Lord's Prayer (Matthew 6:5-15)
One of the most known texts of the Bible is the Lord's prayer. This portion of the Bible is an integral part of Western society. We can hear it in movies or from people who are not Christians.
The importance is highlighted by two occurrences in the New Testament in Matthew 6:5-15 and Luke 11:2-4. Matthew's account is also reproduced in Didache 8:2 and gentle echoes can be detected in John 17.
The actual text of the prayer is Matt 6:9-13. However, its context is also important to note. The broader context is the Sermon on the Mount. The nearer is Matt 6:5-8 and 6:14-15 (introduction and conclusion). We would like to think about this text within its nearer context.
Verses Matt 6:5–8 are the introduction to the prayer. Jesus begins with instructing his disciples not to be like hypocrites (Matt 6:5-6) and Gentiles (Matt 6:7-8). Hypocrites are those who want to publicly demonstrate their piety which is wrong. Gentiles are trying to persuade God by their words to do something as if he does not care about people. Jesus is refuting these two preconceptions. There is a very powerful explanation that God is proactive in our needs (Matt 6:8).
The body of the prayer (6:9-13) can be divided into two parts. The first part (Matt 6:9–10) is concerned with the eschatological hope that God's kingdom will manifest itself in fullness. The second part (Matt 6:11–13) is concerned with our daily needs here and now (food, relations, safety).
The conclusion of the prayer (Matt 6:14-15) is interesting. Jesus seeks some pastoral concerns here. There is a conditional statement. If we forgive, God will bless us. This is very important because we are sometimes blinded by the love towards God while not seeing our neighbors (1 John 4:20). This might also be reminiscent of the Greatest Commandment (Matt 22:36–40).
We can, of course, contemplate about the prayer within this context or we can just read it in its own right.
This was very brief thought about Lord's prayer. However, we would like to encourage you to study it yourself because it is worth the effort.
|ὁ, ἡ, τό||the|
|ἐν||in (with D)|
|πατήρ, πατρός, ὁ||father|
|ἀφίημι||let go, send away; forgive|
|αὐτός, ή, ό||he; self|
|ἄνθρωπος, ου, ὁ||man|
|δέ||however, but, and|
5And when ye pray, ye shall not be as the hypocrites: for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have received their reward.6But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thine inner chamber, and having shut thy door, pray to thy Father who is in secret, and thy Father who seeth in secret shall recompense thee.7And in praying use not vain repetitions, as the Gentiles do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.8Be not therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.
9After this manner therefore pray ye. Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.10Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so on earth.11Give us this day our daily bread.12And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.13And bring us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.14For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.15But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
16Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may be seen of men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have received their reward.17But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thy head, and wash thy face;18that thou be not seen of men to fast, but of thy Father who is in secret: and thy Father, who seeth in secret, shall recompense thee.
19Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon the earth, where moth and rust consume, and where thieves break through and steal:20but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth consume, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:21for where thy treasure is, there will thy heart be also.22The lamp of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.23But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is the darkness!24No man can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
25Therefore I say unto you, be not anxious for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than the food, and the body than the raiment?26Behold the birds of the heaven, that they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; and your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are not ye of much more value then they?27And which of you by being anxious can add one cubit unto the measure of his life?28And why are ye anxious concerning raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:29yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.30But if God doth so clothe the grass of the field, which to-day is, and to-morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?31Be not therefore anxious, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?32For after all these things do the Gentiles seek; for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.33But seek ye first his kingdom, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.34Be not therefore anxious for the morrow: for the morrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.