After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. Matthew 6:9-13
The scripture referenced above is often referred to as the Lord's Prayer. You may have memorized this prayer as a child. But should this familiar prayer be titled "The Lord's Prayer"? Actually Jesus gave this prayer as an example for us. Jesus would never pray this prayer Himself. Why not? Jesus was without sin, so he would never pray this prayer, there would be no need for Him to ask for forgiveness. Thus this prayer might be more aptly called the "Believer's Prayer", a prayer for us.
There is a prayer, that Jesus actually prayed, that is documented in the New Testament that really should receive the label, The Lord's Prayer". This prayer is allotted an entire chapter in the gospel of John.
These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory, which I had with thee before the world was. I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word. Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee. For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received [them], and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me. I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them, which thou hast given me; for they are thine. And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them. And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we [are]. While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled. And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves. I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me. And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them. John 17
Shortly before Lord Jesus went to the cross, He spoke this prayer to the Father. Reading it is one of the greatest blessings in all of Scripture. Why? Two reasons. First, Jesus prayed specifically for YOU. Secondly, you can be absolutely certain that the Father granted the prayer of His Son, Jesus. A guaranteed prayer covers you!
Genuine prayer reveals a person's innermost being. This prayer is a unique opportunity to see Jesus. Interestingly, Jesus lifted up His eyes when He prayed. This form of prayer we don't usually associate with deep prayer. We tend to bow our heads and close our eyes. Let us never confuse the non-essential customs of prayer with the essential aspects of prayer. Jesus prays first for Himself, but His appeal is anything but self-centered. His trepidation for Himself is actually a concern for the glory of the Father. Jesus affirms the glory of His hour of crucifixion - the glory of His atonement for your sins. He defines the true meaning of "eternal life," and explains the means whereby you may lay hold it. Jesus Himself is the great and exclusive channel of eternal life. Eternal life is found in experiential (ginosko) knowledge of God, and revealed in Jesus Christ. Life is active involvement in an environment; death is the absence of that active involvement. If God and the spiritual environment do not dominate our lives, we have the same life as animals, and are dead to God and His environment.
Next, Jesus prays for His past, present, and future servants, be they disciples, pastors, evangelists, missionaries, or teachers. He prays for their knowledge, perseverance, joy, sanctification, and ministry. The Lord wants all these things in our lives!
Finally, Jesus prays for future believers this includes you and me. Jesus prays for you to be in unity with God, and with your brothers and sisters in Christ. Jesus was not praying for uniformity, or institutional unity among believers, but a personal dynamic of unity, bringing together the Church's rich diversity. Uniformity seeks to unite wheat and tares; it can't be done. Unity of institutions does not insure unity of the Spirit. Jesus prays for a unity founded in love. He prays that He may be in you, that God will perfect you, and that you will be an attesting sign of Jesus and the love of God. That is unity. Do we share the same desires? Or are our desires taken more from this world than from Jesus' heart? He prays for your future presence with Him when you will see His glory with your own eyes. Jesus prays that God's perfect love will take up residence within you. Thereby concluding His prayer with a great secret of Christian living: Jesus and His love indwelling the believer.
What a prayer! This prayer, our Lord's Prayer to His Father, is about everyone except Jesus. It is about God the Father, and everyone else. This prayer embodies everything that God commanded (Love God.Love others) from Jesus' perspective. It is evident this was the very inner nature of our Savior. Read it over a few times. Meditate on the words.
This chapter in the Book of John is one place in the Bible where meditation can be very fruitful. It is a place where we can see into the very soul of Jesus. Remember. Everything that Jesus asked GOD to give you.is yours. Jesus does live in you. GOD's love is in you. GOD will perfect you. You WILL be with Jesus and WILL actually see Him face-to-face.