After this manner therefore pray ye
(outw oun proseucesqe umei
). "You" expressed in contrast with "the Gentiles." It should be called "The Model Prayer" rather than "The Lord's Prayer." "Thus" pray as he gives them a model. He himself did not use it as a liturgy (cf. John 17:1
). There is no evidence that Jesus meant it for liturgical use by others. In Luke 11:2-4
practically the same prayer though briefer is given at a later time by Jesus to the apostles in response to a request that he teach them how to pray. McNeile argues that the form in Luke is the original to which Matthew has made additions: "The tendency of liturgical formulas is towards enrichment rather than abbreviation." But there is no evidence whatever that Jesus designed it as a set formula. There is no real harm in a liturgical formula if one likes it, but no one sticks to just one formula in prayer. There is good and not harm in children learning and saying this noble prayer. Some people are disturbed over the words "Our Father" and say that no one has a right to call God Father who has not been "born again." But that is to say that an unconverted sinner cannot pray until he is converted, an absurd contradiction. God is the Father of all men in one sense; the recognition of Him as the Father in the full sense is the first step in coming back to him in regeneration and conversion.
Hallowed be thy name (agiasqhtw to onoma sou). In the Greek the verb comes first as in the petitions in verse Luke 10 . They are all aorist imperatives, punctiliar action expressing urgency.