by Kato Frances
“The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.” (Luke 18:11)
Let’s compare that to this one.
“After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.”
The Lord’s prayer was given by Jesus in response to Peter’s request for Him to teach the disciples to pray, as John the Baptist taught his disciples. Presumably, it was intended to be a one-to-one prayer, as opposed to a collective prayer. However, if that’s correct, why do we have seven “our” and “we” words used in the prayer? There is no “I” in this prayer.
Compare that to the prayer above. Then compare that to most prayers in the Bible. Prayer ought to be directly to God or directly to Jesus. Why?
Who is the “we” or the “our” referenced in the prayer?
Here are several ideas.
Watchmen n.e.e. the spiritual man states that man is a tripartite being, comprising spirit, soul, and body. Could it be that this is our collective being – me, myself, and I? Our spirit, soul, and body, acknowledging the Creator who has formed, created, and sustained its very existence? Maybe. Maybe not.
Some believe that we each come with our own personal guardian angel. Some believe we have an additional angel of peace and angel of conscience. If these are true, could it be that the our is our essence and our angel’s essence collectively praying for what is needed for us to fulfill our purpose? Could that be it?
Since Jesus is the “lamb slain from the foundation of the world” and he’s chosen us from the very beginning of the world, could it be that He’s with us from the beginning of our existence? Some have looked back and seen, felt or heard Jesus being with them since their very childhood, though they may not have yet recognized that it was Jesus. If this is the case, the “our” is the individual and Jesus praying together to the Father.
As disciples of Christ, we are individuals of the body of Christ. Christ’s body is individual as well as collective. Maybe it was set this way so that each time we pray as individuals, we’re also sending power to the collective body as in the prayer we pray for God’s kingdom to come to earth as it is in Heaven, and we are also praying for the collective body as well as the individual requests. So even when we pray individually, there is a “built in” component that transmits additional power, grace, and spirit to other members of the body as well. (See John 17) (John 15 states Abide in Me, and I in you.) Maybe Christ is in some sort of “dormant” form waiting to us to activate him by use of our faith. When we receive him as our savior, he is activated in full power. What do you think?
“Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?” Hebrews 1:14.
Here, the author specifically is referencing angels. Both Daniel and John had a messenger sent to them who didn’t seem to be an angel, but were referenced as ‘fellow servants’.
“Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.” (Revelation 22:9)
“And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him.” (Matthew 17:1-3)
God has angels ministering to us in our work, assisting, directing, guiding, and counseling. Could he possibly also allow some of our Christian relatives to “watch over” and sometimes try to counsel or influence us in our service for the Lord? It is a bit of a stretch, but both Daniel and John had someone pass on information from God who were not angels prior. It seemed to indicate that they were human, and active in preaching the Gospel in their previous life. Just a thought.
In any case, the Lord’s prayer is Jesus’ prayer to us as His disciples. It’s short, sweet, and to the point, and encompasses everything. Even if we don’t understand the use of “our” and “we” it WORKS. What do you think? What is the Holy Spirit showing you personally about this?