With Father’s Day approaching, I thought it would be a good time to look at the Lord’s Prayer – Our Father who art in heaven… Following is from my archives – a brief teaching I put together for our homeschool group several years ago.
Our Father who art in heaven
For you have not received the spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out Abba! Father! The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God. Romans 8:15-16
We are adopted children of God, our Father. I grew up in a dysfunctional family, but one truth my dad taught me was that family is family, and no matter what one does or doesn’t do, they are still a part of the family and will always be loved and accepted. We may get irritated with one another, exasperated, or feel any other of the myriads of emotions that go along with being closely associated with one another, but we will never quit loving and can never stop being family. In our fallen world this truth isn’t always applied, families do fall apart, relationships are torn asunder, but with God things are different. If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him! Matthew 7:11
We are part of God’s family now. Our Father who art in heaven allows us to call him Abba, ‘Daddy.’ We will never be alone, forsaken, or displaced. This world may get rough, things may fall apart on us, we may struggle, but we will never be alone, we will always have a family that is there for us.
Hallowed be Thy Name
Not only is God our Father, but He is Holy, He is unique, He is awesome. He is to be respected, loved, and honored. When we go to Him in prayer, we go with praise and adoration, remembering that He is our Father, but He is also all powerful, mighty, and able to do abundantly beyond our expectations. He is the founder of all and therefore able to take care of all. We go with confidence before Him, knowing His love and His mighty power.
Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
We are to desire God’s ways, God’s truths, God’s principles to be applied to us and the world around us. As we pray for others, God’s ways should lead us in our prayers. Are we praying for workers to go out into the harvest? Are we seeking the lost?
As you think of God’s will, certain images come to mind. I would encourage you to read the following sections of scriptures and see if your images line up with God’s.
Isaiah 58, Ezekiel 34:4; 11-12; 15-16; Jonah; Matthew 11:4-6; Matthew 23
Give us this day our daily bread.
Daily we are to seek God for our provision. As we read on in Matthew, there are many verses about how God cares for us and knows our needs. I would encourage you to read the following: Matthew 6:25-34; 7:7-11.
Forgive us our debts as we also have forgiven our debtors.
For if you forgive men for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions. Matthew 6:14-15
It says in Isaiah we are not to hide ourselves from our own flesh. I think this means we are to look honestly at ourselves and our dependence and need for Jesus our Savior. When we think we are better than we are, we tend to judge others harshly. When we realize what we are capable of, we tend to show mercy.
It is not always easy to forgive. I think at times like that it’s good to remember that God knows and looks upon our hearts, and knowing He knows us far better than we know ourselves, we can seek Him to change our hearts and help us to forgive.
And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil
Here we seek God for His protection, protection from within and protection from outside forces. A few good verses to read further about this are Ephesians 6:10-18; Romans 8:26-39; and Jude 24-25.
For Thine is the kingdom, and the power and the glory, forever
The prayer ends with praise, reminding us Whose kingdom, Whose power and for Whose glory.
Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, who is, and who is to come. Rev. 4:8b
To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever. Rev. 5:13b
For further guidance on the Lord’s Prayer, I would recommend reading what Martin Luther had to say about it:
A Simple Way to Pray by Martin Luther Full Version