7.1 Introduction and Our Father

Method for Prayer by Matthew Henry

A Paraphrase on the Lord’s Prayer, in Scripture Expressions

The Lord’s prayer being intended not only for a form of prayer itself, but a rule of direction, a plan or model in little, by which we may frame our prayers; and the expressions being remarkably concise and yet vastly comprehensive, it will be of good use sometimes to lay it before us, and observing the method and order of it, to dilate upon the several passages and petitions of it, that we may use it the more intelligently; of which we shall only here give a specimen in the assistance we may have from some other Scriptures.


Our Father in heaven.

O Lord our God, doubtless you are our Father, though Abraham does not know us, and Israel does not acknowledge us; you, O LORD, are our Father, our Redeemer from of old is your name, Isaiah 63:16(ESV) and we will from this time call to you, “Our Father, you are the friend of our youth.” Jeremiah 3:4(ESV)

Have we not all one Father? Has not one God created us? Malachi 2:10(ESV) You are the Father of our spirits, to whom we ought to be subject to and live. Hebrews 12:9(ESV)

You are the Father of lights, James 1:17(ESV) the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort: 2 Corinthians 1:3(ESV) the Everlasting Father, Isaiah 9:6(ESV) from whom and through whom and to whom are all things. Romans 11:36(ESV)

You are the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Ephesians 1:3(ESV) whose glory was that of the only Son from the Father, John 1:14(ESV) who is at your side: John 1:18(ESV) beside you, like a master workman, daily your delight and rejoicing before you always. Proverbs 8:30(ESV)

You are, in Christ, our Father and the Father of all believers, whom you have predestined for adoption as sons, Ephesians 1:5(ESV) and into whose hearts you have sent the Spirit of the Son, teaching them to cry, “Abba! Father!” Galatians 4:6(ESV) See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God! 1 John 3:1(ESV) That the Lord God Almighty should be a Father to us, and we should be sons and daughters to him; 2 Corinthians 6:18(ESV) and that to all who receive him, who believe in his name, you should give the right to become children of God, who are born, not of the will of man, but of God and his grace. John 1:12-13(ESV)

O that we may receive adoption as sons, Galatians 4:5(ESV) and that as obedient and genuine children we may be conformed to the example of him who has called us, who is holy; 1 Peter 1:14-15(ESV) and may we be imitators of God as beloved children, Ephesians 5:1(ESV) and conformed to the image of his Son, who is the firstborn among many brothers. Romans 8:29(ESV)

Enable us to come to you with humble boldness and confidence, Ephesians 3:12(ESV) as to a Father, a tender Father, who spares us as a man spares his son who serves him; Malachi 3:17(ESV) and as having an Advocate with the Father, 1 John 2:1(ESV) who yet has told us that the Father himself loves us. John 16:27(ESV)

You are a Father, but where is your honor? Malachi 1:6(ESV) Lord, give us grace to serve you as becomes children, with reverence and awe. Hebrews 12:28(ESV)

You are a Father, and if earthly parents, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to their children, how much more will our heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him! Luke 11:13(ESV) Lord, give us the Spirit of grace and pleas for mercy. Zechariah 12:10(ESV)

We come to you as prodigal children who have gone from our Father’s house into a far country; Luke 15:13(ESV) but we will arise and go to our Father, for in his house there is more than enough bread, and if we continue at a distance from him, we perish with hunger. Father, we have sinned against heaven and before you and are no longer worthy to be called your children, treat us as your hired servants. Luke 15:17-19(ESV)

You are our Father in heaven, Matthew 6:9(ESV) and therefore to you, O Lord, do we lift up our souls. Psalm 86:4(ESV) To you we lift up our eyes, O you who are enthroned in the heavens! As the eyes of a servant look to the hand of his master, as the eyes of a maidservant to the hand of her mistress, so do our eyes look to you, O LORD our God; Psalm 123:1-2(ESV) a God whom heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain, 1 Kings 8:27(ESV) and yet whom we may have access to, having a High Priest who has passed through the heavens as our forerunner. Hebrews 4:14(ESV)

You, O God, dwell in the high and holy place, Isaiah 57:15(ESV) and holy and awesome is your name! Psalm 111:9(ESV) God is in heaven, and we are on earth; Ecclesiastes 5:2(ESV) therefore, we should carefully choose our words with him. Job 9:14(ESV) And yet, through a Mediator, we have confidence to enter the holy places. Hebrews 10:19(ESV)

Look down, we pray, from heaven and see, from your holy and beautiful habitation, Isaiah 63:15(ESV) and have compassion upon us and help us. Mark 9:22(ESV)

Heaven is your mighty expanse: Psalm 150:1(ESV) O answer us from your holy heaven, with the saving might of your right hand; Psalm 20:6(ESV) send us help from your sanctuary, and give us support from Zion! Psalm 20:2(ESV)

And, O that since heaven is our Father’s house, John 14:2(ESV) may we have our citizenship there, Philippians 3:20(ESV) and seek the things that are above. Colossians 3:1(ESV)