The Lord’s Prayers

  • Part of what Jesus taught us to pray comes via the two ‘Lord’s Prayers’ (Matthew 6:9-13 & Luke 11:2-4). They are similar but not exactly the same

    (have a look at them right now to see what’s the same/similar or different). Jesus gave this teaching at different times and in different locations. Jesus probably said many of the same and similar things numerous times as he moved around Israel and wanted to teach different people the same and similar things. So, the fact that there is more than one recorded ‘version’ of the ‘Lord’s Prayer’ means that no one form of the words is sacrosanct— this is why we use both ‘versions’ in church. One is not better than the other, just different.

  • This is also one of the reasons why when Jesus said, “This, then, is how you should pray:” (Mt. 6:9) and “When you pray, say:” (Lk. 11:2) (& then gave slightly different words to pray) he didn’t mean we must always and/or only pray that exact one form of words.
  • Jesus also warned us to not pray ‘mindlessly’, simply mouthing words (Mt. 6:7- 8). (This is one of the reasons why the ‘Lord’s Prayer’ is short). But, praying the exact same thing in the exact same way regularly and many times makes it very hard for those words to not become partially said just rote. This is one of the reasons why we don’t pray the ‘Lord’s Prayer’ every week. Over- familiarity can breed words prayed less earnestly and less meaningfully.
  • However, the ‘Lord’s Prayer’ is an excellent pattern of prayer, from how we can address God to praying for his concerns first , to humble physical dependency on him to humble spiritual dependency on him. Do you regularly pray for these things, in this sort of order?
  • In the NIV2011, Luke 11:4 says, “Forgive us our sins” while Matthew 6:12 has “And forgive us our debts”. The word translated “debts” means: ‘(1) literally, what is owed: ‘debt, sum owed’; in a broader sense of what is due: ‘obligation’; (2) morally, of guilt incurred: ‘sin, offense’, so could be translated as ‘debts’ or ‘sins’ or ‘offenses’. The word translated “sins” in Luke 11 means: ‘generally, error, failure, in a moral sense wrongdoing against others; in the NT as offense against God: ‘sin’; (1) … and failing to honor him: ‘sin, being rebellious, sinfulness’ … (2) of a thought or action, an assertion of one’s own will in opposition to God’s will, a failure to do what pleases God, equivalentto: ‘sin, wrongdoing’. So, “sins” could also be translated as ‘wrongs’ or ‘rebellion’. Thus, it’s ok if different translations use some different words.

    So, may this help you understand, appreciate & pray ‘the Lord’s Prayers’