The Lord's Prayer

Saturday, February 19, 2022
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Listen while you read: "Lead On O King Eternal"1 (Lyrics)

I have been saying the Lord's Prayer for more decades than I like to admit — more than six now. In its original form, it was passed on to the disciples for their training. Hence, it also holds true for us, as modern-day disciples.

Like so many, for me, it started off in primary school, where we were all taught to say it perfunctorily in morning assembly, along with "Good morning Mr./Mrs. …", etc. To avoid saying it perfunctorily ourselves, we need to think about what it means.

There has been much written about the prayer, breaking it down into its component parts. I want to share my brief overview about it that may help to engage us and make the saying of it more intentional rather than formulaic or a comforting ritual said in haste as we are off into the world.

It seems to me that the prayer comes in two parts, focused on God (Your) and then us/our (emphasis added):

Matthew 6:9-13 – Pray then like this: "Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on 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. (ESV)

(1) God is to be revered and worshipped as our Creator, and His kingship is to be recognized as real and over all. As Jesus' disciples, we are to ask and seek for His will and His kingdom to work in and through us unfettered, as it will be one day in paradise.

(2) We are to petition Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, as our Provider, to grant us provision for the day. As fallen beings, we will never be worthy in our own right to become residents of heaven. So, we can come to the Trinity only through the grace offered in Jesus. As we, being unworthy, have received mercy and grace, so we have no right or basis to withhold it from others. We have to be careful not to be drawn into things of the world that have their foundation in evil. God's justice is a separate thing to be prayerfully left in His hands.

Whether through fervency or habitual routine, Jesus hears our prayers and acts on them. That is a consequence of His dying on the cross. He chose us to work with Him, to be with Him, even when we fail to see His plan.

Prayer: Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for Thine is the kingdom, and the power and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.

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About the author:

Rod Marshall <>
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:


    Thank you.

    Thanks Rod.

    Thanks, Rod, for the good word.

    Thanks for some fresh thoughts on an old topic, Rod.

    In emergencies when emotion takes over, especially pain and sorrow, reciting the Lord’s Prayer brings comfort and peace.

    Thanks Rod, I enjoy having the formula of the devotional mixed up a bit. Instructional reflection is refreshing.

    Wow Rod, what a difference the emphasis makes! I used to stress ‘Thy will’ as so often, it seems we would rush through the words. Thank you for sharing! It makes a powerful difference!

    Greetings Rod and thank you for another excellent devotional. It sure took me back over the decades when we stood up in school every morning and recited the Lord’s prayer. Oh if only the students would be doing that these days, I’m sure there would be much less protests and disruptions happening in our world.
    Blessings for these writings you contribute and today’s really emphasizes the greatness of our Lord who deserves our reverence each and every day.

    Thank you, once again, Rod for this morning’s devotional.
    Last weekend was the football game of professional football (as we call it in the USA). The half-time show is always highly anticipated. This year it was Snoop Dog, Mary Kay Bilge, etc. Of course, most people over 50 thought it was awful. I suspect those “younger’ people found it entertaining. I mention these responses to you because as I sit in our worship and notice mainly grey hairs (or dyed!), it occurs to me that unless a person grows up in the reformed tradition, our way of worship is not going to attract younger people.

    Dear Rod,
    A good reminder to not do things by rote but to really think about what we are saying and doing. Thanks for the great reminder and the importance of The Lord’s Prayer in our lives.
    With the severe weather across England and Europe yesterday, I hope that you and your family were safe. I am glad that there was some warning that people could try to protect themselves and their property.
    Thanks for sharing with others so that we can all grow in our faith. Blessings.

    Thanks, Rod, for this devotional.
    It reminded me of the public-school principal of our then grade 7 son. He started every morning reciting the Lord’s Prayer over the school’s speaker system, even when it became politically expedient to cease starting the day that way. Eventually, he was informed to continue to do so would jeopardize his career. He proudly continued, feeling his beliefs were more important to him than what others thought about his beliefs.
    Perhaps it was because he was wel-loved in the community that the school board never came down harshly upon him. Maybe that love that the community had for him proved so pervasive that no one was willing to expose him.
    As a young father, this principal’s example of a faith so strong it was more important than his career, was (and has been) a lasting inspiration to me.

    Hi Rod,
    You got me with “The Lord’s Prayer”. It has always had a special place in my heart.
    My mother inherited an expanded copy of the prayer from her grandparents.
    I don’t know how old it is, but it was written in calligraphy on parchment.
    Unfortunately, I don’t have the original, but I have the words. It spoke to me because of what was in between the lines of the Lord’s Prayer.
    I hope you get as much comfort from it as I do.
    Bless you and thank you for touching my heart by emphasizing the Lord’s Prayer.

    Beautiful message Rod. Thank you.
    We are so used to repeatedly saying The Lord’s Prayer in Church that it becomes repetitive than actually praying the prayer.
    A couple of weeks ago a Supply Minister we had at Church decided to use a different translation of The Lord’s Prayer. He used the New Living Translation. Given it was not the exact words that we are used to, I found that it was more meaningful. I was glad he did that as it jerked us away from our praying this beautiful prayer by rote, thereby making it more meaningful.
    Thank you.

    I have a copy of the Lord’s Prayer that I have had for my years. When I read your devotion, I thought of it. God answers as the person is praying. Interesting and entertaining discussion.

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