Debbie is a student of Great Lakes Adventist Academy, a boarding high school of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
Today we're going to take a look at the Lord's Prayer to understand each of the different sections. Before that I do that, let's bow our heads for a quick prayer.
Dear heavenly Father, I thank You for this Sabbath day, and I thank You for everything You've done for us. I ask that You'll speak through me now. Please give me peace and help me to know that these words being spoken are not mine but Yours. I love You. In Jesus' Name. Amen
When I found out that I was going to be doing this on the Lord's Prayer, I got kind of excited. I love the Lord's Prayer. The Lord's Prayer is something that always has given me peace and kind of put me at ease. I've even gotten into the habit of after my morning and evening prayer of reciting the Lord's Prayer because I found out it gives me peace. When they told me I was going to be doing this, I got excited because I've always wanted to research it, but I really never had. I was excited to do that.
So I'm just going to start with Matthew 6, and the second part of verse 9. It says, Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your Name. I was reading a chapter out of Thoughts on the Mount of Blessing by EG White and it was a chapter all about the Lord's Prayer. It explains the Lord's Prayer. It says that "Our Father in heaven" is saying that He is our Dad, we're part of His family. I think that is so neat because when I recite the Lord's Prayer, I guess I've never thought about it's saying He's our Father and we're His children. We're all one big happy family. I just thought that was really neat.
And then, Hallowed be Your Name. "Hallowed" isn't a word I hear a lot. It is not even a word that is in the Bible a whole lot. It's kind of curious to find out exactly what "hallowed" meant, the definition. So I looked it up in the dictionary and it said, "To sanctify, to make holy, and to honor." So, pretty much what it's saying is, "we need to honor God's name." We need to remember that God's name is sacred and God's name is holy. We need to remember that God Himself is holy.
Hallowed is not a word we find a lot in the Bible. I was curious to find how many times how many time I could find it in the Bible. Besides the Lord's Prayer, I found it in only two other places. (It's found 22 time, only 2 in the New Testament.) One of them was in Isaiah 5:16. There again it talked about God. It talked about how holy God is. That we need to honor God, and how sacred God is.
The other place I found it was in Exodus 20:11 (KJV). You guys want to turn there with me? In there, it says, For in six days the Lord made the heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it. When I read that I thought it was really awesome. Besides talking about God Himself, the only other place it used, "hallowed" is when it's talking about the Sabbath. So, it's clear that we need to honor the Sabbath, we need to keep the Sabbath holy and remember how sacred it is. I thought that was really neat that He showed us so clearly how important the Sabbath is to Him, how special it is to keep the Sabbath day holy.
We're going to move on, now. Matthew 6:10. It says, Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Here again I was reading in the Thoughts on the Mount of Blessing in the part where it says, "Your kingdom come." It's talking about how, you know, obviously it's saying, "if we want Jesus to come again; we can't wait until He comes again to take us home, but that can not happen until we allow Him to use us, until we, of ourselves to be His servants. It says in the Bible, you know, that He is not going to come again until everybody has heard about Him. "Thy will be done on earth..." "As it is in heaven." How is that going to happen unless we help Him? Spread His Word. So, even though we want Him to come home the only way that can happen is if we become His and we spread His Word.
The other part: "Will be done on earth as it is in heaven." Now, whenever you read about heaven in the Bible, it's such a peaceful place. It's a place of harmony and peace and love. That's the only way to explain it.
One of the verses where it talks about that is in Isaiah 11:6-9. You want to turn there? Isaiah 11:6-9. The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze; their young ones shall lie down together, and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play by the cobra's hole, and the weaned child shall put his hand into the viper's nest. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. And there it talks about how peaceful and how awesome heaven is going to be. Can you think about it? It has the most vicious animals in here: the lion, the leopard, the wolf. Those are animals I would want to stay away from. I'm sure you would not want your kids around them. But yet, it says that the small child is going to lead them and everything will be fine. I just can't wait to be there. I think that's going to be an awesome sight: a little child leading a little lion around.
Also at the end of verse 7 it says, "...the lion shall eat straw like the ox." Again, that's just kind of a funny picture in my head; to see lions walking around eating straw. I think that is kind of neat. We're going to see that in heaven: lions are going to eat straw. They're not going to be interested in eating other animals. They're going to eat the straw.
I think that just shows how full of peace and how awesome heaven is going to be.
(Thoughts on the Mount of Blessings, p. 110. I just want to read something Ellen white says here. It says, "The petition 'Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven,' is a prayer that the reign of evil on this earth may be ended, that sin may be forever destroyed, and the kingdom of righteousness be established." So it just going back to how we're praying that soon God can come. We can get away from this sinful messed-up world and we can go to heaven where everything will be perfect.
Also, something I get out of this part is, not only wanting God to come again but also God is telling us that He wants us to have that peace on this earth. He wants us to have that love, even on this earth. Yeah, the world is full of sin and we know it can't be perfect. But we can love one another and we can show that love to people who don't even care about us. And I also get that out of this. I get that God is saying that, "Remember to have peace with your friends, with your family. Remember to love them, because that is important.
The first part that we just talked about of the Lord's Prayer, that's talking about honoring God's name and keeping His name holy, keeping it sacred. The rest is talking about asking for different needs, our certain needs. You guys may want to read again Matthew 6:11. It says, "Give us this day our daily bread." Of course bread is something edible, it's something we need to survive. And God supplies us with all of that. He always supplies us with the food we need, the shelter we need, things like that of course.
But also what I get out of this is deeper than that. It's not just the physical survival. It's a lot deeper than that. You guys want to turn to John 6:27 and 51. It says there, Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him." Verse 51, I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; And the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world." That is the most important bread. We need bread to survive, edible bread, yes, but the Word of God, God's flesh, That is what this is really about. He supplies us with the knowledge we need to understand His Word. He supplies us with the understanding of things that are very difficult, a lot of difficult things in His Word, but He helps us to understand that. We need to ask for that. We need to ask daily that He will come into our hearts, and daily that he will help us understand those things that we just can't comprehend.
Let's move on. Matthew 6:12. "And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors." Now, this is the only part of the Lord's Prayer where Jesus mentions that again right after He's done reciting the Lord's prayer in verses 14 and 15. For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
"But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses."
What that shows me is forgiveness is a really big deal to God. It's not something He wants us to take lightly. He does not want us to toss it aside like it's no big deal. Forgiveness is something we need to remember that is important to God and it is something I struggle with a lot in my life. When I was younger, there's a lot of things from my past, from my home and stuff, I had to forgive. My dad hadn't quite learned how to love yet and it was kind of hard for me to deal with that. I held this bitterness in my heart for the longest time against those things that happened. I just thought, "God doesn't want me to forgive. Why would he want me to forgive somebody that would do that to me and my family? What would it accomplish?"
Last year at a Bible camp, the whole thing was about forgiveness. They talked about how important forgiveness is. And it just hit me. It is important. I found it in my heart to forgive my dad for those things. And when I did, you can't imagine what peace... It was all through me. It took such a burden off my heart and I realized that God isn't asking us to forgive because it makes Him happy. Yes, it does. It makes Him happy, but He's asking us that, because he knows it puts peace in our hearts. He knows it will make us happy when we forgive others who have done us wrong. The only way He can forgive us is if we can understand that forgiveness and if we forgive others.
He says in Psalm 86:5, For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, and abundant in mercy to all those who call upon You. God is so ready to forgive you. When we forgive, so often it's 'Ah, we'll forgive you if you do this.' Or, 'We'll forgive you for the time being, but later on I'm going to bring it up and throw it in your face.' That's how all of us so often forgive, but God doesn't do that. As soon as we call on Him, He is ready to forgive right then. He throws it away and never thinks about it again. That is so awesome to me. To think that He doesn't pull up these things that we've done in our past to put against us. He doesn't want to do that. He just wants to forgive us when we call on Him.
Okay, Matthew 6: 13, the beginning part. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. Now, this world is full of a lot of temptations. There are lots of things: entertainment with friends and even little temptations. You know, stress, being angry, such things like that. This world is full of it. Everyone, turn to 2 Peter 2:9. then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment. He knows how to deliver us. We can't deliver ourselves from temptation. Even though we may try over and over again, and think that we have the power somewhere within, we don't. We can't do it. The only way it can happen is if we go to God and understand that He knows how to deliver us from temptation. He knows how to help us through each of those struggling times, no matter how minute it seems. He knows how to get us through it.
Also, in 2 Timothy 4:18, it says, And the Lord will deliver me from every evil work and preserve me for His heavenly kingdom. To Him be glory forever and ever, Amen! He wants to deliver us. He is waiting to deliver us to take us home with Him. All we have to do is call on Him.
Now let us continue. Matthew 6:13, the rest. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen. Here it just shows me how beautiful heaven is going to be. It's going to be forever. It's not something that's going to happen into it. It's going to be forever. I know that is something that is very hard for all of us to comprehend. We can't think about forever. Everything has an end on this earth. When I was younger, I used to really get scared when I think about it. 'Ah, you can't live forever. It can't happen.' I remember one night, I was in my bed and thinking about it. I prayed, "God, help me to understand this. Somehow, give me peace. I know I can't understand, but give me that peace I need so it doesn't bother me so much." And the simple thought instantly...it just came to my mind. It's simple, you know: Would you want to die forever? It's kind of, like, that's so true. Would I rather be dead forever or would I rather be in a perfect place forever in heaven with my Creator? Even though it's hard for us to comprehend, forever, we still know that it is going to be wonderful and it's going to be awesome. And that's all that matters.
If you want to turn to Isaiah 51:6, it says, Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look on the earth beneath. For the heavens will vanish away like smoke, the earth will grow old like a garment. And those who dwell on it will die in like manner; but My salvation will be forever, and My righteousness will not be abolished. That is just stressing that it is going to be forever. It's never going to end.
The whole Lord's Prayer; all it does for me is just help me understand how much God cares for us, and how much He wants to be there for us, if we will just call on Him. If we'll just say, "God, please help me through this temptation. Please help me to forgive this person. Please give me the knowledge to understand something in the Bible that I can't understand." All we have to do is call on Him. He's there for us. He's waiting to take us home. He wants to take us home.
When I was working on this, I was talking to one of my friends, and she said, "You know, you can't go home with a stranger. So, you need to get to know God in order to go home." And that's so true. How many times have our parents told us, you know, "Don't get in a car with a stranger. Don't go anywhere with strangers." It's true. If God is a stranger to us, we won't want to go with Him. So we need to get to know Him inside. I pray that each one of you guys will do that, and I'll see you all in heaven.
Hymn of Praise: #522, My Hope is Build on Nothing Less Scripture: Matthew 6:9-13 Hymn of Response given by GLAA choir.
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last updated 2/26/2001 by Bob Beckett.