Prayer is not a religious formula to get what we want from God. Religion emphasizes methods and principles. The Lord’s prayer is not a “model” prayer. The Lord’s prayer emphasizes the “manner” in which we should pray, not the content of prayer. Jesus’ intent in the Lord’s prayer was to show how “Kingdom prayer,” would recognize that our Father is our total provision for all our needs. The Lord’s prayer is not a new covenant prayer. The New Covenant was accomplished by Jesus at the cross. Remember that the Lord’s prayer was before the cross and the new covenant only started after the cross. For us as New Testament Christians to appreciate the Lord’s prayer, we must look at the Lord’s prayer from a grace perspective.
The Lord’s prayer was fulfilled by Jesus and cannot be prayed (accomplished) by you.
Notice the first words of the Lord’s prayer: Our Father who is in Heaven. Where have you pictured God’s presence? If you have a picture of God in your mind as high above in the heavens, than you are missing the New Covenant reality of Christ in you. As New Covenant believers there is no distance between us and God. God’s Zip Code is resident in your human spirit. That is because His address is in you, He lives within your heart. He is not out-of-reach, nor is He impersonal. The divide that once separated us from the Holy of Holies was torn open. God is no longer just in a distant heaven but indwells within the Christian’s spirit. Do not externalize his presence, thinking he is somewhere else. You are in union with Christ. God is an all-powerful personally caring Father who has provided all that you have need of in Christ.
Therefore, Jesus says, Hallowed is His name, for he has extended His Holy character to us, in Christ by the Holy Spirit. Only God is Holy. Holiness is the character of God. Therefore, all holiness is derived from Christ. The Good News of the Gospel is that…His Holy character has been supplied for us. First in spiritual regeneration we were spiritually exchanged, born again. Which allows for his holy character to be behaviorally expressed through us by faith.
Which is why Jesus encourages us to pray that God’s Kingdom Come. A Kingdom requires a King and cannot be defined apart from the king, otherwise it is not a kingdom. The religious expectations of the Jews in Jesus day were infected by their longing for a king. A king that would set them free from governmental rule. Jesus, however, was encouraging the disciple to pray for His spiritual Kingdom to reign in their hearts. Through the Ontological presence of God, that they might understand their spiritual connection to God. We are not waiting for the kingdom. The kingdom is waiting for us. The Kingdom of God is FOR earth. As we allow the indwelling king (Christ) to reign in, through us and as us, the Lord’s prayer is accomplished. To ask that “His will be done on earth as in heaven” is to recognize the will of God is always the character expression of God in Christ, therefore, it is a prayer of faith to allow for the expression of His character through our choices.
Prayer changes us as we allow Christ to be the change agent. His kingdom has come and is established on earth, as it is in heaven as we allow for the expression of Christ as our life.
That is why we are encouraged to pray, “give us this day our daily bread.” The prayer for “daily bread” is not simply for our physical needs, for Jesus told us not to worry about food for our body. Therefore, the daily bread refers to Himself as “The Bread of Life.” This is the only time in scripture that we find the word “daily.” It basically means something that is necessary and sufficient for each day. Jesus is that source of bread that gives us life.
There is no longer the need for us (who are in Christ) to ask God for the bread of Jesus since He is our indwelling life.
Our prayer then should be understood as a prayer to live in such a way that glorifies Christ, as we are deriving from Him as our provider, our bread of life. He is the bread of Life that has come down from heaven. “For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” They said to him, ‘Sir, give us this bread always.’
Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.” The ultimate will of God is revealed in the Lord’s introduction of a new covenant at the Last Supper, and how bread symbolized His body that would be broken. Bread not only breaks but it “rises” when made new. Jesus is the bread of life that was broken but now has risen; you were raised with him. Therefore, Christ as the bread of life symbolizes, the cross— His death and His resurrection—His Life. We have both died with Christ and have His resurrection life.
Which brings us to the impossible prayer of forgiveness. Jesus, says, “and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.” Let me ask you, would you like to be forgiven in the same way you have forgiven others? Probably not. That is because we are imperfect at best. This literally means that you would be asking to be forgiven by God, in a way that is equal to how you have forgiven others.
This was NOT good news but bad news. No one had ever achieved forgiving others perfectly. Except Jesus Christ. The Good News of the New Covenant is that we do not forgive in order to be forgiven, but because we are already forgiven. Hallelujah! The prayer for “forgiveness of sins” is to acknowledge that the redemptive work of Jesus, has forgiven us of all sin, and to agree by confessing our sins, for He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins. Forgiveness is made possible by the Forgiver Jesus Christ. As we allow the Forgiver who lives in us, to Forgive through us, we forgive others as we have been forgiven by Christ!
Understanding we are forgiven allows us to pray, “Lead us not into temptation.” This is a prayer that has once again been answered, by God, for God does not tempt anyone, but with the temptation provides the way of escape, not allowing us to be tempted beyond what we are able to endure, by His provision of Grace in Christ.
Thus, “delivering us from evil.” We can clearly see that Jesus is the fulfillment of the Lord’s prayer. That His finished work on the cross and subsequent resurrection affords us His indwelling Resurrection Life, and all that we need pray for is in Him.
Conclusion: As a New Covenant believer DO NOT use the Lord’s Prayer as it is written in Matthew 6 and Luke 11 for it is an Old Covenant Prayer. If you do, you pray in vain by repeating some faithless words over and over again.
So, the Lord’s Prayer is not a prayer we are to memorize and recite back to God. The Lord’s prayer emphasizes the “manner” in which we should pray, not something to repeat! It is not about words you say, God looks at your heart. He desires that you receive from His all-glorious provision.
Remember when you pray, The Lord’s prayer was fulfilled by Jesus and cannot be prayed (accomplished) by you. Learn to agree with Jesus when you pray experiencing Life As God Intended.
Living the Victorious Life
Living the Victorious Life
Living the Victorious Life