The Petitions in the Lord’s Prayer

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The Petitions in the Lord’s Prayer

            In our bible literature class, we are currently reading the book of Luke in the New Testament. The importance of  finding a topic that interest me is always difficult because so much of this book has events or stories that any person could expound on. Well this week I decided that I would look into the “Lord’s prayer.” As I have read the prayer that Jesus instructs his disciple to pray, it always makes me think of how a person holds a name holy. What kingdom is coming? How to ask forgiveness of one’s sins, and also how do we forgive one another. In this prayer, much of its topics any person could easily understand, yet many say this is a petition to God and my question is what are these petitions?  Image

In Luke 11: 1-4 one of the disciples inquires of Jesus to teach them how they should pray and in reply Jesus says, “When you pray, this is what to say.” Notice that Jesus did not say this is what you should say but he says “what to say.”  In reading the article biblicalarchaeology.org  it describes this prayer as being a petition to God for daily bread. Daily bread is significant because in the distant future after the disciples this would be a prayer used  by many Christians and Jews to refer to Jesus or the Bible as their daily bread. Jesus significance of dying on the cross was believed to give life and grace for sinners, which is why he is believed to be the bread of life for many Jesus believers. The importance of bread is so profound that many believe it to hold some “mystical powers,” I happened to come across an article by Gary Amirault called Breaking Bread while looking for information on the Lord’s prayer. In this article by Amirault,  he quotes the thoughts of one middle eastern man from Syria , this man gives an account on the sacredness of of bread. In this excerpt he describes the word “aish” which means bread; “the life giver” and similar to what many believe the crucifixion of Jesus was for many of his followers BreakingBread.

I thought I would share the excerpt that Amirault used in his article to illustrate how important bread is to Middle Eastarn culture,

 “As the son of a Syrian family I was brought up to think of bread as possessing a mystic sacred significance. I never would step on a piece of bread fallen in the road, but would pick it up, press it to my lips for reverence, and place it in a wall or on some other place where it would not be trodden upon. What always seemed to me to be one of the noblest traditions of my people was their reverence to the “aish” (bread; literally “the life-giver”). While breaking bread together we would not rise to salute an arriving guest, whatever the social rank. Whether spoken or not, our excuse for not rising and engaging in the cordial (Near East) salutation before the meal was ended, was our reverence for the food (hir-metal-aish). We could, however, and always did, invite the newcomer most urgently to partake of the repast The aish was something more than mere matter. Inasmuch as it sustained life, it was God’s own life made tangible for his child, man, to feed upon. The Most High Himself fed our hunger. Does not the psalmist say, “Thou openest thine hand, and satisfieth the desire of every living thing.”? (From The Syrian Christ by Abraham Rihbanypublished 1916.)” (http://www.tentmaker.org/BreakingBread/2.html).

              The Lord’s prayer is believed by many scholars and historians as being the seven petitions and I only discuss six. The first petition starts off with the “Lords name being held holy.” In a commentary by Matthew Henry he gives the meaning of each line and it’s importance to the completion of the prayer lords-prayer1. In this first stanza, he equates the name of God as being a name that evokes praise and thanksgiving. He does not see the name as for alms but for the good that name itself holds, his translation of being held holy is the “sanctification and adoration.” In reading the Vatican’s interpretation, it that calling on this name will draw each individual into his plan that begin during the first times” Vatican. The history of the name of God was a mystery which was revealed slowly in the beginning of the bibles literature and was as the Vatican writes, “inaccessible to the people.” As time went on it was slowly revealed to Moses to set forth restoration and good which is one of the many reasons it is held holy and should remain holy Vatican. The name was not given easily and a name as the bible says should be used in vain. In the second stanza, it talks about the kingdom coming something we read in Matthew and Luke as John the Baptist declares, “the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

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The Vatican writes, “In the New Testament, the word basileia can be translated by “kingship” (abstract noun), “kingdom” (concrete noun) or “reign” (action noun) It may even be that the Kingdom of God means Jesus himself, whom we daily desire to come, and whose coming we wish to be manifested quickly to us.” “For as he is our resurrection, since in him we rise, so he can also be understood as the Kingdom of God, for in him we shall reign” Vatican.

This is believed by historians  to be the calling of Jesus in his last coming, and it is said in this line that one pleads to see the finish work of grace on earth. In the third stanza is illustrates, “giving us each day our daily bread” as a petition to those who believe Jesus was the son of God, these people will see God as their father and Jesus as his son. This explains the bread as being the nourishment needed to sustain life. The Vatican explains that the nourishment has levels in which help to sustain life. The bread gives life , prayer which keeps the person in constant communication with God, and the reading of the word which one feeds on daily, completing the word as food for daily bread.  In the fourth and fifth stanza, I thought it best to combined both petitions because as historians translate one can only be forgiven if he has forgiven others for their sins.  These debts, trespasses, or sins are the things that are wrong  both according to the law of Moses and the new covenant set up by the life of  Jesus. In this stanza, one can only be forgiven if he has forgiven others. Therefore, unless this one piece of the prayer is carried out entirely then the Christian or Jesus believers petitions are deemed void and inaccessible. if one has not showed enough love to forgive another then their prayer should not be heard. In the last stanza, which is my favorite it says put us not to the test but in all what is the test? The test is whether one will be tempted by evil or the evil one. In the commentary by Matthew Henry he translates evil in the last stanza as  “APOTOUPONHROU,” the wicked one lords-prayer6 . Satan is expressly called OPONHROS, the wicked one , he is sorrow, sin, and evil. In the Lord’s prayer one pleads for the holiness and confidence in God. The prayer is to be victorious and having a holy character from within to the outer character and also being victorious. This prayer is pleading for the deliverance of a person from evil and to be dressed with cleanliness and the Vatican explains, “we do not cease to sin, to turn away from God.” These petitions are exhortations explain that the person is sinful but in confession hoping for mercy and redemption and to see the Kingdom come and above all understand the beauty of forgiving and forgiveness Vatican!

Image http://assets3.faithgateway.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/DD-forgiveness-grace-happens-here.jpg

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