Matthew 6:9-13 NIV
“This, then, is how you should pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, you will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one."
In the body of Christ, many refer to the words of Jesus in our theme verse as "The Lord's Prayer" (i.e. the prayer the Master gave His disciples to pray when they asked Him how they should pray); but that's not precise. A careful study of the scriptures reveals that there isn't anywhere in the Bible where Jesus Christ Himself refers to the prayer as "The Lord's Prayer" nor do the scriptures suggest it to be so. Jesus was merely providing an outline of prayer to His disciples.
Now, you may be wondering "Are we also expected to abide by this prayer outline?" Well, to obtain an answer, let's delve deeper into the Word of God.
Firstly, when we look at the prayer outline Jesus provided in response to the disciples' enquiry, it suggests that when we pray, we should begin by worshipping and praising God (e.g. Our Father who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name). This then advances to one having to say "... your kingdom come..." however, remember that pertaining the New Creation, it is written that God has called us to His kingdom and glory (1 Thessalonians 2:12 KJV), meaning that we are in His Kingdom already, and so we don't need to pray for His Kingdom to come; instead, we ought to celebrate and rejoice in the Lord, for He has brought us into His glorious Kingdom, Hallelujah!
Continuing, Jesus goes on to say, "Give us today our daily bread..." Again a question arises "Are we supposed to pray for provision?" Absolutely not! 2 Peter 1:3 informs us that "...His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness...." This means that there's absolutely nothing that we require that we don't have. No wonder Paul boldly proclaimed "All things are yours" (1 Corinthians 3:21)!
Moreover, the prayer outline also suggests praying for deliverance from the evil one, but we know from the book of Colossians 1:13 that God "...hath delivered us from the power of darkness" already. Praise God!
So the question then remains: is there a Lord's prayer? Emphatically yes.
John 17:1-23 shows an account of Jesus' Prayer to the Father. And glory to God it has already been answered today because Jesus' resurrection ushered us into the glories that followed His sufferings; God is in us and we are in Him. No wonder we are referred to as the chosen generation (1 Peter 2:9), Glory to God!
And we observe from the outline Jesus gave to His disciples that He never told them to pray in His name. The power and authority to pray and use the name of Jesus was only given God's children after the resurrection of Jesus. We have that glorious privilege of praying in and using His mighty name. Hallelujah.
Now you may be thinking "How then are we, the New Creation, expected to pray?"
Well, the Apostle Paul renders a new prayer template tailored for the New Creation in 1 Corinthians 14:15 which reads "...I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also." This shows us that we are to pray with the Spirit and with the understanding also. The key factor to note here is that tongues ought to be dominant when we pray, followed by prayer made in a language we understand—comprised of words inspired by the Holy Spirit, Hallelujah.
The Pauline prayers also act as a guide, showing us how we ought to pray as well as who we ought to pray for (e.g. for the saints, ministers, the church of Christ and the Gospel of Jesus Christ), Blessed be God.
Dear Father, thank you for giving me the Holy Spirit who helps and guides me in praying according to your perfect will. I acknowledge as well as take full advantage of the glorious benefits of Jesus Christ's resurrection. Always, I pray in the spirit and in understanding also, as the Holy Spirit gives me utterance, in Jesus' name. Amen.
1 Thessalonians 2:11-12 NIV
Colossians 1:13 NKJV
John 16:23 NKJV
Ephesians 1:15-21 NKJV
Ephesians 3:14-20 NKJV
Philippians 1:9-11 NKJV
Colossians 1:9-12 NKJV
Colossians 4:2-4 NKJV
Colossians 4:12 NKJV