Matthew 6, Luke 11= Prayer!
Bible Background: Matthew and Luke record Jesus teaching his disciples this model prayer (in separate contexts). Matthew is focused on a humble and appropriate way to pray. Luke shows the disciples asking Jesus to teach them to pray. Luke’s gospel emphasizes prayer more often than Matthew, Mark, and John.
Digging Deeper: 1. Prayer is not mainly about asking God for something. It’s about being in relationship with God. The Psalms are prime examples of how people pour out their hearts, longings, praise, and requests to God. By teaching us to call on “Our Father, who art in heaven”, Jesus is reminding us of how we have a God who is close, and a God who desires our prayers.
2. Note that the pronouns are “us” and “our”, not “me” or “my”. Prayer connects us with God and with one another. Plus, our prayers are best when they aren’t self-centered.
3. “Your kingdom come, your will be done” is a huge ‘ask’. It’s also humbling. We acknowledge that God’s will matters-even more than ours!
4. “Give us this day our daily bread”. In his Small Catechism Luther reminds us that daily bread includes everything we need from day to day including: home and family, daily work, food and shelter, good government, favorable weather, true friends and neighbors. This line also reminds us of Matt. 6:26 how God feeds the birds of the air; and Psalm 145:16, how “You (God) open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing!”
5. “Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us” is a reminder that if we wish to enjoy forgiveness, we must share forgiveness!
6. “Lead us not into temptation” is better rendered “Save us from the time of trial”, since it’s not God who tempts us (James 1:13), but rather, it’s God who is with us in times of testing and temptation.
7. “For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever” is not Biblical, but was added to the prayer. 1 Chronicles 29:11 has a similar doxology. These words appear in the Didache, an ancient Christian source outlining the teachings of the disciples and is as old as the 1st or 2nd century. Roman Catholics do not usually include these words in the Lord’s Prayer.