Helping to Understand the Lord's Prayer

Updated on August 6, 2018
Marion Barnett profile image

I am a retired teacher and facilitator of a popular self help program. I enjoy being in nature and helping people in any way.

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The Lord's Prayer. If you are like me you pray this prayer daily. The problem is that we know the prayer so well that we can recite it without giving it much thought. That's not how it is meant to be prayed. I believe that when Jesus taught us this way of praying it was to help us to grow closer to Him, not just to randomly say the words. Through a lot of research, I have come closer to discovering the meaning of the words in the prayer and hopefully I can help others to have a more meaningful prayer life.

And when you pray....

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First of all, Jesus tells us to find a quite place where we are alone to pray. Remember, God can hear your prayers no matter where you are, so if you are in nature or maybe just your bedroom or office He will hear you.

The prayer begins by stating, "Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name." Let's look at what is being said. Our Father, a father is someone who cares for us and who is also responsible for creating us. When we pray this way we are acknowledging that He is the one who created us from heaven above. A father will love us no matter what we do. Sure, he may be disappointed in us sometimes but he never stops loving and caring for us.

Hallowed be thy name, the definition of hallowed is honored or holy. So in the first statement of the prayer we are acknowledging that God is our true Father who lives in heaven and that we consider his name as being holy.

"Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven." Here we are asking that God fulfill His promise of coming again. God rules heaven and earth and we are asking that the earth is governed by the same rule as is heaven.

"Give us this day our daily bread." God knows the things we need to survive in this world. Food, water, shelter, clothing, companionship are all things that help us survive each day. We are asking Him to continue to provide us with these things now and in the future. We sometimes forget that He provides these things when our lives are going well, but when things start to go bad and we lean on Him He never leaves us.

Forgiveness

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"And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors." This says a mouthful. We are not just asking God to forgive us, but to forgive us just as we forgive other people. I have often heard people say, "I forgive but I can't forget." If you can't forget something then you have not forgiven the person who caused you to feel this way. In this world people will continue to do you wrong. Do we really want God to show the same forgiveness as we show others? That's what we are asking for in this part of the prayer.

"And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil." First of all, God does not ever lead us to temptation, Satan does. God wants what is best for us and he will never lead us down the wrong path. He will always keep us on the straight and narrow. Everything that happens to us causes us to make choices. If we ask, God will give us the right path to take and if we follow His advice He will deliver us from evil. It's when we go against His instructions that we get in trouble.

Pray

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When you next pray the Lord's Prayer, don't just recite it, pray it. It is very easy to just say the words but think deep. The Lord is always listening and wants to be able to spend time with you in prayer. When you pray, think about each word and it's meaning.

Questions & Answers

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      • Miebakagh57 profile image

        Miebakagh Fiberesima 

        4 months ago from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA.

        Hello Mario, you are always welcomed. Have a nice time on HubPages.

      • Marion Barnett profile imageAUTHOR

        Jeff Reed 

        4 months ago from Alabama

        Thanks Mary. As always I enjoy your comments. I do however, have no problem attaching the name God to our higher power. I do think He is responsible for all things in this world. Thanks also to Mienakagh for your insight.

      • Miebakagh57 profile image

        Miebakagh Fiberesima 

        4 months ago from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA.

        Blonde Logic, Good talk. No nation can be exempt from this ignorance. The Devil has capitalized on this ignorance and make many captive. They cry, like the Athenians, will make God break the blindness from the eyes.

      • Blond Logic profile image

        Mary Wickison 

        4 months ago from Brazil

        Thank you Jeff, like three keys, I believe there is a higher power, but struggle attaching the name of God to it. Your reminder is a good lesson in mindfulness, and being present, even in our quiet times.

        Great lesson for all of us.

      • Miebakagh57 profile image

        Miebakagh Fiberesima 

        4 months ago from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA.

        Hi Jeff. it's okay.

      • Marion Barnett profile imageAUTHOR

        Jeff Reed 

        4 months ago from Alabama

        Miebakagh

      • Miebakagh57 profile image

        Miebakagh Fiberesima 

        4 months ago from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA.

        Hello ThreeKeys, it happened to me also. But the muscle I developed is to turned to God of heaven and earth completely for my salvation, safety and protection. I mean Jesus becomes my over-all boss in life. So, I know for sure that my prayers are always heard and answered by God. I am no longer a roll-coaster in prayer. Get it.

        @Jeff, re-consider your latest comment. Are you addressing ThreeKeys or Miebakagh?

        Many thanks to both of you, and enjoy the days leisurely.

      • Marion Barnett profile imageAUTHOR

        Jeff Reed 

        4 months ago from Alabama

        Thanks Elijah for your feedback. I always enjoy hearing your thoughts and feel that I can learn from you.

      • Miebakagh57 profile image

        Miebakagh Fiberesima 

        4 months ago from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA.

        Hi Elijah, all that you said is true. I even agreed with all that Jeff wrote. I am a believer in the word of God. I always relied on the word of God, and it is my yardstick to weight every argument. The man did not received real peace. He just got angry and throw away the wine. He needs further help. Thank you...and I hope he has got it really peacefull in the Lord. Amen.

      • The0NatureBoy profile image

        Elijah A Alexander Jr 

        4 months ago from Washington DC

        Jeff, saying He is the one who created us from "heaven above" is a misrepresentation of the Christ's meaning. He told us in Luke 17:21 "the kingdom of God is within" us so that statement is why we don't realize "our father" is within us and causes us to need another human to tell us what "our father" wants us to do. Christ told us to enter our closet to pray so as not to be heard or seen by man suggests pray within yourself so the god who heard in secret can reward you openly. Still we don't hear him staying heavens within each individual.

        With god being within us of course he cares about us and everything we do but because we don't have "circumcised ears" to hear god's voice from within ourselves we pray to an unknown god in an unknowable kingdom in the sky. Why else would Christ say "love the lord with all thy heart, soul, body, mind and strength and your neighbor as yourself" without telling us to love ourselves? God is our own "higher power" as "AA" calls it.

        While in Florida in December 1978 an alcoholic who claimed not to have been sober for either 6 or 16 weeks stopped me and asked me to help him become sober again. He had a unopened gallon of wine and for an hour or more we talked and every 5 minutes or so he would ask for help and I'd say "talk to your higher power." At the end he took the wine and flung it against a brick building shattering the bottle and returned crying and praising god because he did what he had heard from within. We spent the night together and the next morning I took him to breakfast where he ate hardily and didn't have the "DTs" or shakes so he praised himself for obeying and god for freeing him from his condition. That is evidence to me of what Christ meant, even in "the lord's prayer" as we call it.

        Peace.

      • profile image

        threekeys 

        4 months ago

        I never knew the Lord's Prayer even though it was the very first prayer I learnt at Sunday scool and the prayer I repeat as a mantra when I am in a hard place or facing a difficult decision.

        Intellectually I dont believe in a God but I think there is some Intelligent energy that is reflected through nature, animals and sometimes in humans some of the time, that wants me to call out to it for either understanding or protection. Sometimes it feels like my call has been heard. Other times it feels like my call hasnt been heard but I nevertheless grow a tiny muscle of faith in the moment that gets me through to the next day.

        Peace and Happiness to You.

      • Marion Barnett profile imageAUTHOR

        Jeff Reed 

        4 months ago from Alabama

        Thanks for your comment. God is always with you.

      • Miebakagh57 profile image

        Miebakagh Fiberesima 

        4 months ago from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA.

        Thanks, Jeff for this reminder. Althought I am seeking God for his help and grace daily, I will always keep the ideas in mind when I pray.

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