Verses for June 2007: The Lord's Prayer
we are memorizing Matthew 6:9-13, the Lord’s Prayer, though many of you
have it memorized already:
Pray then like this:
Our Father who art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done
earth as it is in heaven
Give us this day 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 evil.
Thine is the Kingdom and the power and the glory, forever. Amen
When we say
Our Father (6:9) we imitate
Jesus and call on the transcendent Source and Sustainer of our being. We
call on God just as children call on their father. The fatherly title
reminds us of God’s power and protection, but we may also think of God
in motherly images as well (e.g., Isa 66:13; 49:15). When we say, “Our
Father,” we affirm our communal, non-individualistic, status as children
of God’s family. (See
Can we call God, "Father"?)
The first three petitions focus on
God—thy name, thy kingdom, thy will—and also
expresses our commitment.
In the first petition,
we commit ourselves to hallow or
honor God’s name, just as Moses honored God on holy
ground when God manifested himself as “I Am who I Am” (Exod 3:14).
In the second, we
affirm our desire for God’s kingdom
to come, especially as Jesus described it in the
beatitudes (Matt 5:3-12).
In the third, we
dedicate ourselves to God’s will,
making God’s reign (in heaven) a here-and-now reality (on earth).
This includes enacting Jesus’ six initiatives regarding
reconciliation, adultery, divorce, truth-telling, peacemaking, and
love of enemies (Matt
The second four petitions focus on
us—give us, forgive us, lead us not, and deliver
In the fourth petition,
we ask God to give us bread.
We’re asking God to meet our needs, including basic needs, but also
higher needs like love, justice, and peace.
In the fifth, we ask
God to forgive us of our
“debts” (opheilēma). Literally, it refers to what we owe
financially. Figuratively it means “trespasses” (Matt
6:14-15). Luke’s version has
“sins” (hamartias). This petition implies that forgiveness is
conditional; if we forgive, we are forgiven (see Matt 5:7; 6:14-15).
In the sixth, we ask
God not to allow us “to be tempted”
(RSV). The Greek word, peirasmos, can also be translated “the
time of trial” (NRSV) or “temptation” (RSV).
In the seventh, we ask
God to rescue us from “evil”
or the “evil one.” Either translation is permissible.
Finally, the last line on the Prayer
is in italics, indicating it was probably not in the original
prayer that Jesus taught. The earliest manuscript that includes that
line dates from the fifth century (the Washington Codex).
May the word
of Christ dwell in you (Col