Jesus taught us to pray after the pattern of the Lord’s prayer listed in Matthew 6:9-13. The context shows that this prayer is given as a model in contrast with the “vain repetitions” and “much speaking” of heathen prayers which were characteristics that had been used by the religious leaders or the Pharisees (Matthew 6: 7). Jesus instructed His followers saying, “Be not ye therefore like unto them,” but “after this manner therefore pray ye” (verses 8, 9).
Prayer had become lengthy and repetitious, and its sincerity of thought and expression was hidden by an objective literary form. It may have been beautiful in words but sometimes lacking in sincerity of heart (Matthew 6:. 7, 8). In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus delivered from the the literary redundancy that which was important and returned it to a simple and brief form with full meaning so that it could be understood by the most people.
Thus, while coming to a certain extent from the prayers of Judaism, the Lord’s Prayer is certainly an inspired and original prayer in its own right. Its uniqueness in the choice of requests and arrangement bring alive the cry of the soul. Its universal use shows the fact that it expresses more perfectly than any other prayer the basic needs of God’s children every where. While the Lord’s prayer is our model prayer, we should not limit our communion with God to repeating the Lord’s prayer.
It is interesting to note that the different thoughts expressed in the Lord’s Prayer, and often the words themselves in which the thoughts are expressed, may be found in either the Old Testament or in Jewish traditional prayers known as Ha–Kaddish. Inasmuch as the thoughts expressed in the Lord’s Prayer were already current in Jewish prayers in the time of Christ, we may explain this similarity on the grounds that every virtue in Judaism, including the phrases expressed in its prayers, originally came from our Lord Jesus Christ.
In His service,