Tag Archives: Lord’s Prayer

Bible Term: Our Father

Jesusdisciples saw that prayer was important to him – and had powerful results. They asked him to teach them out to pray. The prayer Jesus taught them is commonly called the “Our Father” prayer after its opening line. It’s also called The Lord’s Prayer, but a more accurate label would be the disciple’s prayer, since is was a prayer for the disciples to pray, not Jesus.

Some people recite the prayer as it is recorded in the Bible, whereas others use it as a template for prayer or illustrative example. The prayer is simple and succinct; it is:

“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. [For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen]

The Lord’s Prayer is recorded in Matthew 6:9-13; an alternate version is in Luke 11:2-4.

Bible Term: Lord’s Prayer

Jesusdisciples saw that prayer was an important part of his life and work. They realized he prayed in a new and fresh way, not the stale and ritualistic way they had been taught.

Though the prayer that Jesus taught to them is commonly called the Lord’s Prayer (or the “Our Father“), a more accurate label would be “the disciple’s prayer,” since is was a prayer for the disciples, not Jesus, to pray. Some people recite the prayer as it is recorded in the Bible, whereas others use it as a template for prayer or illustrative example.

The prayer is simple and succinct; it is:

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. [For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen]

The Lord’s Prayer is recorded in Matthew 6:9-13; an alternate version is in Luke 11:2-4.

What Does Jesus Want Us to Forgive?

In my post Be Careful What You Pray I mention a line in the Lord’s Prayer, “forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.”

Different groups have different wording for this line. There are three I’ve run into:

1) “Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” The word debt, conjures up thoughts of loans and money. That limits what Jesus meant and isn’t helpful.

2) “Forgive our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.” The word trespass evokes walking uninvited on someone’s property. That’s not helpful either. (However, the dictionary gives a broader understanding for both these words.)

3) “Forgive our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.” To me, sin is the word that conveys the full impact of this phrase, but I understand some people are put off by that word.

I recently heard a fourth version, which I like for its clarity:

4) “Forgive us for the wrongs we have done, as we have forgiven those who have wronged us.”

That connects with me. I hope one of these four versions connects with you. Now we just need to pray it — and do it.

[Matthew 6:12]

The Lord’s Prayer

When Jesus’ disciples asked him how to pray, he gave them a short little example. It’s commonly called “The Lord’s Prayer” (though some suggest “The Disciples’ Prayer” would be a more appropriate label.) Others refer to it as “Our Father” after its opening phrase.

Did you know there are multiple versions of the Lord’s Prayer in the Bible? Matthew records the most common version. It’s found in Matthew 6:9-13. In the NIV, it’s only 53 words long and 66 words if you include the additional text at the end that is not found in all manuscripts:

“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today 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 the evil one” (53 words)…”for yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen,” (13 more words; 66 total).

The Lord’s Prayer is also found in Luke 11:2-4. Compared to Matthew’s version, it omits two phrases and simplifies others, so it is even shorter, at only 34 words.

“Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation,” (34 words).

I’ve never heard anyone use Luke’s version. But it is in the Bible and is worth considering. However, it doesn’t really matter which of these three versions of this classic prayer we follow, for I don’t think Jesus intended us to recite it verbatim, but to use it as a model or a template to form our own prayers.

What wording do you prefer for the Lord’s Prayer?

Omission or Addition?

After prior discussions about adding to or taking away from the Bible, it gives one pause in considering footnotes in some translations, which effectively note that a certain phrase or verse is “not found in all manuscripts.”

Consider the Lord’s Prayer.  The end is one such example: “For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.”

Or when the disciples can’t cast out a demon and Jesus says, “This kind can come out only by prayer.”  The footnote adds “…and fasting.”  Which is it?  Prayer or prayer and fasting?

The largest such passage is the conclusion to Mark’s gospel, where the last 12 verses are not included in all manuscripts.

So is it an error to include them or an error to exclude them?  In these, and all other instances, I think that it is wise to include them.  Here is why.

As a writer, I often revise my own work to improve it, such as adding something that I forgot or to correct imprecise wording.  Sometimes this occurs after it its initial publication.  It is likely that Biblical writers did the same.

As an editor I sometimes change a writer’s words to clarify what is unclear or confusing.  Scribes who made copies of the Bible may have done the same, albeit with much more care and consideration.

So I am not concerned with minor differences between the ancient manuscripts; the overall message remains unaltered and the additional text adds clarity and fullness.

[Matthew 6:9-13, Mark 9:29, Mark 16:8–20]