What We Do When We Do Church – Our Father

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 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.

Luke 11:2-4

“Father, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread, and forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation.”

What we call today “The Lord’s Prayer” is found in these two places in the Scriptures. The next couple of devotions are based on a section of the book Listening to the Language of the Bible: Hearing it Through Jesus’ Ears, by Lois Tverberg with Bruce Okkema.

The previous devotions in this series are:

Part 1 – Hymnody
Part 2 – Invocation
Part 3 – Baptism
Part 4 – Confession of Sins
Part 5 – Absolution
Part 6 – Introit / Psalmody
Part 7 – Kyrie
Part 8 – Hymn of Praise
Part 9 – Scripture Readings
Part 10 – Sermon
Part 11 – Confession of Faith
Part 12 – Offering
Part 13 – Offertory
Part 14 – Prayer

“Our Father”

Jesus teaches His disciples how to pray, which was typical of Jewish rabbis. It is even noted by Jesus’ disciples that John the Baptist taught his own disciples how to pray, and that is the context in which Jesus teaches the Lord’s Prayer.

Some have thought that Jesus was unique in referencing God as “Father” in this prayer. But that really isn’t the case. The Old Testament tells us that God looked at Israel as His “first born” (Exodus 4:22) and the Scriptures call God the “Father of Israel” (Jeremiah 31:9).

What made Jesus’ prayer unique was the personal pronoun.

No one before Jesus is recorded in the Scriptures as calling God “my Father.”

Only the Messiah would have called God “My Father” and Jesus does it for the first time at age 12 – showing us that He knew He was the Messiah all along.

Jesus also identifies with us with the word “our.” This makes us the brothers and sisters of Jesus!

One of the features of the Lord’s Prayer that may be overlooked is that we do pray it together – even when we are alone. We say “Our Father, who art in heaven” – even if we’re the only ones praying. This is a concept that Jesus and His disciples were familiar with.

For Jews would gather in “minyan” groups – that is, groups of about 10 people. They would do this to remind themselves to pray for others. Jesus points us to this concept of prayer with the word “our” to remind us to not only pray for our own needs but for the needs of our brothers and sisters in Christ

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