WITH BOLD CONFIDENCE.
Relying on God has to begin all over again every day as if nothing had yet been done.
The Lord's Prayer
AND WHAT IT MEANS, FROM LUTHER'S SMALL CATECHISM
Our Father, who art in heaven.
Here God tenderly urges us to believe that He is our true Father, and that we are His true children, so that we may ask Him confidently with all assurance, as dear children ask their dear father.
Hallowed by Thy name.
God’s name is certainly holy in itself, but we pray in this petition that it may become holy among us also.
God’s name is kept holy when the Word of God is taught in its truth and purity, and we as the children of God lead holy lives in accordance with it. Help us to do this, dear Father in heaven! But anyone who teaches and lives other than as taught in God’s Word profanes the name of God among us. Preserve us from this, Heavenly Father!
Thy kingdom come.
The kingdom of God comes by itself even without our prayer, but we pray in this petition that it may come to us also.
God’s kingdom comes when our heavenly Father gives us His Holy Spirit, so that by His grace we believe His holy Word and lead a godly life here in time and there in eternity.
Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
The good and gracious will of God is done even without our prayer, but we pray in this petition that it may be done among us also.
God’s will is done when God breaks and hinders every evil plan and intention which do not want to let us hallow the name of God or to let His kingdom come, such as the will of the devil, the world, and our flesh; and when He strengthens and keeps us steadfast in His Word and in faith until our end. This is His gracious and good will.
Give us this day our daily bread.
God gives daily bread to everyone, even those who are evil, without our prayers; but we pray in this petition that He would lead us to know this, and to receive our daily bread with thanksgiving.
Daily bread includes everything that belongs to the support and needs of the body, such as food, drink, clothing, shoes, house, property, fields, animals, money, goods, a believing spouse, believing children, believing servants, believing and faithful magistrates, good government, good weather, peace, health, discipline, honor, good friends, faithful neighbors, and so on.
Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.
We pray in this petition that our Father in heaven would not look upon our sins, or deny our prayers on account of them; for we are not worthy of any of the things for which we pray, nor have we deserved them. Instead we pray that He would grant all our petitions by grace; for we sin greatly every day, and all we deserve is punishment. In the same way, for our part, we will sincerely forgive those who sin against us, and readily do good to them.
Lead us not into temptation.
God tempts no one. However, we pray in this petition that God would guard and keep us, so that the devil, the world, and our flesh may not deceive us, or seduce us into false belief, despair, and other great shame and vice; and that, though they may attack us, we may finally overcome them and gain the victory.
Deliver us from evil.
We pray in this petition that our Father in heaven would deliver us from every evil of body and soul, property and honor; and that in the end, when our last hour comes, He would grant us a blessed end, and graciously take us from this vale of tears to Himself into heaven.
This means I should be certain that these petitions are acceptable to our Father in heaven, and that He hears them; for He Himself has commanded us to pray in this way, and has promised that He will hear us. So we say “Amen, Amen”; that is, “Yes, yes, it shall be so.”
The Lord's Service at Zion
Sundays 10:30am / Wednesdays 7:30pm