (Matthew 4:4).” So we know that “our daily bread” represents all, I say all, that we need for daily nourishment. We need air, we need food, we need to love others, as we need others to love us, we need rest, we need to feel valued and we need to value. We may need courage, compassion, strength. Whatever we need, to be nourished for the day, Jesus gave us permission to ask. Matthew 7: 1 “Ask, and it will be given you…”
“And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors”. I think this gives each one of us the opportunity to look at our humanness. None of us are perfect. We hurt others just as others hurt us. And, in fact, some of our hurts are so intense that it may seem too difficult to forgive. But, because God is our Father, we can go to Him and ask for help in forgiving. This demonstrates how important it is for us to forgive, because we want God to forgive us. God’s forgiveness rests upon our forgiveness.
“Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.” God does not tempt. However, we are tempted. That is one of Satan’s purposes. And there are times we even fall into temptation. But guess what? We have a savior! We can ask for daily deliverance.
For God is the kingdom, and God is the power and God is the Glory forever. And He our Father.
When I say this prayer now, I get excited. It identifies who I am. It gives me permission to ask God for what I need. It gives me the assurance that God is