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9After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
9 Verse 9. After this manner therefore pray ye] Forms of prayer

were frequent among the Jews; and every public teacher gave one to

his disciples. Some forms were drawn out to a considerable

length, and from these abridgments were made: to the latter sort

the following prayer properly belongs, and consequently, besides

its own very important use, it is a plan for a more extended

devotion. What satisfaction must it be to learn from God himself,

with what words, and in what manner, he would have us pray to him,

so as not to pray in vain! A king, who draws up the petition

which he allows to be presented to himself, has doubtless the

fullest determination to grant the request. We do not

sufficiently consider the value of this prayer; the respect and

attention which it requires; the preference to be given to it; its

fulness and perfection: the frequent use we should make of it; and

the spirit which we should bring with it. "Lord, teach us how to

pray!" is a prayer necessary to prayer; for unless we are divinely

instructed in the manner, and influenced by the spirit of true

devotion, even the prayer taught us by Jesus Christ may be

repeated without profit to our souls.

Our Father] It was a maxim of the Jews, that a man should not

pray alone, but join with the Church; by which they particularly

meant that he should, whether alone or with the synagogue, use the

plural number as comprehending all the followers of God. Hence,

they say, Let none pray the short prayer, i.e. as the gloss

expounds it, the prayer in the singular, but in the plural number.

See Lightfoot on this place.

This prayer was evidently made in a peculiar manner for the

children of God. And hence we are taught to say, not MY Father,

but OUR Father. The heart, says one, of a child of God, is a

brotherly heart, in respect of all other Christians: it asks

nothing but in the spirit of unity, fellowship, and Christian

charity; desiring that for its brethren which it desires for


The word Father, placed here at the beginning of this prayer,

includes two grand ideas, which should serve as a foundation to

all our petitions: 1st. That tender and respectful love which we

should feel for God, such as that which children feel for their

fathers. 2dly. That strong confidence in God's love to us, such

as fathers have for their children. Thus all the petitions in

this prayer stand in strictest reference to the word Father; the

first three referring to the love we have for God; and the three

last, to that confidence which we have in the love he bears to us.

The relation we stand in to this first and best of beings

dictates to us reverence for his person, zeal for his honour,

obedience to his will, submission to his dispensations and

chastisements, and resemblance to his nature.

Which art in heaven] The phrase , abinu

sheboshemayim, our Father who art in heaven, was very common among

the ancient Jews; and was used by them precisely in the same sense

as it is used here by our Lord.

This phrase in the Scriptures seems used to express:

1st. His OMNIPRESENCE. The heaven of heavens cannot contain

thee. : that is, Thou fillest immensity.

2dly. His MAJESTY and DOMINION over his creatures. Art thou not

God in heaven, and rulest thou not over all the kingdoms of the

heathen? .

3dly. His POWER and MIGHT. Art thou not God in heaven, and in

thy hand is there not power and might, so that no creature is able

to withstand thee! .

Our God is in heaven, and hath done whatsoever he pleased.


4thly. His OMNISCIENCE. The Lord's throne is in heaven, his

eyes behold, his eye-lids try the children of men. .

The Lord looketh down from heaven, he beholdeth all the sons of

men. .

5thly. His infinite PURITY and HOLINESS. Look down from thy holy

habitation, &c. .

Thou art the high and lofty One, who inhabiteth eternity, whose

name is holy. .

Hallowed] αγιασθητωαγιαζω. from a negative, and γη, the

earth, a thing separated from the earth, or from earthly purposes

and employments. As the word sanctified, or hallowed, in

Scripture, is frequently used for the consecration of a thing or

person to a holy use or office, as the Levites, first-born,

tabernacle, temple, and their utensils, which were all set apart

from every earthly, common, or profane use, and employed wholly in

the service of God, so the Divine Majesty may be said to be

sanctified by us, in analogy to those things, viz. when, we

separate him from, and in our conceptions and desires exalt him

above, earth and all things.

Thy name.] That is, GOD himself, with all the attributes of

his Divine nature-his power, wisdom, justice, mercy, &c.

We hallow God's name, 1st. With our lips, when all our

conversation is holy, and we speak of those things which are meet

to minister grace to the hearers.

2dly. In our thoughts, when we suppress every rising evil, and

have our tempers regulated by his grace and Spirit.

3dly. In our lives, when we begin, continue, and end our works

to his glory. If we have an eye to God in all we perform, then

every act of our common employment will be an act of religious


4thly. In our families, when we endeavour to bring up our

children in the discipline and admonition or the Lord; instructing

also our servants in the way of righteousness.

5thly. In a particular calling or business, when we separate

the falsity, deception, and lying, commonly practised, from it;

buying and selling as in the sight of the holy and just God.