Lord's Prayer and the Kingdom of God

All Bible verses are from NIV, if not otherwise mentioned.

Matthew 6:9-13
   This, then, is how you should pray: “‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,
10  your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
11  Give us today our daily bread.
12  And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’

Matthew 6:13   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.  (KJV)

Luke 11:2-4
   He said to them, “When you pray, say: “‘Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come.
   Give us each day our daily bread.
   Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation.’”

Two versions

Lord’s Prayer has two versions.
In Matthew 6:9-13 and in Luke 11:2-4
In Mathew it is longer and expanded, in Luke it is shorter.
The occasion in which our Lords told this prayer is also slightly different.

Matthew 6:5-9
   And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.
   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.
   And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.
   Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
   This, then, is how you should pray: “‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,

Luke 11:1, 2
1    One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”
   He said to them, “When you pray, say: “‘Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come.

It is because Jesus told them at two different occasions..

1.   Rabbis of the time of Jesus taught everything orally.
Disciples had to memorize all the teaching.
So it was usual and natural for the Rabbi to teach the same thing repeatedly at different occasions.

2.   The disciples were not recording everything as Jesus spoke.
They wrote the Gospels at a later period recollecting everything from their memory.
And they were not recording every incident and every word.
They certainly made a selection by the guidance of Holy Spirit and recorded them for their target audience.
So they recorded only whatever they thought necessary to transfer the message to the readers.

Bible scholars have agreed upon that the Prayer in Matthew is complete and better.


The Lord’s Prayer has two sections:

1.      The first teaches us things we need to know about God
2.      The second teaches us those things which are to know about ourselves.

Knowing God and knowing ourselves is, then, the theme of this prayer.
Putting these two things together sums up the entire corpus of things that we need to know in order to live for God.

The prayer is about the Kingdom of God.
The Gospel proclaimed by Jesus was the good news about the Kingdom of God.
Kingdom of God is the core of His teaching.

The prayer is about:

1.      The relationship between the King and the citizens.
2.      The nature of the kingdom
3.      An intend for His kingdom
4.      Prosperity in the kingdom
5.      The eligibility of the citizens
6.      A request for protection from the evil one.
7.      A doxology
1.   The relationship

Matthew 6:9              This, then, is how you should pray: “‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,

Everything revolves around the relationship.
The relationship defines everything that is stated in the prayer.

Psalms 23 starts with a statement that:

Psalms 23:1  The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.

Everything stated in the psalm is applicable only to those who are under such a relationship with the King.

It is a father-son relationship.
The prayer begins with acknowledging the son ship of His citizens.

Romans 8:14-16
14    For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.
15    The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”
16    The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.

Galatians 4:4-7
     But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law,
     to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship.
     Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.”
     So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.

2.   The nature of the kingdom

Matthew 6:9              This, then, is how you should pray: “‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,

The word hallowed means, to render or pronounce holy.
God's name is essentially holy.
The meaning of this petition is, "Let thy name be celebrated, and venerated, and esteemed as holy everywhere, and receive of all men proper honours."

The kingdom is a holy nation because the King is holy.
The King is the Kingdom.

Leviticus 11:45 I am the Lord, who brought you up out of Egypt to be your God; therefore be holy, because I am holy.

1Peter 1:15, 16
15  But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do;
16  for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”

Peter refers to Leviticus 11:45

3.   An intend for His kingdom

Matthew 6:10  your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

The prayer ‘your kingdom come’ and ‘your will be done’ is one and the same thing.

Kingdom of God is the redemptive hope of the Old Testament saints.
The Kingdom of God was the central message of Jesus.

The gospel of Mark introduces Jesus and His mission with these words:

Mark 1:13-14
14  After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God.
15  “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”

Matthew’s summary of Jesus’ ministry is similar:

Matthew 4:23            Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people.

Luke chimes in on the same note with this comment:

Luke 4:43 But he said, “I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent.”

What is the Kingdom of God?

The Hebrew word for kingdom is malkut and its Greek counterpart is basileia.
Both terms primarily mean “rule” or “reign.”
Both terms have a dynamic or active meaning, and refer to the exercise of God’s power, dominion, or sovereignty.

Only secondarily do they denote a realm, sphere, or territory over which a rule or reign is exercised.

This is clear in the Old Testament.

Psalm 22:28  for dominion belongs to the Lord and he rules over the nations.

Psalm 103:19  The Lord has established his throne in heaven, and his kingdom rules over all.

Here kingdom is associated with the ideas of God’s rule, sovereignty, and power.

The New Testament term

The New Testament term means the same thing.

When we pray, “your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven (Matt. 6:10),” we are asking God to exert His authority in the world so that His purposes are achieved.

In Colossians 1:13, Paul teaches that redemption amounts to an exchange of rulers over our lives, stating that God has delivered us believers

Colossians 1:13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves,

Thus, the New Testament nuance for kingdom in these verses connect it with the exertion of God’s will, the act of ruling or reigning, the exercise of authority.

John the Baptist announced that the Kingdom of God was at hand.
He meant that God’s rule was just about to break into the world through the Messiah.

Jesus Christ preached and proclaimed the Gospel of the Kingdom of God.
He meant that in and by Himself, God was exercising His power and authority in a redemptive way against all the evil in the world!

Kingdom of God does refer to:

The active, dynamic exercise of God’s rule, authority, dominion, and power in the world.

The rule of God manifested in Christ to bring redemption to the earth.

Kingdom of God is the redemptive reign of God.
It is dynamically active to establish his rule among human beings.
It has already come into human history in the person and mission of Jesus to overcome evil, to deliver people from its power, and to bring them into the blessings of God’s reign.

The Apocalyptic appearance of the Kingdom

The Kingdom will appear as an apocalyptic act, with signs and wonders, at the end of the age.

The Kingdom of God involves two great moments:

1.      Fulfillment within history [already]
2.      Consummation at the end of history [not yet].

Praying for two kind of Kingdom (rule of God)

1.   You are a kingdom

The prayer is an agreement for the rule of God in your life.

1Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

Peter echoes the verse from Exodus 19:5,6

Exodus 19:5, 6
   Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine,
   you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites.”

Revelation 1:6   and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father—to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen.

2.      The future fulfillment of the Kingdom

We are praying for the future manifestation of the Kingdom.

The apocalyptic discourses in the synoptic gospels leave no doubt about Christ’s bodily second coming, and the final establishment of God’s rule in the world.

Matthew 25:31-34
31  “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne.
32  All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.
33  He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
34  “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.

Hebrews 11:13-16
13  All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth.
14  People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own.
15  If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return.
16  Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.

Hebrews 13:12-14
12  And so Jesus also suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through his own blood.
13  Let us, then, go to him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace he bore.
14  For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come.

2 Peter 3:9-14
   The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
10  But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.
11  Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives
12  as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat.
13  But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.
14  So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him.

Revelation 11:15   The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he will reign for ever and ever.”

Revelation 19:11-16 depicts the King of Kings and Lord of Lords returning to bring judgment upon the nations.

Revelations 19:11-16
11  I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war.
12  His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself.
13  He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God.
14  The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean.
15  Coming out of his mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter.” He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty.
16  On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: king of kings and lord of lords.

Revelation 21:1-5 conveys the glory of our final estate in very hopeful terms.

Revelation 21:1-5  
1        Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.
2        I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.
3        And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.
4        ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
5        He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

According to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.
4.      Prosperity in the kingdom

Matthew 6:11 Give us today our daily bread.

Give up the negative attitude to this prayer.
This is not a prayer for a scarce life, but for a prosperous life.

A manifestation of the Kingdom is seen in the Desert Church of the Israel.
It was a nation, chosen people, ruled by the King.

They were provided food, drink, shelter, clothes, healing and protection against enemies.
This is prosperity.

Prosperity is the well being of

1.      Soul
2.      Health
3.      Material

3 John 1:1, 2
1        The elder, To my dear friend Gaius, whom I love in the truth.
2        Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well. (NIV)

1   The elder unto the well beloved Gaius, whom I love in the truth.
2   Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.  (KJV)

Adam Clarke’s Commentary

The prayer of St. John for Caius includes three particulars:
1. Health of body
2. Health of soul
3. Prosperity in secular affairs. 

Prosperity and luxury are two things.
Prosperity is living peaceful with no worries.


Shalom is commonly translated as “peace”.
It is used as both a greeting and farewell.

Shalom – Hebrew meaning
“Peace” is an accurate translation of the term.
But shalom implies more than lack of conflict.

Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance, (7965 from 7999)

the absence of agitation or discord.
Perfect (root verb)
Full (root verb)

Shalom comes from the root verb shalam (shalem) shalom meaning to be complete, perfect and full.
Shalom is applicable to an external peace between two entities—such as individuals or nations—and to an internal sense of peace within the individual.
In modern Hebrew the obviously related word Shelem means to pay for, and Shulam means to be fully paid.

Numbers 6:22-27
22    The Lord said to Moses, 23 “Tell Aaron and his sons, ‘This is how you are to bless the Israelites. Say to them:
24    “‘“The Lord bless you and keep you;
25    the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you;
26    the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.”’
27    “So they will put my name on the Israelites, and I will bless them.”

Judges 6:22-24
22  When Gideon realized that it was the angel of the Lord, he exclaimed, “Alas, Sovereign Lord! I have seen the angel of the Lord face to face!”
23  But the Lord said to him, “Peace! Do not be afraid. You are not going to die.”
24  So Gideon built an altar to the Lord there and called it The Lord Is Peace. To this day it stands in Ophrah of the Abiezrites. (NIV)

22 And when Gideon perceived that he was an angel of the LORD, Gideon said, Alas, O Lord GOD! for because I have seen an angel of the LORD face to face.
23 And the LORD said unto him, Peace be unto thee; fear not: thou shalt not die.
24 Then Gideon built an altar there unto the LORD, and called it Jehovahshalom: unto this day it is yet in Ophrah of the Abiezrites. {Jehovahshalom: that is, The LORD send peace}

Isaiah 9:6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince <sar> of Peace <shalowm>.

The desert life is a prosperous life.
5.   The eligibility of the citizens

Matthew 6:12  And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.

Matthew 18:23-35
32  “Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to.
33  Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’
34  In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.
35  “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”

Luke 7:36-48
47  Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.”
48  Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”

Genesis 41:50-52
50  Before the years of famine came, two sons were born to Joseph by Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of On.
51   Joseph named his firstborn Manasseh and said, “It is because God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father’s household.”

Matthew 5:23-24
23  “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you,
24  leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.

6.   A Request for Protection from Sin and Its Punishments

Matthew 6:13  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’

Offence is better than defense.

There are several explanations for getting around this.

The first is that temptation is not an accurate translation.
Fowler suggests that the Greek term peirasmos can mean temptation, but can also mean "test of character".
At several points in the Bible God tests his followers, and this could be a plea to avoid such unpleasant testing.
Schweizer notes that this would be a departure from the Judaism of the period where the faithful would pray to be tested, so that they could prove their loyalty to God.

The confusion arises because ever since the seventeenth century, we have tended to use the word tempt in a restrictive negative sense.
But the word is capable of a positive rendition in the sense of "testing".
And in the Greek the same word is used of both senses.

"Temptation is not sin," says J. I. Packer, "for Christ was tempted as we are, yet remained sinless (Hebrews 4:15).
Temptation becomes sin only when and as the suggestion of evil is accepted and yielded to."

James 1:13-15
13  When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone;
14  but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed.
15  Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

And Jesus is teaching us to pray that we may be protected when we find ourselves faced with situations and enticements that would drag us away from loyalty to him.

The prayer is: “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”


The second part is the expansion of the first part, an explanation.

It is talking about the “evil one”.

So it is sound to assume that the temptation Jesus spoke about is a temptation or trial brought upon us by the evil one.

Jesus is asking us to pray for protection against the evil one and his evil schemes.


Luke 22:40   On reaching the place, he said to them, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.”

John 17:15  My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.

2 Thessalonians 3:3 But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one.

2 Timothy 4:18 The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

7.   A Doxology

Matthew 6:13
13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.   (KJV)

Doxology is a hymn or verse in Christian liturgy glorifying God.
It is the concluding part of the prayer, praising God.


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