READ: Matthew 6:9-15.
Pretty much every person today (Christian and non-Christian), thinks that the ‘Lord’s Prayer’ is the “Our Father” of Matthew chapter 6 and Luke Chapter 11.
After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. – Matthew 6:9-10
In verse 9, at the beginning of the prayer, notice the words “pray ye”.
Jesus never classified Himself with His listeners. Here, Jesus is telling His listeners to call God “Our Father”, distinctly showing us that this is NOT the ‘Lord’s prayer’ at all, since the Lord Jesus Christ never prayed it, is not praying it now, and never will pray it. It is a ‘Disciples’ Prayer’ given to Old Testament, Jewish disciples before the crucifixion, resurrection, and the Church Age.
“Our Father” again refers to Israel, and is never given to a Gentile to pray, nor does Christ anywhere in the Sermon on the Mount even intimate that God is “Father” to anyone but an Israelite! Gentiles do not pray this, and as Christians we don’t pray this.
Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. – Matthew 6:11-13
You cannot force the Sermon on the Mount and the so-called ‘Lord’s prayer’ into Christian practice. The Christian can follow the prayer to verse 11, but verse 12 offers some difficulties, as no Christian is forgiven on the basis of forgiving others; they are forgiven, and cleansed, when they judge their own sin and confess it to Jesus (1 Cor. 11: 30–33; 1 John 1: 9).
If a Christian’s forgiveness is conditional on forgiving others, then the atonement of Christ (not yet accomplished at this point!) is insufficient, for “forgiveness and remission” of sins are clearly said to be part of the finished work of Christ in the believer (Col. 1: 14; Acts 13: 38–40).
For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. – Matthew 6:14-15
If there was any doubt as to the ‘salvation’ involved in verse 12, it is now dispelled. The passage is teaching salvation from sin and forgiveness on the basis of WORKS.
If it isn’t ignorance, pride, or lack of study, then perhaps the reason why Christians pray this prayer is that they don’t believe in the finished work of Christ on the cross; they don’t believe in eternal security. They refuse to accept the Pauline revelation on the death and atonement of Christ for sinners.
This prayer then is addressed to God as the “Father” of a physical nation that He begat, and to which He gave birth.
READ: Isaiah 63:16, 64:8; Deuteronomy 32:5-6, 18.
Unless this Matthew passage is left in its Jewish setting, with a primary doctrinal application to the Second Coming (and an outline for a doctrinal prayer for the entire nation of Israel during the Tribulation), it will destroy the soul of the person who seeks to justify him or herself by ‘following’ its example.
READ: 1 Kings 8:22-53 for the actual model for the ‘Lord’s prayer’.
READ: John 17 for the true ‘Lord’s Prayer’.