I’m sure that most of you have noticed that typically when offering Scripture in my posts I use ESV, NASB and occasionally NIV. Even less often I use the KJV, usually I use it because the way the verse was translated in the KJV is what has been ingrained into my soul through memorization, reading and repetition.
Just so you know, I believe the Holy Spirit is indeed the teacher of Scripture just as God inspired the writers through Him … based on that I believe most all (but not all) translations can be effectively used by the Holy Spirit as the living word. Apart from the Holy Spirit, it is virtually impossible for men to understand the spiritual things of the Scripture (1 Corinthians 2:11-16) IMHO …
All that said … let’s take a look at Jesus’ teaching bout prayer in Matthew 6: 5-13 (KJV) …
And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
This verse is pretty self-explanatory. Our time of prayer is not a time to put ourselves on display before men with wordy, thesaurus (see Tim Hawkins video) flowing prayers. There are really two issues here. First, as Jesus declares, men’s praise and adoration is your reward. Second, those types of prayers set the bar to a level, that others believe they can’t pray because they can’t pray like the hypocrites.
But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
Prayer is to be done in private before an audience of one … just you and God the Father.
But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.
Don’t pray with a sense of false pride and an exaggerated sense of self-worth thinking that by repeating over and over what you want that God will hear you … prayer is not about what you and I want … it’s about what God wants.
Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.
God the Father know what you need before you ask Him … the goal of your prayers is to align your requests with what He already knows you and those you are praying for need.
After this manner therefore pray ye:
The Lord’s prayer is a model for prayer … not a prayer for vain repetition …
Our Father which art in heaven,
Our prayers are directed to God the Father who is our Father and resides in heaven …
Hallowed be thy name.
The name of God is blessed … sacred … holy … worthy of honor and fear … worthy to be praised!
Thy kingdom come.
We are to pray and request that the kingdom of God … the kingdom of heaven … come to this earth …
Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
One of the most important aspects of the prayer … we are to pray that God’s will be done on earth … for me, for you, for those we pray for … ALL should be according to His will.
Give us this day our daily bread.
Provide for our necessities Lord.
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
Forgive us for our sins Father as we forgive others for their sins against us (Matthew 7:2) … that is huge and demands constant love, mercy, grace and forgiveness.
And lead us not into temptation,
This is the one statement in the prayer I find odd, as James later writes that God tempts no man (James 1:13) … perhaps it is simply serving as a reminder to the believer that God does not tempt but that He is right there with us in the midst of temptation.
but deliver us from evil:
In 1 Corinthians 10:13, Paul writes that God provides a way of escape for every temptation … here we are simply asking that when tempted, He would guide us to that route of escape … away from sin and evil and into the midst of His will.
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever.
The kingdom, the power, and the glory eternally belong to God the Father!!!
In its simplest definition it means ‘so be it’, I have also heard it defined as ‘so be it according to God’s will.’
Oh Lord, my prayer life needs a major and divine overhaul … your will be done!