Do you remember when Jesus’ disciples asked Him to teach them how to pray? (Luke 11:1) Apparently, John the Baptist had taught his followers, and Jesus’ disciples thought they should have a similar lesson. Perhaps they had experienced Him praying, and they wanted to be sure they were doing it correctly.
And think about this scenario from Jesus’ perspective. Asking Him to teach them to pray would be a big question that Jesus would surely use to impart truth to His followers, right?
So, it seems to me that He reveals His heart in His answer.
Think about it. Jesus didn’t tell them to go off on their own and pray what He would teach them. In fact, the very first word – “Our” – indicates that Jesus intended them to be together with others when they prayed. Words like “give us this day…”, “… forgive us our sins as we forgive…”, “lead us not into temptation” and “…deliver us from evil…” show that His teaching was not to be taken individually. The repeated plural phraseology – our, us, we – doesn’t give the impression of an I-me-mine prayer. Jesus clearly was pushing His followers toward togetherness.
That runs totally counter-cultural to our selfish nature and our individualistic society, doesn’t it? But then, so did most of Jesus’ teaching, right?