by K. P. Walker
Copyright 2017 by K. P. Walker
All rights reserved.
For personal use only. May not be printed for commercial purposes.
Discuss the contents and encourage your friends to get one too.
Cover by K. P. Walker
Praying Hands by Albrecht Dürer 1508, Wikimedia Commons
Distributed by Shakespir
You could ask, how does one pray, but that would be putting the cart before the horse. The first question that should be asked is – to whom should one pray? I laid out the answer to that in the free book entitled , but simply put it is to the one that has power and deserves glory. Everyone in this universe is going to die. The one that can save people from death deserves glory. The only God that can and has provided a way to have eternal life is the God revealed in the Bible. By an ingenious plan God became a man, the man Jesus. This man died the death we deserve to enable us to have eternal life that we don’t deserve. It is by faith in this man Jesus that we are incorporated into God’s plan to salvage us from eternal separation from him. [To find out more about this great plan read the by K. P. Walker.] The God that has the power to devise such a plan and that carries it out himself is the God that deserves glory. The God of the Bible says of Jesus, “This is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” So I also say, listen to him.
Jesus’ disciples (students) wanted to listen to him so they asked him how to pray (to the God that deserves glory). The Lord’s Prayer is profound because its simplicity disguises a grand scope. It’s not a prayer for everyone to use. It’s not for those that utilize prayer wheels, prayer flags or beads to say prayers by rote. It’s also not for the religious. Religious people are very pious and they religiously attend church, or mass, or assembly, or temple talks, but their efforts are empty because God does not accept prayers from those that attempt to self-righteously do “good” works to reach him or please him. Jesus spoke against this kind of religious self-effort, such as when he spoke to the Pharisees saying, “Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.” You see, the religious think of themselves as righteous because of their attitudes and actions, such as working for the causes of Global Warming, Social Justice, and world peace. But God does not respect actions that flow from a self-serving evil heart; he demands a change of heart. Yes, that means he wants the self-righteous to have a spiritual heart transplant. This is accomplished by repenting. Repenting is turning away from self-righteousness and through faith turning to Jesus. By this act of faith you will receive a new heart with a new righteousness (one you didn’t earn). Your spiritual rebellion (sin) will be forgiven. The efforts that will flow from this new heart will be pleasing to God.
Although Jesus was speaking to his disciples when he taught them how to pray, today through the Bible he is speaking to those with new hearts; these are his new disciples.
For simplicity sake I won’t make you search for your Bible to look up the Lord’s Prayer, I will recite the traditional version from Matthew 6 that I memorized when I was young:
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 that 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
for ever and ever. Amen
Yes, it’s old King James style but old KJ doesn’t require permission to print it like the modern versions of the Bible do. It would be good if you read all of Matthew chapter 6 to get all the pertinent supporting information given by Jesus when he taught his disciples to pray this prayer. Everyone should familiarize themselves with at least part of the preamble to this prayer. I’ll summarize it.
Pray in secret, in a private room with a locked door (if necessary) pray to your invisible Father who will reward you in public. Don’t be loquacious (unnecessarily wordy) or repetitious, meaning don’t pray using rote prayers (which could even include the “Lord’s Prayer”) repeated over and over as the overtly religious do. Your Father in Heaven knows what you need and want before you ask. This brings me to my first point.
If the Lord knows what we are going to say before we say it, why do we have to pray? Prayer is obviously not for God; it is for us. Remember, in the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus was praying all night (while his disciples slept). Why would HE have to pray? Because he was living in this world as a real man. [For a lot more on this read by K. P. Walker]
What did Jesus say when he prayed? First he told his disciples to pray that they don’t enter into temptation (meaning the temptation to abandon Jesus?). Then he went to a quiet place and prayed asking his Father to remove this cup (of suffering and death) from him. This was a very human request, but his faith made him continue as he said, “Not my will, but yours be done.” This is the true reason for prayer, to align the human will with the will of the Father. Human wills generally derive from nothing but selfishness. Jesus knew better since he knew there were hundreds of prophecies about what he would do, but in human form it was still (obviously) tough. When we pray we too know there are many prophesies about what will happen to those that don’t do God’s will and what the faithful will receive.
What is God’s will? God’s will is his Plan for Life, a plan that is good, that enables us to have life with him forever. [See: by K. P. Walker.] That plan has a fulcrum; that pivot point is Jesus. Jesus had to fulfill God’s plan or we would not have life. So Jesus entered into that plan by faith (and suffered brutal treatment as a result) but he was raised from the dead for our justification. And in him we will be raised also. [Why Jesus had the right to die for us is found in the book . No the answer is not because he was God in flesh.] Jesus died the death we all deserve and now through faith we can also walk by faith and walk in the will of God. Prayer is the means to strengthen us to seek his will and to do it.
So now you know that the “Lord’s Prayer” was given only to those that have repented (turned to Jesus) and currently walk by faith. That is why the first word of the prayer is “Our.” By faith we have become children of God (in Christ Jesus). So we can rightly say “Our Father.” In Christ God became our father. God is not the father of everyone on this planet, only of those that see him through Jesus. And it is only because of God’s love that we are even on a planet. [Read the free book by K. P. Walker to find out the reason for this universe and our occupancy here.] God is in Heaven; a place infused with life, not in this universe which is infested with death. The so-called gods of our planet belong to this universe, not heaven. They were created by fearful human minds, and many were invented by the adversary, the Devil, to confuse and further enslave faithless humanity. Do not confuse heaven with anything associated with this universe.
So now you know who belongs to God and where God resides. Yes, in Heaven, but God as the Holy Spirit (since Acts 2) also resides in those who trust him and walk by faith. The Holy Spirit now guides all God’s people. [To understand this in detail read by K. P. Walker.] So the Lord’s Prayer beginning identifies our citizenship, our God and his eternal kingdom. The next word is somewhat enigmatic and places us in an unfamiliar position. It is translated as hallowed. This is an adjective that means let it be holy, revered, or sacred. Hallowed be your name. This puts the disciple (you) in the position of elevating the name of “our Father” to an exalted level. But since most people know essentially nothing about God and nothing about making anything holy most are placed in a small bind. How does one hallow a name? Having anyone simply intone those words is not going to make it happen. In fact when the religious get hold of such an opportunity to hallow something they generally just make the name off limits to everyone but the priests. They may even change the spelling to make the name special. In truth, the only way in which a name is going to be made holy by me is for God himself to do it in me. And this is precisely what is being asked for in this prayer. Hallowed by thy name is an appeal to God to make his name revered in us. It could be expanded to say something like this. Because I have not the ability, intellect or insight to comprehend who and what you are I ask you to impart to me the reality of your inviolability and sacredness along with understanding of your moral perfection and undefiled purity. I want to comprehend your flawless love and peerless grace, which resulted in the unmerited favor in which you regard those of us in Christ. Only with your assistance I can grow properly to regard your name in a proper perspective with appropriate reverence.
And what is God’s name? He revealed it to Moses (I Am) and it provides a revelation of his nature (no beginning and never ending), a nature so impossible to our minds (and to our computers) that he personally had to declare its scope and magnificence. There are many names for God in the Old Testament each declaring some aspect of his magnificence. The power and glory of his name is rightly revealed in Jesus, the one who fulfills the prophecies of the Old Testament. He is the one teaching those who have had their hearts and minds transformed by the presence of God’s own spirit. He is the one that came from God, and although living as a true human, through God’s agapé love (giving love) is fulfilling God’s will. I Am has to be combined with all his other names to begin to define the full scope of his nature. So this request for I Am to sanctify his own name in us will help finite minds grasp infinity, in combination with love, grace, mercy, righteousness and life in Christ.
Thy kingdom come – now here is something everyone can grasp – an invisible kingdom. The words seem to correspond to the coming again of Christ, the Second Coming, a future kingdom, the Millennial Kingdom and that would be correct, but it is actually a double entendre speaking about an invisible kingdom also, a kingdom in the here and now. Matthew has Jesus speaking of two aspects of the here and now kingdom, the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Heaven. I will be brief here because this kingdom is dealt with fully in the book by K. P. Walker. So if you have already read Matthew 6 you will have seen that Jesus mentions the invisible kingdom in verse 33. Thy kingdom come is mainly about the kingdom within you. Do a word search in your favorite Bible application and you will be stunned at the number of times this kingdom is spoken of. When you first believe the Holy Spirit enters you and you enter the kingdom of God. The Lord’s Prayer is urging you to pray for this kingdom to come for many more people, for this is God’s will (plan) and you are aligning with that will. This leads to the next part of the prayer: thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. This is actually an extension of the Kingdom of God, for those in the kingdom by the guidance of the Holy Spirit do the will of God on earth as it is already having been done in heaven in the Plan of God. [For more on God’s plan read by K. P. Walker.] When we work according to God’s plan he is pleased and we are functioning as “sons of God” with the right to call God our Father.
Give us this day our daily bread is not speaking about food for our bodies. It too is speaking of the Kingdom. Daily bread is spiritual food. Its pattern is manna that the Children of Israel ate daily in the wilderness. There was never too much or too little. They only got what was needed, no more and no less. What is it? I don’t know any more than the Children of Israel knew. Manna means – what is it? (But if I were to guess I would say it is truth.) I can only assume that our spiritual manna is spiritually nourishing.
And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those that trespass against us. This is a tough one. God will forgive you if you act like his son and forgive others, thereby doing his will. Jesus was God’s son. From the cross he forgave those that crucified him. By his Spirit God wants us to always walk in his way, doing his will, and the only way to accomplish this is to keep focussed on God and don’t get distracted. God wants you to participate in the plan he established before the world was created.
Distractions will come in many forms and from many directions. The prayer continues, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. You will probably recall that Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness where he walked for 40 days. When he was hungry the devil came to tempt him. [Read more about this in ] Jesus overcame the temptations because he had had spiritual food to prepare him for this spiritual encounter. He once had told his disciples that he had food that they did not know of. He said his food was to do the will of his Father and to accomplish his work. This shows how things of this world, even the lack of food will not be a distraction if you are in God’s will.
Most versions of the Bible do not contain this line of the prayer: For thine is the kingdom, and the power and the glory forever and ever, amen. I will not go into the dispute between versions, nor do I question the authenticity of this sentence as part of the prayer because it is totally in concert with the content that precedes it. It starts with acknowledging that the kingdom is the Kingdom of God and it is his alone. The kingdom on earth is the Church and the kingdom in God’s sons is enabled by God’s Spirit. Only sons can enter this kingdom (There are no sexual distinctions to the Holy Spirit. Sexes are of this world only.) and all believers are sons in Christ Jesus.
1 Chronicles 29:11 is a verse that would fit nicely in the New Testament. Paraphrased King David says: To you Yahweh (preincarnate Jesus) belong greatness, power, and glory (beauty) and permanence (victory) and splendor for all that is in the universe and in heaven is yours, for yours is the kingdom and you are exalted above everything. Yes, his is the power and the glory forever. And as we, in God’s will, sons of our father in Christ look to the future we expect to see the son of man (Jesus) coming in clouds with great power and glory (Mark 13:26). And in Revelation Jesus is declared worthy to receive glory, power and great esteem. Note that there is no distinction in honor between the Father and the Son for in Revelation 5 every creature in heaven and everywhere said of the Lamb (Jesus) and of the one on the Throne (Father) Blessings, honor, might (power) be to them forever. And at the end of the Lord’s Prayer we mirror that future heavenly praise, saying power and glory are yours forever. The prayer is ended with amen which means truly or so be it.
This is not a prayer to disregard. The Lord’s Prayer is mighty beyond it’s simplicity and a worthy tool for God’s sons. Even though you put on all the armor of God you must not forget that prayer is meant to strengthen you and to set your feet on the path that is according to God’s will. God made his plan for you. [If you want to learn more about it read by K. P. Walker.] If you have not repented (turned to Jesus) then now is the time because time is running out. [Read by K. P. Walker for more on why this is the end of the end time.] Today is the day of your salvation, take this opportunity to become a son of God in faith. And if you are already a son of God take this opportunity to glorify his name as you abide in Jesus, the coming king.
For more information you can read the other free short books by K. P. Walker or you can purchase the inexpensive four-book Way to Life series that tells about God’s plan throughout the whole Bible. In the first book you will learn about the Old Testament and the prophetic meaning of the lives of several of the main personalities. You will also be shown a map God has provided to guide your own spiritual walk. The three other books follow the Plan for Life through the New Testament. examines the physical and spiritual life of Jesus and the Kingdoms of God and Heaven. presents instruction on how to life for the sons of God. is an exploration of Revelation and explains what 666 means. Of course you can always read the Bible for free on the internet, in any language you want.
God had made his Plan for Life an Emancipation Proclamation complete with implementation procedures. Follow them, for there is only one way to be freed from slavery to sin and that is through faith in Jesus.