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The pronouns of the Lord’s prayer

The Lord’s Prayer:

My Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
    on earth as it is in heaven.
Give me this day my daily bread,
and forgive me my debts,
    as I also have forgiven my debtors.
And lead me not into temptation,
    but deliver me from evil.

Does this sound familiar? It shouldn’t. All the first person pronouns in the Lord’s Prayer are plural. It is addressed to our Father and asks that God give us daily bread, forgiveness, and deliverance from evil.

So who is included in the word we? According to 1 Corinthians 12: 12-26 all Christians are one body and our personal welfare is linked to that of the whole body. Verse 26 says, “ If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.” When we pray we are asking for God’s blessings not only for ourselves but also for the rest of the body.

This doesn’t mean that we should never ask for something solely for ourselves. For example, look at Peter’s prayer when he walked on water. Matthew 14: 28-31 says, “And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him.”

Peter didn’t pray “Lord, save us.” That would have made no sense because Peter was the only one in danger, but our normal practice should be to pray for others as well as for ourselves.

On earth as it is in Heaven

Matthew 6:9-13 contains the prayer known as the Lord’s Prayer.  It contains the phrase “Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”  Is this part of the prayer being answered today?  It appears to me that most of the earth is rebelling against God’s will rather than following it.

The Bible tells us that God created the world and everything in it in six days and we should acknowledge him as our Creator.  Humans have come up with the belief that the earth developed by natural processes over billions of years and that life arose by a process of evolution.  This belief is such an integral part of our culture that even many Bible believers accept it and interpret the Bible in a way that accommodates the belief that the earth is old.  I once believed in an old earth and reconciled this belief with the Bible by believing in the gap theory. Read the rest of this entry

Our daily bread

When the disciples of Jesus asked him to teach them to pray he gave them a model prayer called the Lord’s prayer which included this request:

Give us each day our daily bread.
Luke 11:3

We ask this because our bodies need food in order to function properly.  But we need more than just nourishment for our bodies. Read the rest of this entry

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