Jesus prayed many times. Remember the morning prayers in solitary places (Mark 1:35), the prayer for Peter’s faith (Luke 22:32), the prayers in the garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26:36), and the glorious prayer in John 17)?
But Jesus never prayed what is popularly called the “Lord’s Prayer”, and he would be a sinner if he did.
We all know the one. It starts with “Our Father which art in heaven…” (Matthew 6:9).
In the context of Matthew 6 and in the parallel passage in Luke 11, Jesus was teaching His disciples to pray, not praying it Himself.
“…One of His disciples said unto Him, Lord teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples” (Luke 11:1).
He (Jesus) didn’t say “After this manner pray I”, but “After this manner; therefore,pray Ye” (Matthew 6:9). For this reason, the so-called Lord’s Prayer would be more appropriately called the disciples’ prayer.
It should be obvious that Jesus never actually prayed the prayers repeated by millions (Though Jesus instructed them not to pray using vain repetitions) (Matthew 6:7). He was merely teaching His disciples how to pray.
What is important to understand is that if He did pray it, He would have been a sinner, and so is everyone else that prays it. The prayer includes this line:
”And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us”. (Luke 11:4)
Jesus was God manifest in the flesh, and knew no sin:
“And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory”. (1Timothy 3:16)
Jesus had no sin to confess and did not need to ask for forgiveness. He was without sin:
“For we have not an high priest which cannot be touch with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” (Hebrews 4:15)
If Jesus prayed to” Forgive me my sins”, He would either be a liar or admit to be a sinner. So we see, Jesus could never pray this prayer since it would mean He had sins that need to be forgiven. This prayer was only for His disciples who were the sinners.
Jesus never prayed this prayer and neither should we.
Since Jesus was sinless then it should be easy to understand why He could never pray this prayer, but what does that have to do with us? We are not God manifest in the flesh. We are not sinless. We are not Jesus and this much is true.
We know that we all have sinned and come short of the glory of God and certainly we need forgiveness.
“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God”. (Romans 3:23)
However, according to the gospel of the grace of God, Christ from heaven is now offering His righteousness, through His blood, as forgiveness for all our sins.
“In whom we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins. (Colossians 1:14)
“And you, being dead in your sins, and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath He quickened together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses.” (Colossians 2:13)
In Matthew 6, God was teaching His twelve apostles over Israel to pray to bring God’s Davidic kingdom to earth, to provide bread like manna in the wilderness, and to pray for conditional covenant forgiveness (Matthew 6:10-15).
In Matthew 6 and Luke 11, when Christ taught His disciples to pray it was before the cross and before He revealed the gospel of the grace of God. Jesus taught Israel to pray according to their covenant with God, and not according to the revelation of the mystery of His finished work on the cross. The cross is nowhere found in Matthew 6 or Luke for that matter.
The dispensation of God’s grace changed how we receive forgiveness which is now by faith in Christ’s finished work.
“In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.” (Ephesians 1:7)
For us to pray the so-called Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6 would be tantamount to ignoring the cross of Christ as the basis of our forgiveness.
Praise God that now that God’s grace has been revealed, all men can be forgiven through the already shed blood of Christ. Once all our sins are forgiven through faith in Christ’s cross there is no need to pray for forgiveness, but thanks be to God for what He has already done in us for Christ’s sake.
“And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hat forgiven you”. (Ephesians 4:32)
Jesus never prayed the so-called “Lord’s Prayer” and now, if we trust the preaching of the cross (By our apostle Paul), neither should we.
Father, we thank you for the forgiveness of our sins through the shed blood of our risen Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen!