The Lord’s Prayer

Lords Prayer

This is an Olive Tree interpretation called interspersed with some comments of my own.

Understanding The Lord’s Prayer

He said to them,

“When you pray, say: ‘Father, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. ‘Give us each day our daily bread. ‘And forgive us our sins, For we ourselves also forgive everyone who is indebted to us [who has offended or wronged us]. And lead us not into temptation [but rescue us from evil].’” Luke 11:2-4 AMP

The Lord’s prayer illustrates the variety of requests that one can and should make to God, as well as displaying the humble attitude that should accompany prayer.

  • In addition, this prayer is the one Jesus commanded us to use “when we pray.” It is addressed to “Our Father”, not to “the Holy Ghost” or to “Our Lord Iesus Kristos”.
  • Is this called “The Lord’s Prayer” because Jesus used it or taught it, or because it is addressed to The true Lord?
  • Jesus said,

    “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy by thy name, and by thy name cast out demons, and by thy name do many mighty works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” Matthew 7:21-23 NIV

  • In this quote, Whose Will is to be done? The Lord Father’s or Lord Jesus’s. If it is the former, what kind of Lord is Jesus? The final King’s, Whose Kingdom comes, or the King of David’s eternal Throne, already established?

The use of the plural pronoun us throughout the prayer shows that it is not just the prayer of one person for his or her own personal needs, but a community prayer.

  • Agreed, here.
  • But also, it implies the reciprocal idea that these requests can be and will be responded to by our Lord Father, not our Lord Jesus or Lord Holy Ghost.

Your Kingdom come: The references here is to God’s program and promise. This is more affirmation than request, highlighting the petitioner’s submission to God’s Will and the desire to see God’s work come to pass.

  • It is not a request in the sense that it Will not come about if not requested. Rather, it is recognition of inevitability of God’s Decree.

For we ourselves also forgive: The petitioner recognizes that if Mercy is to be sought from God, then mercy must be shown to others. We need to adopt the same standard that we expect others to follow.

  • True. However, Mercy of The Father (God) is not dependent on our treating our neighbours well, nor on the slaughter of Jesus, but on our submission to God (The Father).

Lead us not into temptation: This remark is often misunderstood as suggesting that perhaps God can lead us into sin. The point is that if one is to avoid sin, one must follow where God leads. In short, the petitioner asks God for the spiritual protection necessary to avoid falling into sin.

  • Yes indeed. We must seek God’s Guidance lest we stray onto an evil path. Yet the evil path exists by God’s permission in order to test us. Will the temptation to follow the broad way male is miss the straight and narrow path.

Deliver us from Evil:

The Olive Tree explanation of the Lord’s Prayer does not include an explanation of this part. The Jamieson, Fausset and Brown Commentary, however, observes:

As the expression “from evil” may be equally well rendered “from the evil one,” a number of superior critics think the devil is intended.

However, they also express the opinion that evil goes well beyond just the evil one. They note that Paul, who was Saul, wrote to Timothy alluding to this very petition in the Lord’s Prayer:

“And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom” (2Ti 4:18).

And conclude that:

The final petition, then, is only rightly grasped when regarded as a prayer for deliverance from all evil of whatever kind–not only from sin, but from all its consequences–fully and finally.

What they do not say, but which may be intimated by all devote Christians, is that full and final deliverance from sin and its consequences is only possible through believing in the final sacrifice of Jesus as redemption, so this petition is for his crucifixion.

  • If it was a petition for his crucifixion, then why to Christians still use it, as it has already happened.
  • If we are praying to The Father as Lord, then asking The Lord to  deliver me from every evil work, and preserve me unto His heavenly (not earthly) Kingdom is what every person wishes. An evil work is not just sin against other human beings, but include sins against God. Those sins include conjoining partners with Him. In the Quran, Allah says:

Indeed, Allah does not forgive conjoining partners with Him, but He forgives what is less than that for whom He wills. And he who associates others with Allah has certainly fabricated a tremendous sin. (Quran 4:48)

  • This is the evil we hope God will forgive and pardon that will enter us into heaven, for any other sin God will forgive or pardon out of His Mercy as long as you bow to His Will. The Evil One, Satan, is the one who stands in the straight path beckoning you to the wide way. We should recognise him and despise his blandishments and inveiglement. I concur with, for that reason, the superior critics that Jamieson et al. refer to.

In Islam, there is a similar prayer: a prayer for healing:

A Healing Prayer

 

Our Lord Allah Who is in Heaven. Hallowed is Your name. Your Decree is in the Heavens and the Earth.  As is Your Grace (received) is in the Heavens, So is Your Grace (given) on Earth. Forgive us our faults and our sins; You are Lord of the goodly.

Send down a (part of) Mercy from Your Grace and a (part of) Cure from Your Healing on this, (my/his/her/our/their) pain/ache/illness! (Sunan Abu Dawood)

This prayer bears many similarities to the Lord’s prayer.

Our Lord Allah Who is in Heaven. Hallowed is Your name.

This acknowledges God as our Lord, our only Lord, in Heaven, like the Lord Father is in Heaven. And as He is Hallowed (Holy) as is the Father,

In the Quran and in the Sunnah, Allah is never referred to with the attribute, “The Father.” Yet his parental (Motherly) quality is hinted at in at least one of the Prophet’s sayings that came down to us.  For instance, once a nursing mother was separated from her baby in the aftermath of a battle, and was searching for it. Whenever she found an untended baby, she would look to see if it were hers, nurse it and then carry on looking until she finally found her own. Then she not only nursed it, but scolded it fiercely for going missing. The Prophet, May Allah praise him, drew the attention of his companions to the woman and said,

Do you think that woman could throw her child in the fire?

We said, “No, not if she is able to stop it.”

The Prophet said, “Allah is more merciful to His servants than a mother is to her child.” (Sahih Bukhari)

In another saying, he was talking of himself and the other Prophets of Allah, saying how they were related, at least spiritually, to each other. He said:

“I am the closest of the people to Jesus the son of Mary in this life and in the Hereafter.”

It was said, “How is that, O Messenger of Allah?”

The Prophet, may Allah Praise him, said, “The prophets are brothers from one father with different mothers. They have one religion and there was no other prophet between us.”

The explanation of One Father is that it refers to the religion sent down to the Prophets. This is similar to the idea that Abraham was the father of the religion in that he was a monotheist before Judaism, Christianity or Islam.

Yet another explanation would be that the Father is the author of the religion. The One Who sent it down.

That, however, gets complicated as the revelation was sent down with angels, identified mainly as the angel Gabriel or Holy Spirit. They are, however, like the Prophets, the conduits of Revelation to the Prophets as the Prophets are to ordinary people. This brings me to two definitions of father that can be considered as The Lord Father.

Father (n) (Marion Webster)

5 (SOURCE)
a : one that originates or institutes

Father (v) (American Heritage)

2. To create, found, or originate.
3. To attribute the paternity, creation, or origin of.

Hence, Creator, Originator, Source as well as Carer.

Your Decree is in the Heavens and the Earth.  As is Your Grace (received) is in the Heavens, So is Your Grace (given) on Earth.

This is recognition of Who rules the Heavens and earth, and Whose Will directs it. However, it connects this Rule to Mercy and Grace, invoking both and as a preliminary to asking God to dispense it.

Forgive us our faults and our sins; You are Lord of the goodly.

This prayer leaves out asking for provision and immediately leaps to asking for forgiveness.

A Muslim attributes affliction to three causes. The first cause is that it comes to a person as a test. It need not be a result of sin, but a result of goodliness: a test of that goodliness. It may also be punishment for an evil that God alone is aware of inflicted upon a believer as an expiation for sin so he or she will not have to answer for it on Judgement-Day. Finally, it may also be a result of sin – brought upon oneself as a consequence of doing ill – a reaction, you might say, to what (evil) you put out. If that pain is reserved for the hereafter, one is in deep trouble. One always hopes it is not.

The goodly refers to those who try to be good towards people in society, and those who purify themselves for worship. An example of such a man is someone the Prophet marked for a place in Paradise.

Once we were sitting with the Messenger of God, may Allah praise him. He said: “There will appear before you a man of the rightful dwellers of Paradise.”

A man of Al-Ansar (the helpers of Medina) appeared before us. He was shaking off water from his beard after performing ablution and was carrying his sandals in his left hand. He greeted us.

The following day, the Messenger of God said the same and that man appeared once again. On the third day, the Messenger of God said the same and that man appeared once again.

When the Prophet, may Allah praise him, left, Abdullah ibn Amr ibn Al-Ass followed the man. He said to him; “I have had some words with my father and swore not to stay in my house for three nights. Please let me accompany you for the three nights.”

The man accepted, and Abdullah spent three nights with him. He observed that the man did not perform the voluntary night prayer, but whenever he rolled over from side to side while sleeping, he would glorify Allah. He did not get up except for the Dawn prayer (Fajr). Even so, he said that he did not hear him saying anything but good (from the lips of the man).

After the three nights had passed and he was about to belittle what basic acts of worship the man did, Abdullah said to him; “O servant of Allah! There was nothing between my father and me, but I have heard the Messenger of God saying such and such about you, so, I wanted to see what you do. I did not see you doing much goodness. What has raised you to such a rank?”

The man said; “It was only what you have seen.”

When Abdullah started to leave, the man called him back and said; “It was only what you have seen. But I do not envy a Muslim for what Allah has given him. (And if I suffer a wrong, I forgive the wrongdoer for His sake.)”

Abdullah said to him; “Nothing made you reach that rank except this. And not all of us are able to do so.” (Ar-Riyadh As-Salihiyn)

Send down a (part of) Mercy from Your Grace and a (part of) Cure from Your Healing on this, (my/his/her/our/their) pain/ache/illness!

This is the supplication for a cure to one’s ill. It can be made by the sick person, or by someone on his behalf. Only a tiny splinter of God’s Mercy suffices for a complete cure of any sickness, which is why we beseech Rahmatan from Ar-Rahmatik.

The similarity to the Lord’s Prayer to this Healing Prayer is quite close, maybe because both prayers are from the same source.

Peace Be Upon You.

 

 

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