The Disciples Prayer


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I repeat myself for emphasis. What would we think of a friend who came to the front door each morning, and upon opening it to admit him, we heard him say the exact same thing that he had said the past straight mornings, droning on for half an hour without coming up for air? We might love him as a friend, but we would surely think he was a bit strange and wasting our time with his endless repetitions. We would soon tune out his robotic, one-sided conversation. We are blessed that God is far more patient and understanding with us than we would be to such a bore.

He listens to our petitions whether we are eloquent or mind-numbingly incoherent see Romans Yet, notice that Jesus tells the disciples—us—that the Father knows what we need before we ask Him.

The Disciples' Prayer

We are not springing anything on Him that He has not already figured out. So there is no need for us to meander, be vague, or employ some kind of rhetorical device that is "guaranteed" to convince Him that He has to intervene right away. There is no need to try to impress Him with our knowledge or persuasiveness or righteousness. He wants us to be ourselves and to speak with Him as family members do—with, of course, the proper reverence for who He is. What is most important—what He is looking for—is a "poor and. If the attitude is humble, focused on God's will and His plan for us, He will hear and respond.

More importantly, we will be drawing closer to Him and taking on aspects of His character that are so essential to Christian life and the Kingdom of God. This daily newsletter provides a starting point for personal study, and gives valuable insight into the verses that make up the Word of God. That phrase "my Father" separated Him then, and separates Him still, by an infinite interval from His own. It unfolded at once how distinct His Sonship was.

To the Jew the way He addressed His Father was blasphemous; to the disciple it is the unveiling of His identity, that later Peter would articulate more fully as "the Christ, the Son of the living God" Matt. It is also the continuance of a communion that had no beginning. Here, too, "our Father" is appended by the relative clause "which art in heaven" 5.

The phrase "our Father" draws us into the warmth shared by every child of God, but the qualifying clause cautions against the irreverent spirit that fails to realise that this One we approach is the self-existent One, as "art," the present tense of the verb "to be," declares. He is "in heaven": this One is transcendent: the Creator and not the creature, the fount of blessing and not one of those who come to drink from that fountain.

He draws us to Himself, for He pities us as a father does his children, Ps. We may whisper in His ear what we would not tell our nearest and dearest, but we need to guard against thinking we may address Him as if He was our natural kith and kin. Sometimes Christians are criticised for using language in prayer which some consider archaic. Where such language is deliberately chosen to guard the petitioner against careless familiarity that might engender inappropriate attitudes to a holy God, let the critics remain silent.

The term "our Father" is only fitting on the lips of the redeemed. Prayers in the New Testament epistles do not append the relative clause, "… which art in heaven," nor include the term "Heavenly Father". The calling of the saints being addressed in those epistles was not that of Jews still bound in spirit to an earthly temple with its carnal sacrifices, before whom the Lord set out His Sermon on the Mount. Unlike those first hearers, we are those who can pray "in the Holy Spirit," Jude Had the Lord Himself not authorised their use, the Christian would have feared to use them, lest with frequent usage intimacy became irreverence.

We pause and note that the inestimable value of this prayer is based on "a relationship never before made known in its true character, between Him the Father and the true disciples of this blessed Teacher" F. It is based on the unfolding, the declaration, of that name "Father". Later that Teacher will speak of why He revealed that name to His disciples and say: "that the love wherewith Thou hast loved Me may be in them, and I in them" Jn. To us He is known in more intimate terms than they ever knew.

Before the Lord came, men did not call this One "Father"; that could not be until the Son came.

He added, "… and will declare it;" and in the epistles there are fresh revelations of the hallowed name. How easily one could forget the words of David the prophet, words we rightly associate with Calvary: "… Thou art holy, O Thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel," Ps. The first petition recognises the need for reverence. We should not restrict the meaning of the term "name" to the identifier "Father" or "God;" it carries the sense of all that He is by revelation through word and deed and the testimony of His servants.

Without a blush men use that hallowed name as an expletive, and speak lightly of His character and laws.

Avinu (Our Father) The Lord's Prayer

God Himself reasserts the reverence due to His name: "Neither shall ye profane My holy name; but I will be hallowed among the children of Israel: I am the Lord which hallow you," Lev. The petition condemns all lawless conduct arising out of failure to reverence the Father. The pronoun "Thy" occurs three times in vv.

How rarely that emphasis marks our personal prayers! The Lord taught the disciples to pray to the Father about the coming kingdom and its effects. The second and third petitions, "Thy kingdom come" and "Thy will be done" are inextricably linked in the prayer, and no doubt were in the consciousness of the listening disciples. Nonetheless, the disciple has also to acknowledge the will of God in his pathway here.

He speaks of Paul being delivered into the hands of the Gentiles, language so very like that which our Lord Jesus used of His own arrest in Mk. Whether imprisonment or death, he was ready to face it, Acts But Paul was not stoically unmoved. Outwardly there were tears but inwardly there was even greater unexpressed anguish, yet all were enabled to say: "The will of the Lord be done".

The Lord had been announcing that the kingdom of heaven was "at hand" Matt. The Lord was speaking of the universal rule, initially to be seen in the millennial reign of Christ, and an eternal feature of the new heaven and the new earth. Adolph Saphir, a Christian Jew expressed his fear that this petition might not be taken literally by many professing Christians: "On earth, the Lord will reign where God has been denied and forgotten; where His honour has been disregarded and His commandments have been transgressed, where nations and kingdoms … have not bowed to His authority.

To confound it with the millennium would be an entire mistake, and necessarily lower its character terribly. The millennium with all its blessedness is but a step toward this glorious consummation". Men like David and Daniel yearned for Messiah and the blessings that He would bring, but never prayed explicitly, "Thy kingdom come" v. What light that prayer shed along the darkened pathway so many Jewish saints trod who were present, when the Lord opened His mouth and taught on the mountain, 5.

Christians today expect the Rapture of our Lord Jesus before the Great Tribulation engulfs Israel, at the end of which period of unparalleled suffering the public kingdom of Christ will be established on earth. They know that the Lord will reign in glory in the public vindication that will bring, but they look above in the conscious knowledge that:. Matthew loves to include references to the will of God. Six times he uses this noun "will," and 42 times the cognate verb. The Lord Who taught His disciples to pray, "Thy will be done," is the Lord Who, knowing all things, knew the end from the beginning.

He knew He had come to do the will of God, Heb. He knew all the will of God would mean for Him; in particular He knew that in Gethsemane He would pray these very words: "… Thy will be done" Matt. The will of God for His disciples would be demanding and, perhaps at great cost, they would also be caused to say, "Thy will be done".

The Disciples’ Prayer

They also knew that, terrified by the voice they heard, their fathers had vowed that all that the Lord had said, they would "do, and be obedient" Ex. Now, strengthened by the grace they have found in Christ, disciples are to say, "Thy will be done," and to do it. It is at this point in this wonderfully-complete prayer that the personal pronoun moves from "Thy" to "our" and "us. Even in asking that our individual needs be met, we do so "in secret" in the clear understanding that there are other dear saints who have needs as urgent as ours.

Of (loosely) related interest

In our use of the plural they are not forgotten! Petitions outline comprehensively the range of need a disciple might experience. The Lord emphasises that the disciple should have fresh exercises every day. He should take each day at a time, and on that day, pray for "daily bread". The word translated "daily" 7 has to be considered carefully.

The Disciples Prayer

It is an extremely rare word, which Origen and others think the Evangelists coined, notes Morris. Marshall The day-labourer received a penny a day, often with no promise of work tomorrow.


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At vv. Those were the reactions of their apostatising fathers, who did not pray for daily bread; these are not the terms of even the sorely-tried "children [sons] of your Father, which is in heaven," Matt. Writing with the Jew in mind, Matthew uses the noun "debts", a concept that would be well understood by a people that had consciously put themselves under obligation to keep the Law.

Both were debtors. Both needed mercy, and both should show mercy to others. He adds: "… this was the impious tower of stone she built up to scale heaven. Paul made it easy for Philemon to forgive Onesimus, but even where there is no such intervention, we are under obligation to forgive, because of how God forgave us. Some see this expression the Lord put on human tongues, as a reference to the great end-times troubles the Lord Jesus described as "the hour of trial, that hour which is to come upon the whole world to try them that dwell upon the earth" Rev.

The Revelation and other passages of Scripture in both Testaments testify to the severity of that hour: " More likely this petition takes account of the militant forces arrayed against God and Christ, and so against the children of God from that era until this present time. Its echo is clearly heard in the record of Gethsemane. Christians have grown so accustomed to the thought that God is a Father that the wonder of this revelation is almost lost upon us. Let every ounce of force that the expression will carry go into it, lest we seem to trifle with so sacred a relationship.

There is such a thing as losing proper reverence for Him, because of His infinite graciousness in bringing us into such a close relationship with Himself. We do well then to be reminded that it is our Father who is in heaven whom we address. The contrite and the humble will never be guilty of such an offense as undue familiarity, but we are often filled with pride or a kind of indifference when we pray.

The Disciples Prayer The Disciples Prayer
The Disciples Prayer The Disciples Prayer
The Disciples Prayer The Disciples Prayer
The Disciples Prayer The Disciples Prayer
The Disciples Prayer The Disciples Prayer
The Disciples Prayer The Disciples Prayer
The Disciples Prayer The Disciples Prayer

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