As I promised at the end of the Ten Commandments course, in this new term I will be starting a new series on the Lord’s Prayer. Through the last 2000 years, countless Christians have learned how to pray using the Lord’s Prayer: although there are many prayers in the Bible, there is only one prayer which is given as a model to us by the Lord Jesus himself.
You can find the prayer in the Bible in Luke 11 or Matthew 6 (in the Sermon on the Mount). The prayers are slightly different to each other and probably a little different to the version you might be familiar with.
This is the version of the prayer from Matthew. Here Jesus uses ‘debts’ instead of ‘sins’ and ‘the evil one’ is used instead of ‘evil’:
“Our Father in heaven,Matthew 6:9-13
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your 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.”
For many people throughout the world – Christian or not – these will be familiar words. But, despite their familiarity, they still have much to teach us about how we should pray. This short prayer helps us to know how we should relate to God every day.
Starting next week we will be working slowly through the prayer, line-by-line, to see what we can learn about how to approach God and how we should pray.
If you can’t wait until next week, you might like to watch this session on prayer as part of the How to Live as a Christian course.