Introduction to the Lord's Prayer
"In this manner, therefore, pray: 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 forgive our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen."
Jesus in these passages is giving us a model for prayer. A model base on faith and relationship, based on God's mercy, grace and love and not based on works or merit. With this model for prayer Jesus is further showing us that our prayer life is all about our relationship with God, and our heart for the things of God. Therefore, our prayer life is all about our heart for Jesus and what He means to us and what place He has in our lives. This model for prayer, given to us by our Lord as become a fixed part of Christian worship and prayer and it provides us a model by which we can strengthen our walk with Jesus and deepen our relationship with God, as we submit to the Holy Spirit's work in our hearts and minds.
There are two versions Jesus gave us, one was part of His Sermon on the Mount, and the other was in response to a direct question asked by His disciples. However, while both are similar with slight differences, the meaning is the same in both. And that is we approach God through faith alone as our dear Father in heaven. Moreover, as followers of Jesus, we know this is not only a privilege, but is something that is only possible because of the blood which Jesus shed for us on the Cross of Calvary. Jesus, who Himself is God, stepped out of eternity and took on humanity. In other words, Jesus did not mix His person as God with humanity, rather, He added humanity to His divinity, to forever remain fully God and fully man. Jesus did this for us in order that we, through our faith in Him could have a way to spend eternity with God the Father that was not based on the impossible tasks of self-righteous religious acts, that cannot reconcile us to a holy God.
The two versions of the Lord's Prayer as it has come to be known are...
"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 forgive our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen." (Matthew 6:9–13)
"Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us day by day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one." (Luke 11:2–4)
Though there are slight differences, both of these versions are based on the same two things, relationship and faith. A relationship with God the Father, that can only come through faith in God the Son, who is Christ Jesus our Lord. A relationship that is strengthened and maintained through our daily submission to, and guidance from God the Spirit, who is the Holy Spirit. This is important to understand because our salvation is not only a work of the Trinity, but we were also bought at a price, through the blood of Christ, which was shed for us, for the remission of sins. Therefore, we can be assured that by grace, for Jesus sake, God has chosen us in Christ, for salvation, to be conformed to the image of His son, before the foundations of the world was laid in place. Therefore, what God has done, is doing and will do to bring us to faith, preserve us in that faith, and bring us to eternal salvation, God has from eternity past, purposed and planned it. And God will conform us to the image of His Son, through the ongoing process of spiritual growth carried out by the Holy Spirit in our hearts, minds and lives, which we call sanctification.
Scripture taken from the Modern King James Version of the Holy Bible Copyright © 1962 - 1998 By Jay P. Green, Sr.
Elwell, W. A., & Beitzel, B. J. (1988). Lord’s Prayer. In Baker encyclopedia of the Bible (Vol. 2, p. 1350). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House.