IT’S A FORMAT; NOT A PRAYER BY PASTOR CHRIS OYAKHILOME.
After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name (Matthew 6:9).
When Jesus walked the earth, He prayed on several occasions, and His prayers are recorded for us in the Scriptures. His disciples observed that He always had results when He prayed; and so, they said to Him, “…Lord, teach us to pray…” (Luke 11:1).
Thus, He gave them a format for prayer. He said, “After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name” (Matthew 6:9). Many Christians have misconstrued this to be “The Lord’s Prayer.” They insist it’s the prayer Jesus asked us to pray, and that we must pray so.
They further base their argument on Luke’s writing in Luke 11:2, which reads, “And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven….” What they fail to realize, however, is that the Greek word for “say” in the foregoing verse is “lego.” It doesn’t mean “to say something”; rather, it means to ‘systematically lay forth.’ Jesus laid forth a format or pattern for prayer for His disciples. He didn’t say we should quote or recite those words in prayer, which is what many do today.
The real Lord’s Prayer is in John 17; read the entire chapter and you’ll be so inspired. Moreover, this model for prayer that He gave His disciples was before He went to the Cross. He taught them to pray in expectation of the Kingdom of God. At that time, He hadn’t died for the whole world, and the world was still being dominated by another kingdom, which is the kingdom of darkness.
However, being born again, we’ve been delivered from the kingdom of darkness and translated into the Kingdom of God’s dear Son (Colossians 1:12-13). In this kingdom, we have our needs supplied according to His riches in glory. So, today, it doesn’t quite make spiritual sense to recite the words in Luke 11:2-4; it’s not a New Testament prayer. In the New Testament, prayer is based on our new relationship with the Father; a divine fellowship. This is what Jesus made possible. Now we pray through the Spirit and worship in the Spirit. Hallelujah!
Dear heavenly Father, I thank you for the enlightenment of the Scriptures; I’m informed with accurate and precise knowledge of the Word, which enables me to pray the right way. I declare that the nations of the world are coming to the knowledge of the glorious Gospel of Christ, delivering men from the power of darkness into their glorious inheritance in Christ, in Jesus’ Name. Amen.