The Lord’s Prayer/ the Our Father Jesus taught, is both how we should pray, along with words we should use to pray (of course, not exclusively). The Lord’s Prayer is not only a good template for prayer, but for how we should view the world. Of course how we view the world from that prayer will be determined by how we read the rest of scripture. And what we gather from that will vary somewhat from person to person, as well as from church to church.
The Lord’s Prayer along with the gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) puts us on notice that Jesus is King, that God’s kingdom is present in him, and that, while we await its consummation at Jesus’ return when heaven and earth are made one, the beginning of what is to occur then, is happening now.
The prayer by itself is a good template to get us better focused than we normally would be otherwise, but as noted earlier, we need to be in all of scripture to see just what this prayer might mean in God’s kingdom work in Jesus in the world today.
The prayer is centered in God’s glory, kingdom and will. It is God-centered. It is in terms of community: God’s people, so that somehow the people of God are in some central role in this kingdom and its work. It is for the earth in terms not only of the future, but of the present as well. In fact I think the emphasis of the prayer as a whole is clearly on the present. It is practical, down to earth, where people live. In terms of sustenance, what we need physically. And spiritually, as well. It is also in terms of the ongoing need for forgiveness of sins, in other words it is grace oriented. Along with depending on God for deliverance from evil, or the evil one, so as not to be led into temptation. Again, giving all the glory and praise to God.
As followers of Jesus we need to be well grounded in the words Jesus said, and these words Jesus taught us to pray are among those we need to keep especially close at hand. Remembering that this is a prayer to God, which means that how it’s shaped is how God’s work in Jesus in his kingdom is shaped in the world.
“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one,
for yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.’