THE STRASBURG CHURCH OF CHRIST
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Preacher - L. John Bost
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AFTER THIS MANNER PRAY ("The Lord's Prayer")
After this Manner Pray
Jesus said, "After this manner therefore pray ye..." (Matt 6:9). The conjunctive adverb, therefore, here, joins Jesus' teaching in Matthew 6:5-8, where he shows his audience that they should pray in secret to God rather than speaking in public places to be "seen of men," as did the "hypocrites." He shows that the idea is to be rewarded by God rather than with praise of men. He proceeds to show his audience that they should pray in a certain way rather than with many words meant for the hearing of man rather than of God.
The phrase, "after this manner" (KJV), means, "in this way" in the original Greek (See James Strong). Jesus is not giving us a model prayer that we are to recite word-for-word. The differences in the the two examples of the prayer is evidence of this fact. James Burton Coffman quotes Norval Geldenhuys writing:
Jesus repeated it "on two or more occasions" for the instruction of his followers; and it was most natural that the prayer should have been repeated in different words, "for Jesus' view of prayer was that it should not be mechanical."
It is true that Jesus said in Luke 11:1, "When ye pray, say..." On this, Coffmanquotes Matthew Henry, "'Christ did not design that we should be tied up to these very words, for then there would have been no variation' from the account given in Matthew." So, if Jesus meant for us to repeat the prayer word-for-word, He would not have given two differing examples.
Hopefully we will understand the reason of the differing accounts as we continue our discussion.
Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name
Our prayers are to be addressed to God, the heavenly Father, the "one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all" (Eph 4:6). This is the example the apostles followed after the Lord's resurrection (Acts 4:24-30; Acts 16:25; Rom. 7:25; 10:1; Col. 1:3). Paul writes in Philippians 4:6, "Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God." We are to give thanks unto God (Eph. 5:20).
The Greek word translated, hallowed, here, "To make holy"...signifies to set apart for God, to sanctify, to make a person or thing the opposite of... "common"..., according to William Edwy Vine. We must, if not in words, in attitude and actions, acknowledge the hallowed nature of our heavenly Father when we pray (In all that we do, for that matter).
Thy Kingdom Come
Jesus prayed, "Your kingdom come..." Coffman writes:
It should be remembered that at the time Jesus gave this example of an acceptable, spontaneous prayer, the kingdom was yet future. The establishment of his kingdom on the day of Pentecost after the resurrection of Jesus Christ fulfilled this petition, answered it.
The Jews looked for a kingdom to come. Daniel prophesied in Daniel 2:44 "a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever." Jesus spoke of the "Kingdom of heaven" (Matt. 4:17; 5:3, 10, 19, 20) and "Kingdom of God" (Matt. 12:28; 21:31; Mark 1:14 as a kingdom that was "at hand." He told Peter after his confession in Matthew 16:16-19:
And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell
(Continued on 3
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