by Pastor David Grey
“Our Father…” The opening words to the prayer Jesus told His disciples to pray.” – Matthew 6:9
I begin by saying a word about what we have come to know as “The Lord’s Prayer.”
It was customary for every public teacher among the Jews of Jesus’ day to compose a prayer that would also embody the doctrines that teacher considered most important. The teacher then gave that prayer to his disciples for their own use.
Some of those prayers were of considerable length and contained great detail. Often when this was the case, an outline was made from that prayer, so that one could memorize the main points upon which to base his personal, spontaneous petition to God.
Thus, the outline was not the prayer itself, but the template for prayer. The prayer that Jesus gave to His disciples is one of these. It is the outline form of the prayer Jesus gave His disciples.
We were never intended to pray only the outline but rather to pray consistent with that outline; to flesh it out as it were.
Now to my main point. What a surprise it was to the disciples when they heard Jesus tell them to pray, “Our Father.” Nothing in the scriptures to that point referred to God as one who had or desired such an intimate relationship with mankind as to be called “Father.”
The name “Father,” as applied to God in the Old Testament, nearly always referred to God as the father of the nation of Israel and never by someone referring to Him as “my Father.”
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