The Lord’s Great Prayers
by Harvey L. Diamond
The Lord prayed two great prayers in public: The Model Prayer, otherwise known as the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13 and Luke 11:2-4); and the John 17 prayer. Both reveal tremendous aspects of God’s heart and character, and tri-une nature God.
He prayed the Lord’s Prayer at the beginning of His ministry before a large group. He prayed the John 17 prayer the day before His crucifixion before His closest disciples.
The Lord’s Prayer was part of His Sermon on the Mount. There, He instructed the multitudes on the new standard of Christian living. Teachings included the Beatitudes, Similitudes—being the salt and light of the world, Murder, Adultery, Divorce, Oaths, Retaliation, Love, Charitable Deeds, Fasting, Wealth, Judging, Asking, Seeking and Knocking, the Golden Rule, Two Ways of Life, False and True Teaching, Way into the Kingdom, Parable of the Two Builders.
This prayer was topical in nature. It included seven basic topics believers should address relating to prayer. The John 17 prayer, on the other hand, was revelatory in nature. It included twelve topics revealing the heart and will of God.
Let’s learn from the Lord, key points about relating with God.
The Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13)
Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
In this prayer, the Lord instructs believers on seven topics to address in prayer:
1. “Our Father in heaven” Prayer is addressed to the Father.
As adopted children of God, we have the position as joint heirs with our Lord Messiah Jesus! That conveys some awesome things: the Blessing of sharing in His inheritance and glory; the Love with which the Father loves the Son; the Intimacy of the relationship between the Father and His Son; and the Responsibility of ruling and reigning with the Lord in heavenly places.
2. “Hallowed be Your name” His name is to be exalted and hallowed: kept holy, pure and sanctified.
In reverence, we are to keep God’s name set apart from all other names. This also keeps in view the 3rd commandment: "You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.”
3. “Your kingdom come…” We come into agreement with His kingdom way and will.
Our prayers should be in alignment with God’s kingdom way. For that reason, the Lord devoted much of His teaching and parables to the nature and ways of the kingdom of God. In the book of Acts, the disciples therefore, began to talk about “the Way.” Our desires should reflect yielded and surrendered hearts, and our prayers should reflect the will of God already established in heaven. Daniel had revealed the way to discern God’s will in Daniel 9:23 and 10:12—in humility and skill to understand. Skill comes from the knowledge of God’s word and anointing of the Holy Spirit.
4. “Give us this day…” We petition God for our needs on a daily basis.
Prayer should be a daily communion with God. Through prayer, we express our faith towards God and dependence on God.
5. “And forgive us our debts…” We respond to God’s forgiveness of sin, and set our hearts to forgive others.
Forgiveness is a key element of prayer. It is the one thing the Lord repeated. For, as we forgive others, we in turn set ourselves free from judgment and its effect—guilt. Forgiveness, therefore, sets our hearts in a condition to receive from God!
6. “And do not lead us into temptation…” We acknowledge our sinful nature, trusting in God’s protection.
7. “For Yours is the kingdom…” We acknowledge God’s sovereignty and power.
We are all capable of falling into temptation, and need to keep this truth top of mind. At the same time, we acknowledge our dependence on God’s watchful eye, and promise to deliver us out of the grip of the evil one.
Satan has been permitted certain authority over the earth, but all the universe is under God’s dominion. We, therefore, acknowledge the Lord as ruler, and ascribe all power, honor, authority and glory to Him.
Messiah Yeshua, Jesus Christ summed up God’s will in this prayer. While He expresses several points multiple times, He asks the Father twelve essential things in this prayer. Gaining insight into this prayer will always point to the direction of the will of God. In fact, you can use these items as a litmus test for discerning the will of God relating to most things. Praying in agreement with the Lord’s requests assures us that we will be praying in accordance to the specific will of God!
In this prayer, the Lord asked the Father that:
The Son would glorify the Father
Eternal life be given to as many as the Father has given to the Son
We would know the Father and the Son
We would be one with the Father and Son
We would have Messiah’s joy fulfilled in us
We would be kept from the evil one
We would be sanctified by the truth
The world would believe that the Father sent the Son
We would be made perfect in one
Those whom the Father gave to the Son would be with Him where He is
We would behold His glory
The love with which the Father loved the Son would be in us
1. Glorifying the Father
The Lord’s passion is to not only set captives free and bring salvation to the lost but glorify the Father through a community of believers filled with His Spirit, truth and love, in unity with the Godhead and one another, so that the world will know that the Father had sent the Son. This is our primary cause! That God be glorified in everything.
2. Eternal life given to believers
In John 11:25-26 the Lord declared, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?" He reveals two key things here: a) In Messiah Jesus our soul has eternal life and; b) we have to truly believe in faith. He, therefore, raises the question—“do you believe this?” In prayer, we set our heart to believe with trusting faith and petition God for others to have the faith for eternal salvation.
3. Knowing God
In Daniel 11:32 Scripture declares that, “the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits.” In view here is an intimate knowledge of God. Such comes not by intellectual means, but through a personal and dynamic relationship with God. That’s what we pray—to develop intimate relationships with God that yield fruit reflecting a relationship marking a true relationship with God.
4. One with the Father and Son
The Lord, Messiah Jesus came to reveal the heart, way and will of the Father. As joint heirs with the Lord, we partake in His inheritance. As He declared in John 1:12, “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name…” In view here is a set of privileges accessible to those who actively believe and apprehend the nature of one’s standing as a child of the King! We, therefore, pray for a wide view of the nature of such a relationship.
5. The Lord’s joy be fulfilled in us
It is important to know what pleases God and brings joy to His heart. Paul had an understanding of this, for he knew the heart of God. In Philippians 2:1-2 he relates his understanding to us. “Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.” God finds joy when we apprehend the love in His heart and walk with His perspective, maintaining a state of unity with Him. That’s a real assignment of prayer!
6. Kept from the evil one
7. Sanctified by the truth
We have been given free will. We pray that we be led not into temptation. Therefore, we pray to be kept in the grip of God, His angels would be charged concerning us (Psalm 91), we walk in the discipline of the wisdom of His word, and preserved in grace.
Grace is not a ticket to licentiousness. The kingdom of God has boundaries. In 1 Corinthians 6:11 Paul expressed what happens when one professes faith in Messiah Jesus as Lord and Savior. “But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Messiah and by the Spirit of our God.” The term, sanctification, means set apart. We are set apart from the power of sin and regenerated by the power of the Holy Spirit as new creatures in Messiah Jesus—for His service. Therefore, sanctification implies a continuing process of growth, transforming our nature into His.
Paul exhorted believers to maintain a sanctified state.
“For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God; that no one should take advantage of and defraud his brother in this matter, because the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also forewarned you and testified. For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness. Therefore he who rejects this does not reject man, but God, who has also given us His Holy Spirit.”
(1 Thessalonians 4:3-8)
We, therefore, are continuously sanctified as we embrace God’s truth and receive the power of the Holy Spirit working within us, changing our nature. It, therefore, behooves us to pray for the continued sanctification of our loved ones.
8. The world would believe
God’s mission is converting lost souls to believers. He, therefore, calls us to be living testimonies so that people will come to faith in Messiah Yeshua—Jesus Christ our Lord. We, therefore, pray that our actions and faith will point others to saving faith in the Lord.
9. Made perfect in one
The Lord repeats this several times. In view here, is an expression of the union of the Godhead—Father, Son and Holy Spirit—in union with the believer. As God is unified as Elohim (Hebrew plural tense for God), believers are drawn unto God into a progressively growing relationship that transforms the believer’s nature into a Messiah-like nature, revealing “Christ in you the hope of glory” in increasing measures. We, therefore, pray that God’s will be accomplished in this regard.
10. Being with the Lord
Ephesians 2:6 reveals that believers have been raised up together with the Lord, and He made us sit together in the “heavenly places” in Him with Him. This place is the place of His presence by the Holy Spirit as we maintain communion with Him. We, therefore, pray to be kept in a dynamic flow of the Spirit as we commune with God.
11. Behold His Glory
Here the Lord hones in on a critical concept: that His believers would experience in a very real way the manifested presence of God, see His beauty and goodness, and know His holiness. This is what Isaiah experienced in Isaiah 6; what Joel prophesied about in Joel 2:28; what the disciples experienced in Acts 2; and what countless others have experienced since. This is still God’s will and the desire of His heart. “He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him." (John 14:21) We, therefore, pray for His light—His Spirit—to come and His glory to arise within and amongst us—that He be glorified. (Isaiah 60:1)
12. His love be in us
God is love; and love is the greatest gift of all spiritual gifts. It is what distinguishes a child of God, and it is what radiates out of us. We can have every spiritual gift in great measure, but if we don’t have love, we become like clanging brass: harsh on the heart.
May the Lord bless you as you draw near to God and expand the scope of your engagement with Him!