The Book of Matthew contains what is commonly called the Beatitudes or the Sermon on the Mound, which covers Matthew 5, 6, and 7. This passage is often referred to as the attitudes that should be. This passage is where Jesus explains the standards of life for a Christian. Starting in Matthew 6:5 Jesus speaks about prayer. Verses 5-8 give basic instruction about prayer. Our prayers should not be done to impress others but done in private and should be more than reading some script or vain repetition.
Starting in verse 9 Jesus says This, then, is how you should pray. From verse 9 to 13 Jesus gives us what is commonly called the Lord's Prayer. There are two common views of this prayer, First it is a form prayer to be recited as a prayer. This is the way many of us learned it as children. This is a perfectly valid view of this passage form prayers, praying what someone else has written, can be very powerful. A.W. Tozer gives many excellent examples in his writings.
The second view is that this passage is a pattern prayer. Not intended to be read as the actual prayer but given as a pattern or example of what to pray for. I am approaching this passage from this second view point. I'd like to examine each verse from 9 to 13.
Matthew 6:9-13 NKJV
 In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father 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 debts, As we forgive our debtors.  And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
Our Father in heaven:
What does Our Father mean to you? When we are praying we are praying to a Holy God, the creator of the universe. And He wants us to approach Him in prayer as His children calling on Him as Abba Father, as Daddy. This is a personal relationship; the relationship of a Heavenly Father to His children. We are loved. And are fully and totally accepted by God as His children. The deeper and stronger this relationship is the more we reflect God's character in our lives. Like any other relationship our relationship with our Heavenly Father requires time. The more time we spend in His presence the stronger our relationship will become. We approach the Throne of God as His children. We come to the Father by the sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross. On that basis, in the name of Jesus, we come completely forgiven of our sins. We can sit in His lap and listen to His heart beat and let our hearts beat as one with His.
Our relationship with God is with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit6:
Father - We have heartfelt intimacy, Love, and acceptance as His children with the ability to boldly approach the Throne of God knowing He is always available to us.
Son - we have the Lordship of Jesus in our lives, Jesus is Lord of my life, friendship with Jesus, brotherhood, we are joint heirs with Jesus.
Holy Spirit - we can experience the flow of living waters as the Spirit flows through us, the filling of the Holy Spirit in our life, and the ever present reality of His presence guiding, helping and comforting us.
Scripture gives us several different Names of God. Each name revealing different characteristics of God. Let's examine some of these names in my next post. In as much as I am able I have listed the names in the order they are given in the Bible. The order given in the Bible was determined by God at the appropriate time in the spiritual development on the nation of Israel. They also serve as a guide to the development of the Christian life.
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