Notes on the Lord’s Prayer

I am Christian, I grew up in a Lutheran family, and I have been going to church forever. This means I’ve memorized many of the traditional prayers.

A few years ago I noticed I was having trouble slowing down when reciting the Lord’s Prayer in my head. It’s so familiar for me that I was having trouble savoring it. I was skipping ahead and not taking the time to dwell on the words as I brought them to mind.

To slow down, I created a document expanding each phrase. I pulled in verses and reflections that explained each of the parts of the prayer and resonate with me. There are other resources for this with different lists of verses–I compiled this for me, so this is not an authoritative list. It is only what speaks to me.

I’ve come back to that document often, so I wanted to share it here. I hope you find it helpful in your prayer life.

Context

Only once in scripture did Jesus’s disciples ask for him to teach them something.  They asked to be taught to pray.

Luke 11: 1-12

One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”

“He said to them, “When you pray, say:

“Father,

Hallowed be your name.

Your kingdom come.

Give us each day our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins, 

For we also forgive everyone who sins against us.

And lead us not into temptation.”

Then Jesus said to them, “Suppose you have a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say, “Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have no food to offer him.”  and suppose the one inside answers, “Don’t bother me.  The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed.  I can’t get up and give you anything.”  I tell you,even though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your shameless audacity, he will surely get up and give you as much as you need.

So I say to you:  Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead?  Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion?  If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!

Luke 18: 1-8

Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.  He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought.  And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, “Grant me justice against my adversary.”

For some time he refused.  But finally he said to himself, “Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!”

And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says.  And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night?  Will he keep putting them off?  I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly.  However, when the Son of Man comes will he find faith on the earth?” 

 

The Prayer

Our Father, who art in heaven

Hallowed be your name. 

Your kingdom come,

Your will be done,

On earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread

And forgive us our trespasses

As we forgive those who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil

For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, 

For ever and ever.

 

Our Father, who art in Heaven, hallowed be your name.

“I AM WHO I AM”.  ehyeh-asher-ehyeh.  “Whatever I am, I will be.” – reflection here.

Exodus 34: 5-7

Then the LORD [Yahweh] came down in the cloud and stood there with him and proclaimed his name, the LORD [Yahweh], the LORD [Yahweh] the compassionate and gracious god, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands [of generations], and forgiving wickedness, rebellion, and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.

 

Your Kingdom Come

Meditation from “Searching for Sunday”, by Rachel Held Evans

“The kingdom is like a tiny mustard seed, he said, that grows into an enormous tree with branches wide and strong enough to make a home for all the birds.  It is like a buried treasure, a delicious feast, or a net that catches an abundance of fish.  The kingdom is right here, Jesus said.  It is present and yet hidden, immanent yet transcendent.  The kingdom isn’t some far-off place you go when you die;  the kingdom is at hand–among us and beyond us, now and not-yet.  It is the wheat growing in the midst of weeds, the yeast working its magic in the dough, the pearl germinating in the sepulchral shell.  It can come and go in the twinkling of an eye, Jesus said.  So pay attention; don’t miss it.

Luke 17:21

Once, on being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, “The coming of the kingdom of God is not something that can be observed, nor will people say ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is’, because the kingdom of God is in your midst.

 

Your Will Be Done, on Earth as it is in Heaven.

1 Thessalonians 5:16

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 

 

Give us this day our daily bread

Luke 6:30-40

By this time, it was late in the day, so his disciples came to him.  “This is a remote place,” they said, “and it’s already very late.  Send the people away so that they can go to the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat.”  

But he answered, “You give them something to eat.”

They said to him, “That would take more than half a year’s wages!  Are we to go and spend that much on bread and give it to them to eat?”

“How many loaves do you have?” he asked.  “Go and see.”

When they found out, they said, “Five–and two fish.”

Then Jesus directed them to have all the people sit down in groups on the green grass.  So they sat down in groups of hundreds and fifties.  Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves.  Then he gave them to his disciples to distribute to the people.  He also divided the two fish among them all.  They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces of bread and fish.  The number of men who had eaten was five thousand.

Psalm 23

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.  He makes me lie down in green pastures: he leads me beside still waters.  He restores my soul.  He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.  Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for you are with me; your rod and your staff–they comfort me.  You prepare a table before me in presence of my enemies: you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.  Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.

Isaiah 30: 15:18

This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel says:

‘In repentance and rest is your salvation,

in quietness and trust is your strength,

but you would have none of it.

You said, ‘No we will flee on horses.’

There you will flee!

You said, ‘We will ride off on swift horses.’

Therefore your pursuers will be swift!

A thousand will flee

at the threat of one;

at the threat of five

you will all flee away,

till you are left

like a flagstaff on a mountaintop,

like a banner on a hill.’

Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you;

therefore he will rise up to show you compassion.

For the Lord is a God of justice.

Blessed are all who wait for him!

Joel 2: 12-14

“Even now,” declares the Lord,

“Return to me with all your heart,

With fasting and weeping and mourning.”

Rend your heart

And not your garments.

Return to the LORD your God,

For he is gracious and compassionate,

Slow to anger and abounding in love,

And he relents from sending calamity.

Who knows?  He may turn and relent

And leave behind a blessing

Grain offerings and drink offerings 

For the LORD your God.

 

2 Chronicles 7:13-14

If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people;

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

 

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

Pslam 37: 1-9

Do not fret because of those who are evil

Or be envious of those who do wrong;

For like the grass they will soon wither,

Like green plants they will soon die away.

Trust in the LORD and do good;

Dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.

Take delight in the LORD,

And he will give you the desires of your heart.

Commit your way to the LORD;

Trust in him and he will do this.

He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn,

Your vindication like the noonday sun.

Be still before the LORD

And wait patiently for him;

Do not fret when people succeed in their ways,

When they carry out their wicked schemes.

Refrain from anger and turn from wrath;

Do not fret–it leads only to evil.

For those who are evil will be destroyed,

But those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land.

For yours is the kingdom, and the power, and glory, forever.

Psalm 50: 7-15

“O my people, listen as I speak.

Here are my charges against you, O Israel:

I am God, your God!

I have no complaint about your sacrifices

Or the burnt offerings you constantly offer.

But I do not need the bulls from your barns

Or the goats from your pens.

For all the animals of the forest are mine,

And I own the cattle on a thousand hills.

I know every bird on the mountains,

And all the animals of the field are mine.

If I were hungry I would not tell you,

For all the world is mine and everything in it.

Do I eat the meat of bulls?

Do I drink the blood of goats?

Make thankfulness your sacrifice to God,

And keep the vows you made to the Most High.

Then call on me when you are in trouble,

And I will rescue you,

And you will give me glory.”

 

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