Right interpretation of the most popular prayer among Christians will enhance the understanding of those who prays it. And as well having the right interpretation of the content of this prayer will do great service to Christians. The reality is that a wider range of people who prays the so called Lord’s Prayer do not understand it and do not know why they pray it.
And in the same vein many who are not praying cannot say for sure the reason for not praying it. Hence the cure to this unfortunate situation is putting in place a right interpretation of it. And by this, those who prays it will know if they should continue and those who do not will consider praying it or not. The Lord’s Prayer can be found in the gospels. It’s located in two out of the four gospels, namely Matthew and Luke. Let’s take from the gospel account of Matthew in the sixth chapter.
“After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.”
Right Interpretation Creates Better Understanding:
However, before we decipher the account of Matthew to draw out the right interpretation, we should verify the account of Luke as well. The account and rendering of Luke states thus below;
“And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples. And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth. Give us day by day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.”
It is very vivid from the Luke’s account and rendering that what prompted Jesus to teach His disciples these outlines of prayer was a request made by one of them. It shows that if the request was not made, Jesus probably wouldn’t have considered teaching them this outlines of prayer. Again another point to consider is the statement of one of his disciples which says “Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.”
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This is statement is very striking because in it we find out that the request was made because John has done so to his disciples. And here we don’t have the details of the prayer John taught his disciples. At least it would have helped us to compare the two prayers and possibly draw out better and right interpretation.
Right Interpretation – The Law Of Sin And Death:
However, Jesus taught His disciples these prayer outlines under the jurisdiction of the law of sin and death. This disqualifies these prayer outlines as New Testament prayers. This is very important to take note of, because the New Testament was conducted under the jurisdiction of the law of Spirit of Life. As a matter of fact to draw out the right interpretation from what Jesus taught His disciples we must come to terms with the fact that whatever Jesus did in the gospel was to fulfill the law of sin and death. This so called Lord’s Prayer was not the right prayer for believers. This is because it was taught to His disciples who were yet to believe in Him. Again Jesus put a disclaimer on this prayer when He made these statements to his disciples as stated below.
“I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you.”
Lord’s Prayer Not Part Of Spirit Of Life:
The implication of this statement above “I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now” means that the so called Lord’s Prayer is not important to the disciples. This is because it is not among the things Jesus said the Spirit of truth will tell His disciples. However, it is also important to note that most of the things said in this prayer outlines have been fulfilled. That is they’ve been fulfilled in Christ. Let’s examine them one after the other.
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In Jesus the name of God has been hallowed (John 12:28). Jesus has brought the Kingdom of God and it now exists in the believers. See Luke 17:20-21. The day Jesus accepted to die was the day the will of God was done on earth (Luke 22:42). As many that believed in Christ God has become their sufficiency (2 Corinthians 3:5). The death of Jesus Christ brought forgiveness of sin to all mankind and we were not forgiven because we forgave others (Ephesian 4:32, Romans 5:6). And God does not tempt anyone therefore does not lead anyone into temptation (James 1:13).
The Prayer Of Jesus:
The right interpretation of this so called Lord’s Prayer helps unveil the fact that it is not Jesus’s prayer. It is just a prayer outlines Jesus gave to his disciples. The only place it was recorded that Jesus prayed was in the account of John. This prayer is called Jesus’s high priestly prayer. In the account of John in chapter 17 He prayed and that prayer was the authentic prayer Jesus prayed. Furthermore, the Apostles in all their epistles never prayed this prayer outlines. In the New Testament, the prayers of Apostles are scattered in all the epistles and they don’t look like this prayer outlines. See Ephesians 1:16-20, 3:14-21, Colossians 1:9-14.
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