And he said to them, When you pray, say, Our Father which are in heaven, Hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done…
1. The first thing to be noted is the brevity of this prayer. In most religions the efficacy of prayer has been supposed to depend on its length. The notion is that the gods will do nothing for men unless they are teased. This prayer rebukes and corrects that idea.
2. How was this prayer to be used?
(1) Was it to be used exclusively? Clearly not, since in the Acts we have the record of several prayers which did not follow this form, and yet were answered abundantly.
(2) Ought we always, when we pray, to use these words — to include this prayer in all our supplications? No; I do not think our Lord means to require that. We shall often wish to pray in these words; but He means that our desires shall be free to utter themselves in their own way. The prayer is a model, in its simplicity, brevity, directness, but not a prescribed form; a staff, not a fetter, for the praying soul.
(Washington, Gladden, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.