Praying The Lord's Prayer with New Insights

When the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray, He gave them the words to The Lord's Prayer. Today we pray it regularly in our churches and homes. In fact, it has become so familiar that, despite Christ's caution against "vain repetitions" (Matthew 6:7), we often say it rather than pray it, frequently reciting it without thinking about its meaning.

Therefore, the Quarterly is beginning a series on The Lord's Prayer, with two Bible studies per issue, each on a different petition. We hope this series will enhance your prayer life and draw you closer to "Our Father in Heaven."


Is He My Father?
(1st in our series on the Lord's Prayer: Our Father, who art in Heaven)
by Marlys Taege Moberg

Opening

Sing "Our Father Who From Heaven Above" (TLH 458, LW 430 or 431) or "Father Welcomes" from Jesus' People Sing!

Our Father

For each of us, the word "father" takes on connotations based on our experiences with our own father:

  • A loving Daddy, always there for me.
  • Someone I never knew.
  • A man who abused me.
  • A stepfather who tried his best.

Share some of your memories of your father. How have they colored your thoughts about your Father in heaven?

What does the Bible tell us about our Father in heaven in the following verses? (If time is a factor, ask volunteers to each look up a different verse and share their insights with the group.)

  • John 3:16
  • Malachi 2:10a, Ephesians 4:6, 2 Corinthians 6:18
  • Psalm 103:13-14
  • Matthew 6:8
  • Galatians 4:6-7; Romans 8:15
  • Matthew 18:14
  • Psalm 145:15-16
  • 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
  • Psalm 25:8-9
  • Psalm 68:5-6a, 19
  • John 10:29-30

What else do we learn about God and our relationship to Him from Acts 17:24-29?

Always Available

As we have just seen, God is omnipresent. We also know that our bodies are His temple and He dwells in us (see 1 Corinthians 3:16). He is not an absentee Father! He loves us and wants us to talk with Him in prayer-and He promises to listen! When? How? Note what is said in these verses:

  • Philippians 4:6
  • James 5:13,16
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:17
  • 1 John 5:14

In Heaven

In the Lord's Prayer we direct our petitions to our Father in His heavenly home where Christ has gone to prepare a place for us. What do the following verses tell us about heaven?

  • John 14:2-3
  • Psalm 11:4
  • Psalm 20:6
  • Psalm 102:18-20
  • Philippians 3:20
  • 1 Peter 1:3-5
  • 1 Corinthians 2:9

Certainly we gain the fullest picture of heaven in the Book of Revelation, whose primary purpose is to reveal Christ in all His glory and God's people as the bride of Christ. Close by having someone read aloud the beautiful description of the Holy City in Revelation 21:11 - 22:5. As you listen, meditate on God's love for us in preparing this marvelous eternal home for all who believe in Christ as their Savior.

Share your thoughts in response to the description in Revelation. How does the hope of heaven encourage you as you live each day?

Closing

Close by singing "Jerusalem the Golden" (TLH 613, LW 309, LBW 347).


Maryls Taege Moberg is Bible Study editor of Lutheran Woman's Quarterly. She is the mother of three adult children, two living on earth and one in heaven.