Tefillah Talmidim – The Disciples’ Prayer
Yeshua taught his followers to pray the well-known “Lord’s Prayer.” This prayer, often thought to be new, actually follows the traditional Jewish tefillah (prayer). Our Jewish Savior gave his Jewish (and non-Jewish) followers a completely Jewish way to pray to the his Father, his Abba.
:אבינו שבשמים ית1דש שמך
Avinu shebashamayim, yitkadash shemekha.
Our Father in heaven! May your Name be kept holy.
:תבא מלכותך יעשה רצונך בארץ כאשר נעשה בשמים
Tavo malkhutekha, ye’aseh r’tzonekha ba’aretz ka’asher na’asah vashamayim.
May your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as in heaven.
These first phrases recall the kaddish, an ancient Jewish prayer. Like all Jewish prayers, Yeshua’s prayer begins with acknowledging the Creator of the Universe who is our Father in heaven, followed by sanctifying His ‘set apart’ Name, yod-hey-vav-hey. The coming Kingdom of God is the rule of God’s Spirit in, through, and over the hearts of mankind. This is the complete fulfillment of the new covenant that will bring forth God’s will on earth as it is accomplished in the heavenly realm.
:תן לנוּ היוֹם לחם חקנוּ
Ten-lanu hayom lechem chukeinu.
Give us the bread we need today.
The word ‘give’ at the beginning of this phrase is the imperative. It presents the idea of a child completely dependent on their father for everything they need. ‘This day’ is a reference to the manna -– the bread of life -– in the wilderness that was provided each day in order to build faith in The Provider. Lechem chukeinu is used in Proverbs 30:8: “Keep falsehood and futility far from me, and give me neither poverty nor wealth. Yes, provide just the food I need today.”
:וסלח לנוּ את אשמתנו כאשר סלחים אנחנו לאשר אשמו לנוּ
U’selach-lanu et-ashmateinu ka’asher solechim anachnu la’asher ashmu-lanu.
Forgive us our sins just as we are forgiving those who sin against us.
Yeshua taught in Luke 6:38 that we will receive the same measure that we measure out. Unless we forgive others, our Father will not forgive us. This part of the tefillah is a mirror to our hearts, and the verb is in present progressive because the process of forgiving continues.
:ואל–תויאנוּ לידי מסה כי אמ–הצילנוּ מן הרע
Ve’al-tevieinu lidei massah, ki im-hatzileinu min-hara.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.
Massa is translated as ‘test or temptation,’ but can also mean ‘despair’ as in the ‘melting of one’s heart.’ This phrase does not suggest that we be kept from trials, but that as we go through them, our hearts are changed or melted and we are delivered from falling into despair, becoming bitter or angry. Hatzileinu min-hara is more than being drawn into evil inclination, but a cry for deliverance from the Evil One, the Adversary, who is the root of our evil inclinations and tries to steal all glory from God.
:כי לך הממלכה וחגבוּרה והתפארת לעולמי עולמים
Ke lakha, hamamlakha, vehageverah, veha tiferet l’olemei ‘olamim.
For kingship, power and glory are yours forever.
The conclusion of this prayer reflects the prayer and praise of King David in 1 Chronicles 29:11-13 when he dedicated Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem: “Yours, Adonai, is the greatness, the power, the glory, the victory and the majesty; for everything in heaven and on earth is yours. The kingdom is yours, Adonai; and you are exalted as head over all. Riches and honor come from you, you rule everything, in your hand is power and strength, you have the capacity to make great and to give strength to all. Therefore, our God, we thank you and praise your glorious name.”
אמן ו אמן
Jewish sages taught that Amen is an acronym for el melech ne’eman or “God is a faithful King.”
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