THERE’S PRAYER IN THE AIR – The Lord’s Prayer – Part 1

Hay Oración en la Atmosférica – La Oración de Nuestro Señor Jesucristo – Parte 1

By Mary Hunt Webb

Posted Wednesday, September 30, 2015

A photographic image of a woman in prayer.

We don't have to put our hands together in order to pray. God hears every prayer we utter in every circumstance. [Photo courtesy of]

Prayer is our way of communicating with God. It is our expression of our heartfelt emotions that we direct toward the Creator of our universe. Prayer is the way we express our frustrations, our needs, our appreciation, and our love to God.

Some people have no difficulty expressing themselves in this manner while others feel completely overwhelmed and at a loss for words. For such people and in such times, it may feel more comfortable to read or recite a prayer that someone else has composed. While there are many such prayers, the most famous and most quoted prayer of all is the one that Jesus gave His disciples. It is found in its most complete form in Matthew 6:9-13, while a shorter reference to it appears in Luke 11:2-4. Jesus presented it to His disciples as an example of how they should pray. As a model, it is meant to exemplify the manner in which people should pray. While it has become a prayer that people feel comfortable in reciting, they may repeat it without understanding the deeper significance of it.

In this series, we will look at the various parts of the Lord's Prayer and what they mean. People with more theological training than me have written about the prayer that Jesus taught His disciples, but I am offering this from the perspective of a wife, mother, and grandmother who is also an educator of adults. Since I grew up with a visual impairment, I admit to perceiving things in a unique manner, but perhaps my perception will provide you with fresh insight to this ancient prayer.

Let's begin with the first words of the prayer: "Our Father". This declaration of who God is establishes His authority over us.

People that have had unpleasant or resentful relationships with their own fathers have difficulty with the concept of God as their ultimate Father. They have no way of identifying a father as a loving figure that cares about them.

I am one of those people. According to other family members, my parents' marriage was not harmonious so that it resulted in their separation before my birth. They never did get back together before my father died so that I have no memory of him living in our home. That also means that I have no personal role model of how a father should treat his daughter or of how he should love her. That's because the relationship between a father and daughter should be one of love and trust that develops over time.

A photographic image of a father and his daughter.

Giving time to our children is an important part of our relationship with them. [Photographer: Denis Akslytin. Photo courtesy of]

While love and trust are meaningful, time is also an important ingredient. Many women have said, "Yes, my father stayed with my mother. He was there, but he never spent any time with me. He invested more time in my brother than in me. He left me to my mother to raise."

Many men do that because they feel they don't know much about how to raise a daughter. Instead of trying to learn, they simply back away and leave that to their wives.

However, I will never forget one man's obituary that one of his teenage daughters wrote. She said that although her father was an avid sports fan, he was the perfect "girl dad." He "could shop with the best of them." Her father understood that going shopping with his daughters didn't necessarily mean spending money; instead, it meant spending time with his girls while looking at the things that interested them. He was there for them because he was interested in whatever interested them.

God is like that. He is invested in each of us and wants to be included in our lives. He is there when we call upon Him. In Psalm 86:6-7, David, the shepherd that became king of Israel, wrote, "6) Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer; And attend to the voice of my supplications. 7) In the day of my trouble I will call upon You, For You will answer me." (New King James Version)

Developing a relationship with God involves more than just asking for His intervention or for His material blessings. Rather, it means spending time with Him.

After our adult son moved out of our home and established his own residence, it seemed that he only called when he needed something or wanted our assistance.

One day, he called us and said, "I don't need anything; I just called to let you know I am all right and still alive."

That was a great step forward in our son's maturity. Since then, we have received other calls from him to tell us about the events in his life and a few calls just to say, "Thank you." No, he doesn't live far away at the moment, but we often wait for him to call us rather than jumping in to force communication for which he may not be ready.

I believe God does the same thing. He waits to hear from us because He wants us to include Him in our lives rather than forcing His presence on us. If you have ever tried to get the attention of a child that was involved in playing with toys or in some other activity, you know that the child may ignore you or may give his/her attention unwillingly.

A photographic image of a baby looking down.

Like children, we often become so involved with ourselves that we fail to look up and include God in our lives. [Photographer: Kristie Baxter. Photo courtesy of]

God knows this is true with us, too. Sometimes we are so self-involved that we don't remember to include Him in the details of our lives. And, He does want to be included. He's not too big for that.

I have heard some people say that they give their big problems to God while they handle the small stuff themselves. They may feel that God is too important or too big to be bothered with details, but He isn't like an overworked earthly father. God always has time for us.

The important question is, do we have time for Him?


Matthew 6:9 — In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. (New King James Version)

Mateo 6:9 — Vosotros, pues, oraréis así: Padre nuestro que estás en los cielos, santificado sea tu nombre. (Reina-Valera 1960)

Psalm 86:6-7 — 6) Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer; And attend to the voice of my supplications. 7) In the day of my trouble I will call upon You, For You will answer me. (New King James Version)

Salmos 86:6-7 — 6) Escucha, oh Jehová, mi oración, Y está atento a la voz de mis ruegos. 7) En el día de mi angustia te llamaré, Porque tú me respondes.

A photographic image of beautiful clouds.

God is always there, waiting to hear from us. [Photographer: Shi Yali. Photo courtesy of]

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