But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly (Matthew 6:6).
The hymn The Lord’s Prayer is one of my top ten favorite sacred songs. Some have said the music to this hymn ranks as one of the best ever composed. I agree.
The lyrics are almost identical to those spoken by Christ as recorded in Matthew 6:9-13 (KJV) with replacement of one pronoun. In this text and in Luke’s account (Luke 11:2-4) Christ instructs His disciples and us how to pray and what to pray for.
In our prayers we should first give praise to God, for He is worthy followed by asking that His will be done. Notice the text says nothing about our will. For us to truly serve God and to please Him we must seek to abandon our will. Christ instructs us to ask that our daily needs be provided. Please note that the text says nothing about our wants.
Christ tells us to confess our sin in our prayer and to ask for His forgiveness, that only He can forgive; no mortal can forgive us of them. He then instructs us to forgive those that have done us wrong, even if we must forgive over and over even as Christ forgives us over and over. He tells us to ask God’s head in leading us down the straight way and to keep us from evil. That is another one of God’s wills, that we keep from evil.
The Biblical text and the hymn lyrics close with total praise and honor given to the Father, just as the text was started. This final passage in the hymn is majestic as only fitting it should be. When we pray we should offer majestic praise to God, through His son, our Lord Jesus Christ.
Albert Hay Malotte wrote The Lord’s Prayer in 1935. It was copyrighted by G. Schirmer, Inc. The hymn has been recorded by both secular and Christian artists. It was occasionally performed by George Beverly Shea during Billy Graham evangelistic crusades.
What a song of worship and a spotlight on how important God’s will is while ours is not!
Our Father who art in heaven
Hallowed be thy name
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses
As we forgive those who trespass
And lead us not into temptation
But deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, the power
and the glory,
For ever and ever.