The Lord's Prayer: Explained and Applied (eBook)

by Wilhelmus à Brakel

in ePub & .mobi formats

The Lord Jesus has given this prayer as a rule and example to which we must conform our prayers as far as matters and order; that is, in regard to the priority of each matter, such being the manner in which we are to desire them. It is, however, not mandatory that we repeat this prayer verbatim. The apostles, in their recorded prayers, have never repeated this prayer word for word. We may indeed pray this prayer, both in public meetings as well as privately; however, we are not obligated to do so. We must not be of the opinion that, upon having recited this, we have uttered a more holy prayer than if we had used our own words. This prayer is perfect in and of itself; however, he who prays has not prayed perfectly by merely having recited this prayer. If we do not have a correct understanding of each petition—yes, each word—if we do not have a holy and conscious desire for each matter, and nevertheless recite it, then it is a vain use of God's Name. It is a mocking with God, as if He were served with that rattling off of words, the meaning of which is not understood and by which one's desires are not expressed—even if one were to have a general opinion that he were praying to God. God demands the heart. Prayer is the expression of holy desires before God, and thus praying must be done in spirit and in truth. "I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also" (1 Cor 14:15). For a better understanding of this prayer we must distinguish between the various parts. This spiritual prayer is robbed of its meaning, and it is a blatant distortion of the Word of this majestic God to divide this prayer into seven fabricated periods or time-frames. It is then presupposed that some matters are already past and should no longer be prayed for, whereas others would as yet be future and do not transpire in our time. Only one matter would relate to the present; however, which one this would be cannot be determined. Then there would indeed be nothing to be found for the spiritual needs of each individual. However, it can at once be observed that there are three divisions: 1) the address; 2) the petitions; and 3) the conclusion. The petitions can in turn also be divided as follows:

(1) There is the most eminent matter which is to be the objective of all that is to be desired (this being the first petition), and the means which are to be desired to that end (which are the five subsequent petitions); or (2) in three matters we petition relative to God and three which relate to ourselves and our neighbor.

Table of Contents     
    Introduction
    Our Father, Which Art in Heaven
    Hallowed By Thy Name
    Thy Kingdom Come
    Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread
    Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors
    And Lead us not into Temptation, but Deliver us from Evil
    The Conclusion of the Lord's Prayer

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