This, then, is how you should pray: "Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one."
Ironic that this much “mumbled” prayer follows RIGHT AFTER Jesus’ admonition to NOT babble out rote prayers! As a kid, I remember a 1940’s war movie that would come on Saturday TV that depicted guys in the Battle of the Bulge during WWII; at the end of the movie, the camera pans across the cast as they say in unison “The Lord’s Prayer” from their scattered fox-holes. This was their last good luck charm; the rabbit’s feet and four-leaf clovers had failed. This was all that was left. Even today, I can pass a channel some evenings where a room full of Nuns will be quoting the Lord’s Prayer OVER AND OVER! No passion, just repetition.
This prayer is NOT given for us to “repeat” (the context warns us not to do this). Rather, it lays out a model and order for healthy praying. It’s a great place to start with on the subject of prayer (and why not – it is, after all, Jesus’ prayer). Note the significance (and think about the social and religious culture that this was being in) of the following:
Hallowed (Holy, set apart, without equal)
Be your name
Your kingdom come
Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven
Give us today our daily bread
And forgive us our debts
As we also have forgiven our debtors
And lead us not into temptation
But deliver us from the evil one
Why do you think this prayer is “ordered” the way it is (1st, 2nd, 3rd…)?
But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.