Saturday, 3 July 2021
Title: The Lord’s Prayer
By: Wong Yoke Ming

Matthew 6:9

“Pray then like this …”
We are all so familiar with this. It is called “The Lord’s Prayer” but is, in fact, the Lord Jesus teaching the disciples how they should pray. What we often miss are the verses before that from verse 5 to verse 7:

  1. We should not pray like the hypocrites who pray for self-glorification in the most ‘publicly’ seen places and in contempt of others whom they consider less pious than themselves, as in the parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector in Luke 18:9.
  2. We should not pray like the ‘Gentiles’ (today these would be people who do not know God) – with many words (Gk. – ‘babbling’) that cover a myriad of deities but are really nothing more than ‘dutiful’ incantations thought to be pious prayers.

But neither was it meant to be a prayer to be repeated without understanding as many of us do today. There are six petitions in what we call “The Lord’s Prayer”, easily divided into the first three, which remind the one praying of who God is, and next three petitions, which remind the one praying of the grace and provision of God in the life of the Christian. We shall focus on the first set of three.

Firstly, we should recognize that we are speaking with, not God, but “Our Father in heaven”. Why do I make this distinction? Jesus teaches us to be reverent when we speak with our heavenly Father. How would we speak to our earthly father? Should we not speak to our heavenly Father with, at least, the same reverence, except that this is our Father in heaven, not on earth. Contrast this with what was in Psalm 22, as uttered on the cross by our Lord, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” Here, we are taught to acknowledge our heavenly Father who provides for us, who forgives us all our wrongdoing and who guides us away from succumbing to the evil that overspills from our hearts (Mark 7:21-23).

Secondly, even as we acknowledge Him as our Father in heaven, we long to be sheltered in His house, which will become our eternal domain. Do we not want to be our earthly father’s house until such time when we leave our parents to cleave to our spouse? So to, the bride, which is the church, who would cleave to the Bridegroom, the Head of the church? And thirdly, do we not want to be in the place where our heavenly Father rules, not just in eternity coming, but in the “here and now”?

So, our Lord teaches us to long for the Father’s kingdom, our ultimate home, to be in our hearts for the peace that surpasses all understanding and dispels all anxiety and that casts out all fears. We long for His will to dominate our lives here on earth; as our Lord has promised – an Advocate who will remind us of everything that our Lord had taught us. And the Apostle Paul reminded us, in Ephesians 4:30, not to “grieve the Holy Spirit of God”, by whom we had been “sealed for the day of redemption”. For our Lord has taught us that if He casts out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon us (Luke 11:20).

And thus, this is not a prayer per se, but a teaching to us how we should pray, not in a hypocritical manner nor in babbling and empty repetitions, but first to come before God in humble reverence and desiring His will to be done and His kingdom to be in the “here and now”.

Father, we long for Your presence to be with us, even in the “here and now”, and the peace that You give to us amidst all the turmoil in our world. We are grateful for Your provision in our lives; Your forgiveness, even to the extent of seventy times seven; and Your hand in our lives that we may not succumb to the evil that comes from within our hearts. In Christ’s name we pray. Amen.

星期六,2021 年 7 月 3 日
翻譯 : 王靖端姐妹

馬太福音 6:9


  1. 我們不應該像偽君子那樣的禱告,他們在最“公眾”的地方自吹自擂的禱告,並蔑視和瞧不起那些他們自認為不如自己虔誠的人,就如路加福音 18:9 中法利賽人和稅吏的比喻。
  2. 我們不應該像“外邦人”(今天是指不認識上帝的人)那樣禱告——用許多重複話语(希臘文:“胡言亂語”)涵蓋無數的神祗,但實際上這貌似虔誠的禱告只不過是“盡職盡責”的咒語。


首先,我們應該認識到,我們不是在跟上帝說話,而是在跟“我們在天上的父” 說話。我為什麼要做出這樣的區分?耶穌教導我們在與天父交談時要虔誠。我們如何與我們地上的父親交談?我們是否應該至少以同樣的尊重和謙恭的態度對我們的天父說話,只不過這是我們在天上的父,而不是在地上的父。將此句與詩篇 22 的內容進行對比,也就是我們的主在十字架上所說的:“我的神,我的神,為甚麼離棄我?“ 在這裡,我們被教導要感謝我們的天父,衪供應了我們, 衪寬恕了我們所有的過錯,並引導我們遠離從我們心中溢出的惡念(馬可福音 7:21-23)。


因此,我們的主教導我們渴望天父的國度,我們最終的家,在我們心中有渴望超越所有的理解並消除所有焦慮和驅逐所有恐懼的和平。我們渴望祂的旨意主宰我們在地上的生活;正如我們的主所應許的那樣——我們有一位會提醒我們主所教導的一切的保惠師。使徒保羅在以弗所書 4 章 30 節提醒我們,不要“叫神的聖靈擔憂”,因為我們”原是受了祂的印記,等候得贖的日子來到”。因為我們的主教導我們,如果衪用神的能力趕鬼,那麼神的國就臨到我們了(路加福音 11:20)。


禱告:天父,我們渴望祢與我們同在,即使在“此時此地”,以及祢在世界的所有動盪中賜給我們的平安。我們感謝祢在我們生活中的供應; 祢的寬恕,甚至到七十乘七次;和祢在我們生活中的扶持,使我們不會屈服於來自內心的邪念。我們奉基督的名祈禱。阿門。