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Jesus’ Prayer Lesson – Part 3

August 5, 2010

I hope the first two days of this series has encouraged you in your prayer life. Today is the third and final installment of our look at Jesus’ lesson on prayer to His disciples. Yesterday we discussed three components of prayer that help us keep our prayer priorities straight by focusing on God and His purposes. Today we will cover the three components of the model prayer that deal more directly with us.

Give us each day our daily bread

Jesus did not mean that we can only ask God to give us bread. Remember, this prayer is meant to be a model. Jesus wanted His disciples then – and now – to know that we can bring our needs, both physical and spiritual, to God.

“Bread” represents the basic necessities for life. God invites us to pray for our needs, not luxuries. However, after focusing on the person of God and His Kingdom like the first three components showed us, most of us would not consider asking God for something frivolous.

Praying for our needs “daily” fosters a constant dependence on God and His grace. As God provides for this day, our trust in His faithfulness grows. We don’t have to know how He will provide for our futures, we simply know that He will.

Jesus’ use of “us” teaches us to pray not just for ourselves but for others too. Yes, let’s flood God’s throne with our needs, but let’s also pour out the needs of our friends, families, fellow Christians, and unbelievers. The Father wants to show Himself faithful in meeting our needs.

Forgive us our debts (sins), as we also have forgiven our debtors

Confession and repentance should be a regular part of our prayer life. Often, I’m aware of sin just as soon as I’ve committed it. Those times I immediately stop and pray. Other times, God makes me aware of sin later, during my daily time with Him. So confession and repentance are also a regular part of my daily prayer time.

There is a lot of debate among biblical scholars about the exact implication of the phrase “as we also have forgiven our debtors.” More debate than we have time to cover here! But just let me make a few general comments that could be helpful.

We can do nothing to earn God’s forgiveness. Christ did that for us on the cross. Yet, if we have received God’s forgiveness with the gratitude He deserves we should be willing to forgive others. Forgiveness will be fruit of our own salvation.

Lead us not into temptation (but deliver us from the evil one)

The Greek word translated as “temptation” in the NIV means “trial, temptation, testing.”  This same word has been used in the NT to refer to God’s testing of our faith to prove it (James 1:2) as well as enticement to sin by Satan or our own fleshly desires (Matt 4:1; 1 Cor 10:13).

In the Garden, on the night Jesus was betrayed, He told His disciples to “Watch and pray so that you do not fall into temptation” (Matt 26:41). Jesus used this same word when He emphasized the vital link between prayer and standing firm in the face of temptation and trials. Sadly, the disciples failed to pray and therefore they failed to stand firm.

This humble prayer expresses our dependence on and need for God. Are you in the midst of a trial or temptation? Ask God to give you the strength to stand firm in trials and to bring you through to the other side. In the face of temptation, pray for the wisdom to see the way out He has provided (1 Cor 10:13).

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the Lord’s model prayer. Share with us!

Blessings,  Kathy

14 Comments leave one →
  1. August 5, 2010 5:14 am

    Do you believe that a trial and temptation is the same? I recently did a post about 1Cor. 10:13 being misquoted as “God will not give me more than I can handle.” I would love to hear your thoughts. Great insight into prayer, very much needed.

    • August 5, 2010 6:50 am

      So funny that you mention that, Deborah. At our recent team meeting, we discussed that very passage of Scripture … and others … which are often used misquoted and/or misapplied.

  2. August 5, 2010 8:17 am

    Deborah, great question. The Greek word in 1 Cor 10:13 is the same one in James 1:2. “Peirasmos” can mean either a temptation to sin (whether from an outside enticement or from our own fleshly weakness) or “adversity, affliction, trouble.” The key to knowing which one is being referred to is the context. When you read the passages surrounding 1 Cor 10:13 it is clear Paul is talking about temptation to sin. He has just given the example of the Israelites indulging in pagan revelry and sexual immorality.

    However, every trial of life can also be a time of temptation to sin. For instance, when hard times come we are tempted to doubt God and His love for us. In Matthew 26:41, when Jesus told Peter, James, and John to pray so they wouldn’t fall into “temptation,” this is the same word. The three would soon meet a hardship (Jesus’ arrest). That hardship became a source of temptation and they all three fell to it.

    Sorry for the sermon! But it was a great question and I wanted to do my best to answer it!

    • August 5, 2010 9:24 am

      No that was great. I had done a little research on the word too and I like your explanation. I also emphasis in my post that trials can cause us to sin..just like you said. I work in a Christian organization and I hear that phrase almost daily and every time I cringe.

  3. August 5, 2010 9:24 am

    One thing I love about Jesus’ pattern for prayer is the use of the plural pronouns. As you mention, Kathy, Jesus wanted us to expand our prayers to “others,” not only ourselves. Thinking in the “plural” has really stretched and deepened my prayer life.

  4. August 5, 2010 10:25 am

    Thanks Kathy!
    I really enjoyed this series on prayer. It has been great to just stop and break it down.
    I find it interesting that when Jesus ends the prayer example he goes back and focuses again on forgiveness. (vs 14 and 15)

    Also has anyone done any research on why the KJV concludes the prayer with “For thine is the kingdom and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen”, but the ESV and the NIV do not include this portion of text?


    • August 5, 2010 10:49 am

      Marita, I have done a little reading on that. The doxology, “For thine is the Kingdom and the power and the glory forever,” is not found in the earliest/oldest manuscripts. Many scholars believe it was not included in the original manuscript but was a later editorial comment. It is included in the KJV because it was translated from later manuscripts and not the earliest/oldest manuscripts. Many other translations such as the NIV adds a footnote noting the doxology and the textual variation. Hope that helps!

      • August 5, 2010 3:24 pm

        The text comes from 1 Chronicles 29.11 – it was a Jewish doxology.

  5. Kristi Stephens permalink*
    August 5, 2010 1:35 pm

    Thanks for sharing this series, Kathy. I’ve really enjoyed reading your thoughts on the Lord’s prayer!

    The concept of “daily bread” always calls to mind for me the Israelites and manna. They truly had “daily bread” and ONLY their bread for that day. I often wonder if it was learning to depend on God every single day for His provision, and every single day finding that He was faithful once again, was part of what made that first generation of Israelites as they entered the Promised Land much more faithful than their parents’ generation… and more faithful than those who followed behind them (although they still were far from flawless!). If we consistently learn to bring our needs and the needs of those around us to His throne and see Him faithfully provide, what faith it grows in our hearts!

  6. August 5, 2010 3:23 pm

    “Praying for our needs “daily” fosters a constant dependence on God and His grace.”

    I love this part of the Lord’s Prayer. I need to reminded daily of my need for God and admit my dependence on Him. I love having this as part of my morning devotional/prayer time – taking time to bring before God the things I need from Him for that day – things for myself and things I’m praying for others.

    Thanks again for sharing!

    • August 5, 2010 3:55 pm

      Ashley, thanks for sharing where that doxology originally came from. I just read it. The longer version in 1 Chronicles is beautiful!

  7. August 5, 2010 3:50 pm

    Kathy ~ This series on prayer is such an encouragement! I remember after I was first saved I heard a lot of advice about my need to pray, but I didn’t really know much about prayer. I have really enjoyed how you have taken us for a walk and held our hand through the biblical model of prayer.

    I love this phrase…”Sadly, the disciples failed to pray and therefore they failed to stand firm.” Pray strengthens us. Lack of prayer weakens us. Prayer really is essential to the Christian life…like the air we breathe.

    Thanks for getting this study off to such a good start!

  8. August 6, 2010 1:18 am

    Kathy, I really enjoyed the series you have written about Jesus’ model prayer. I especially liked you thoughts on the ‘daily bread’ and our dependence on God not only for the physical food, but also our spiritual needs.

    Thank you.


  1. Prayer Theme Recap « Scripture Dig

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