Did You Know The Lord’s Prayer Is Actually A Jewish Prayer?-(BFI) contributed

Jewish men gather for prayer (individually and in groups) at the Western (Wailing) Wall in Jerusalem.
"Lord, teach us to pray ..."  (Luke 11:1)
We can recite it by heart: “Our Father who art in Heaven …”  But why did Yeshua (Jesus) tell us to pray this particular prayer?
Some may think that He created a new “Christian” prayer, but that is not accurate.
Many Rabbis formulated their own prayers, just as Yeshua’s cousin, John the Baptist did for his followers.  Each prayer incorporated spiritual petitions and principles significant to that Rabbi.
Disciples may have prayed their Rabbi’s prayer privately or as a group, in addition to the daily prayers that the entire nation of Israel were praying.
So, when Yeshua’s disciples asked Him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John [the Baptist] taught his disciples” (Luke 11:1), they were likely asking for a personalized prayer of principles and petitions important to the Messiah Himself.

The Exhortation to the Apostles, by James Tissot
The prayer that Yeshua designed is found in Luke 11:2–4, with a longer version in Matthew 6:9–13.
As we’ll see, it’s similar both in structure and in content to the most important Jewish prayers that have survived until the present day:  the Kaddish, the Shemoneh Esreh, as well as other prayers found in the Jewish siddur (prayer book) and rabbinic sacred scriptures.
We can learn a lot about the heart of God and His will for us by looking at the principles and petitions that Yeshua taught us to pray.
Let’s now look at how Yeshua’s prayer parallels the traditional Jewish prayers of His time and how each line of Yeshua's prayer (The Lord’s Prayer) applies to each of us today.

Looking to the heavens.
Our Father Who Art in Heaven
אָבִינוּ שֶׁבַּשָׁמַיִם
Aveenu Sheybashamayim
One of the wonderful things about the Jewish people is their coming together as one to worship God through traditional liturgy during Shabbats and the Biblical Festivals.  Therefore, their ancient Jewish prayers often include “Our Father.”
The 19 petitions and blessings of the Shemoneh Esreh (also known as the Amidah), include three requests to “Our Father.”  At the final petition, as one body, the congregation makes this request:
Bless us, our Father, all of us as one, with the light of Your countenance.  For by the light of Your countenance You gave us, Lord our God, the Torah of life and loving-kindness, righteousness, blessing, mercy, life and peace.”  (Amidah 19)

Jewish father with his son and daughter place prayers in the cracks of the
Western Wall.
Everyone has had a different type of father and relationship with him.
You may have had a good father.  You may have had one that put you down.  You may have lost your father or never knew him.
But our Father in Heaven is asking each of us to acknowledge that we are His children right at the start of our prayer and that we rely on Him as the one who is able to provide us with everything we need.
Our Father in Heaven is the perfect Father to the fatherless.  The husband to the widow.  His love carries us through the trials and sorrows we may endure.  Our Father in Heaven even sings and rejoices over us.
When you're in doubt about that, keep this truth in mind: “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in Heaven give good things to those who ask Him!”  (Matthew 7:11)
As we move into the next three petitions: “Hallowed be Thy name," "Thy Kingdom come," and "Thy will be done on earth as in heaven," it’s helpful to know that they were written in the Kaddish as one idea, as a petition for the Messianic Kingdom to come quickly, if God so wills.
The Kaddish (Sanctification) is an ancient Aramaic hymn of praise developed at least by the first century BC.  By the sixth century AD, it became a staple prayer of synagogue service as well as at funerals, much like The Lord’s Prayer is today.
Let’s take a look at these three petitions more closely.

The Jewish Prayer Book opened to the Mourner's Kaddish

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Our Father Who Art in Heaven
Hallowed [sanctified] Be Your Name
יִתְקַדֵשׁ שִׁמך
Yitkadash Shemcha
“Magnified and sanctified be His Great Name,” begins the ancient prayer known as the Kaddish.
God cares about His reputation, about keeping His promises, especially to Israel.  But He makes it clear that the reason He keeps His promises is to protect His reputation [His Name] as a holy, righteous, promise keeper.
“Thus will I magnify Myself, and sanctify [kaddish] Myself; and I will be known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I am the LORD.”  (Ezekiel 38:23)
So, when we acknowledge that YHVH (God’s personal name) is holy, we are reminding ourselves that He is the One for whom all glory and honor belong.
“We will sanctify Your Name in the world even as they sanctify it in the heavens, as it is written by the hand of Your prophet: And they called one unto the other and said, Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory,” says the third blessing of the Amidah.
Protecting the sanctity of God’s reputation — His name — is a responsibility of everyone who calls Him their Father.
Do we represent YHVH (God) in our daily actions?  Do we give others glory and honor that belong to Him?  Do we always make His name holy among the people we interact with?

Israeli youth sort food into boxes for distribution to the poor in Sderot, Israel
during the Jewish holidays.
Our Father Who Art in Heaven,
Hallowed Be Your Name.
Your Kingdom come, Your will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.
תָּבא מַלְכוּתֶךָ יֵעָשֶׂה רְצוֹנְךָ בָּאָרֶץ כַּאֲשֶר נַעֲשָׂה בַשָמַיִם
Tavo malkhutecha, ye’aseh r’tsonecha ba’aretz ka’asher na’asah b’shamayim.
Where is God’s kingdom and when is it coming?
It’s where God’s people are.  Those Believers who are sincerely seeking and praying for God’s will to be done in their lives and the lives of others.
However, in the New Testament, Joseph of Arimathea and the disciples of Yeshua were waiting for God’s kingdom to come to earth, to restore the Davidic dynasty with Messiah as the eternal King in their lifetime.
Mark 15:43   “Joseph of Arimathea, a prominent member of the Council, who was himself waiting for the kingdom of God, went boldly to Pilate and asked for Yeshua’s body.”
Acts 1:6 —  Then the disciples gathered around Yeshua and asked Him, ‘Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?’”
And to this day in synagogues worldwide, the Jewish People pray the ancient 14th (and the related 15th) petition of the Amidah:  O Lord King, “Return in mercy to restore and rebuild Jerusalem Your city and dwell therein as You have promised."  "Speedily establish the throne of David Your servant [the Messiah].”
Indeed, the beginnings of God’s Kingdom came to earth 2,000 years ago, but the fullness of the kingdom will come when Yeshua soon returns to Zion.

Jewish man prays a blessing over the challah (bread for Shabbat).
Our Father Who Art in Heaven,
Hallowed Be Your Name.
Your Kingdom come, Your will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread
תֶן לָנוּ הַיּוֹם לֶחֶם חֻקֵּנוּ
Ten-lanu hayom lechem chukeinu.
In the Book of Exodus, God did a miracle by providing manna (bread) that came down from Heaven to feed a famished nation in the scorched wilderness.
For 40 years, each day the manna that came down from Heaven was only enough to feed them for that day.
The people had to rely daily on God’s physical provision, while also learning that “man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.”  (Deuteronomy 8:3)
In Judaism, it is understood that God is The Provider.  And that is the theme of the second half of The Lord’s Prayer.
Like other portions of this prayer, “Give us this day our daily bread,” was understood by the Jewish people of Yeshua’s day, since it was spoken about in other prayers.
In the 9th prayer of the Amidah it says, “Bless upon us, O Eternal our God, this year and all kinds of its produce [food] . . . have mercy upon [the earth] and all of its harvest and its fruits.”
To acknowledge God as the Provider, all Jewish prayers at meals that include bread start off with this blessing:  “Blessed are you Lord God King of the Universe who has brought forth bread from the earth.”
And Yeshua said, “I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever.”  (John 6:51)

A young man seeks forgiveness. (Photo by John Tyson)
Our Father Who Art in Heaven,
Hallowed Be Your Name.
Your Kingdom come, Your 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 against us.
וּסְלַח לָנוּ אֶת אַשְׁמָתֵנוּ כַּאֲשֶׁר סלְחִים אַנַחְנוּ לַאֲשֶׁר אָשְׁמוּ לָנוּ
u’selach-lanu et-ashmateinu ka’asher solechim anachnu la’asher ashmulanu.
Who doesn’t want to be forgiven of wrongdoing?  It is the ultimate feeling of freedom.
Yeshua told us how to receive forgiveness in His beautiful Beatitudes:
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.”  (Matthew 5:7)
It is also found in the ancient Jewish Talmud:
“He who is merciful to others, mercy is shown to him by Heaven, while he who is not merciful to others, mercy is not shown to him by Heaven.” (b.Shabbat 151b, Talmud)
This desire to be forgiven of our sins is prayed daily by Jewish People as the sixth blessing of the Amidah, which reads: 
Forgive us Our Father for we have sinned, and pardon us Our King for we have transgressed; for You pardon and forgive. Blessed are You, Lord, Who is merciful and forgives abundantly.”
As Believers, what happens if we don’t show mercy?  If we ask for pardon from our Father in Heaven but don’t forgive others?  Yeshua tells us quite clearly:
“If you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”  (Matthew 6:15)

Adam and Eve are banished from the Garden of Eden after giving in to the
temptation to disobey God. (Stained glass by Charles Lorin)
Our Father Who Art in Heaven,
Hallowed Be Your Name.
Your Kingdom come, Your 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 against us.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
וְאַל-תְּבִיאֵנוּ לִידֵי מַסָּה כִי אִם-הַצִילֵנוּ מִן-הָרָע
Ve’al-tevieinu lidi massah, ki im-hatsileinu min-hara
The final part of The Lord’s Prayer regarding temptation and evil is rooted in both ancient and modern Judaism.
Every weekday morning in synagogues around the world, Jewish People open their siddurs (prayer books) and read a prayer like this:
“May it be Your will, HaShem, my God and the God of my forefathers, that you rescue me today and every day from brazen men and brazenness, from an evil man, an evil companion, an evil neighbor, an evil mishap, the destructive spiritual impediment [‘Satan’], a harsh trial and a harsh opponent, whether he is a member of the covenant or whether he is not a member of the covenant.”  (The Complete Artscroll Siddur)
Throughout the Psalms, as well, King David continuously seeks God’s protection, pleading, “Deliver me, O LORD, from evildoers; protect me from those who are violent, deliverance from evil enemies.”  (Psalm 140:1)
So, as you can see, when Yeshua wrote The Lord’s Prayer, it was not a new prayer for a new religion; it was a very Jewish prayer.
Knowing that Messiah Yeshua chose these principles and petitions, helps us to know what our Father in Heaven is asking us to focus on as we enter into prayer with Him and as we live out our lives as His disciples.
Jacqueline, have you been blessed by the Jewish People through the Bible and the Jewish Messiah Yeshua (Jesus)?
We encourage you to help the Jewish People find the Lord who wrote The Lord’s Prayer so that they can have their sins forgiven and receive the Eternal Bread of Life.
Yeshua declared, "I am the Bread of Life. Whoever comes to Me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in Me will never be thirsty."  (John 6:35)

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2 Responses to Did You Know The Lord’s Prayer Is Actually A Jewish Prayer?-(BFI) contributed

  1. ted says:

    Your Kingdom come, Your will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.

    Gods kingdom, or those under Gods influence among the nation of Israel, heard Yeshua’s voice, they alone had ears to hear. As they exercised faith in their new king Yeshua they became adopted son’s of God under the new covenant. These Son’s received a “token” of the adoptive spirit eventually to be added to as an inheritance, a full complement of adoptive spirit allowing for life without sin. This spirit gives them mental capacity to understand the truth’s that Yeshua was revealing, a path that leads the mind upward in frame to become one with Yeshua and our father. So when praying” let your kingdom come” Yeshua was asking his father to pour out this spirit and the last gift the “spirit of understanding” so that this kingdom removed from the nation might draw closer to God.

    26 YOU are all, in fact, sons of God through YOUR faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For all of YOU who were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor freeman, there is neither male nor ; for YOU are all one [person] in union with Christ Jesus. 29 Moreover, if YOU belong to Christ, YOU are really Abraham’s seed, heirs with reference to a promise.

  2. jacqueline says:

    I have learned a lot from this article on the Lord’s Prayer, from a Jewish perspective. Enjoy

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