Wednesday, December 29, 2021

The Lord's Prayer (Luke 11:1-4)

He said to them, “When you pray, say: ‘Father, hallowed be Your name, Your kingdom come’ ” (Luke 11:2).

The disciples knew the Psalms and other prayers from the synagogue services. When they asked Jesus to teach them to pray, they were not asking how to have contact with God. They were asking Him to act as their rabbi and give them a prayer He Himself had composed. This was customary among the rabbis, and from what the disciples say, it appears that John the Baptist had composed such a prayer for his disciples.

Jesus begins His prayer with a scandal. The Jews never addressed God as Father. There is no example of any Jewish prayer that addresses God as Father until the 10th century A.D. God had not told the Israelites to call Him Father, though He had told them that He was their Father back in Exodus 4:22. Jesus, however, always addressed God as Father, and this was because He is the only-begotten Son of God. Now Jesus extends this privilege to all believers. By adoption, we are children of God, and are encouraged to call God Father.

The Lord’s Prayer, thus, is given as a ritual prayer for us to use in corporate worship, as we address the King in His court, and also as a model prayer for us to use as an outline.

As we have seen, Jesus begins with adoration. He expresses a triune petition that God be everywhere adored. First, we are to ask that God’s name be hallowed on earth as it is in heaven. We pray that all men everywhere respect God as Creator, Lord, Judge, and Father. Second, we ask that God’s kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven. We ask that all men everywhere submit to the lordship of God the Son, Christ the King. And we ask that God’s will be done on earth as it is in heaven. We ask that all men everywhere come under the guidance and influence of the Holy Spirit, becoming doers of God’s Word and builders of His kingdom.

Then we pray for ourselves. We ask that we be given daily bread, the energy to help make God’s kingdom visible on earth. This includes both real food and also the “hidden manna” that sustained Jesus throughout His life (John 4:32; Revelation 2:7, 17; 3:20). This is also part of our prayer that God’s name be adored throughout the earth.

What do you pray for when you say, “Your kingdom come”? You are praying for the manifestation of the sovereignty of God, that His kingship will be honored by all men. List some specific things you should pray for that come under “Your kingdom come.”