"There are a thousand hacking at the
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The Lord's Prayer
The "Lord's Prayer" is found in both Matthew and Luke. Although they are somewhat different in the order of the sentiments, the one in Matthew incorporates all of what is in Luke. Here is the one in Matthew 6:9-13:
Therefore you would pray like this:
Our Father in the heavens,
Commentary: The content and its limitation, and even the format of this prayer, has significant implications and ramifications. One major implication, along with the fact that they are not honored, is that the vast majority of prayers are misguided and meaningless. They generally ask for things/developments that are premature to understanding the gospel and truth, things/developments that are not authorized, developments not under God's control, or things/developments that would be counterproductive, or things/developments that God cannot do without violating the eternal principles and ethics. This prayer has none of that! Another implication is that this prayer is for those that already have prayed for the inauguration in themselves of the God spirit and have found and understood the truth.
The prayer begins with three desire sentiment statements before the four valid requests are introduced. The person that understands the truth will appreciate the validity of these major things and that for them these things ARE AUTHORIZED. The provision of daily sustenance is of course foundational and its need is unequivocal. This aspect CANNOT go unfulfilled!
The progression of growth in the true seeker of truth, those that recognize the demonstration of God, is that first the seeker apprehends the truth, then understands it more fully, sees the beauty, elegance and compelling motivation of it, and finally settles into it, really believes it. When this progression is well under way, then can the candidate begin to naturally dismiss the transgressions/obligations of others.
The third request can be translated as "And do not bring us into being tested." Temptations to doubt or for being distracted or sidetracked are always there, as well as temptations of being unethical or profligate, but these lose their allure in the light of what is being imminently offered. What is of more moment is the aspect of being tested to an agonizing degree to just lose it, and we don't want to face that, nor should we.
Finally, in the light of our victimhood, our being enmeshed in the "human condition", the deliverance from the evil is the essence, the bottom line of the good news. We all want and ultimately deserve to live in a perfect universe where we enjoy the entire package.
When the paradigm of the gospel and the picture of truth is realized, this prayer can be seen as simply and elegantly covering the basics of what we all want and need from the creator of the universe.
* This word is usually translated as "bread", but often means the necessities of life maintenance, and obviously means the latter here in this passage.