UR in the Lord's Prayer?


I honestly don’t know if I’ve read/heard this idea before, however, I’ll put it out there for people to critique…

Using NIV Matt 6:9-13.

Given that the audience is the disciples, “Our” probably wouldn’t be considered all inclusive, although I guess some might argue that? “Father” is quite powerful, as is shows the loving relationship of God to people, in particular His people (whoever they might be). Again how broad this is would be debatable.

Google confirms that this means “Honor as holy”. This is where I think it really starts to get interesting; The only way for God’s name to be truly “hallowed” is for people to become Christians.

If I take one of my favourite kingdom passages, Dan 2:34-35, that could mean UR :sunglasses:

God’s will is done perfectly and universally in heaven, therefore we are praying for this on earth, and again the only way that’s possible is if everyone was a Christian! :mrgreen:

God is provider and cares for his Creation, in particular Christians but there is what some people call “Common Grace” (please correct me if I’m wrong about this).

There might be something here but I can’t see it yet.

Again not sure if anything directly related to UR.

Furthermore, as I’m an optimistic post-millennialist, I see this prayer as asking for something that will actually happen.

How Do We Pray?
Packer: The Problem Of Universalism Today (1969)
Could the Lord's Prayer be the recipe for evangelism??

Just a couple of comments …

The non-universalist would likely object that this only applies to the currently living–those who died in the past aren’t included. (Or does post-millennialism teach pre-millennial resurrection?)

Jesus is the true bread from heaven–the bread of life. But connections like this–which I find personally satisfying–are unlikely to ‘convince’ others. :sunglasses: And the objection might be that as the manna from heaven was given to the ‘chosen people’ that is the ‘elect’, so also the Bread of Life is given to Christians.

Our forgiveness form God is contingent upon our willingness to forgive those who sin against us. And if we forgive them their sins, will God still hold it against them? Will the God who teaches us to forgive our enemies fail to forgive His own? “While we were yet his enemies, Christ died for us.” The only reason left to ‘punish’ sin is to bring people to repentance. Love loves the sinner too much to let them continue in the death that is sin.



Hi Alex,

For some time now I’ve used the Lord’s Prayer as an outline for my own prayers. And since coming to believe in UR I do pray from a UR perspective, seeking the establishment of the Kingdom of God on earth as it “IS” in heaven. And I recongnize “Our Father” as being an all inclusive statement. Exegetically though the Lord’s Prayer doesn’t prove or disprove UR. I think we see in the Lord’s Prayer what we already believe.



i think you can read it either way. the “Our” meaning the Father of Christians, collectively. or “Our” expressing that God is the Creator and God of all, and the possible future Father of all, too. it’s interesting that our Lord does not teach us to pray “My Father”, but “Our Father”, even if we pray by ourselves.


It’s also interesting that Christ taught His disciples to pray “Our Father” before Pentecost, before the coming of The Holy Spirit, and before they were converted.

Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren. (Luke 22:31-32.)


yes! hmm. it’s really only through the intercession, grace, and power of Christ that we can continue to follow Him, and bear fruit. this really brings it back to a point about God’s mercy, and help. without God’s help and revelation, we can not recognize His Son as such, and come to that relationship where God is our Father, and we are His sons and daughters.

someone else (was it you, Michael?) had pointed out that Christ asked the Father’s forgiveness upon His executors, as they did not know what they were doing. one really can’t know who He is or respond to Him with faith and gratitude without the Father’s help. that in mind, perhaps the Lord’s Prayer looks forward to a time where God will truly be the Father of all, as God is not willing that any should perish, and as none can recognize the Son without the Father’s help.


Or it could be recognizing the fact that God is already the Father of those who don’t yet have the relationship you speak of here.

Have we not all one father? hath not one God created us? why do we deal treacherously every man against his brother, by profaning the covenant of our fathers? (Mal. 2:10.)

The disciples were unconverted at the time (and when push came to shove they deserted Christ), but God was still their Father (at least by creation.)


possibly. though there’s a difference between having God as a Creator, and knowing Him as Father. Scripture is clear that this personal, saving reconciliation comes about through faith in Christ, through which one is made a son, and an heir. without this faith and recognition of Christ, of course one is still created and cared for by God, but one does not know Him.

i do read that one must trust Christ for there to be that saving relationship. not all are presently walking with God, doing their best to avoid sin, and alive in Christ, though all have God as Father in a creational sense. my hope is that those who are not yet reconciled and alive in Christ (and alive to the Father who loves them) might yet be so, whether in this life, or the next.

the depressed, desparing young person who rejects the idea of God, harms themselves, and sees no hope for the future has God as Father in a creational sense as much as the saved Christian, yet one sees and recognizes God as real, loving, and deeply relational, whereas the other does not, and (imo) can not apart from God’s grace. both have God as Father, yet one lives in spiritual turmoil, and the other is free and alive and hopeful, in Christ.


That’s how I read it too, but God might already consider them His children (before they recognize they’re in this saving relationship.)

If there is a hint of UR in the Lord’s prayer, I think it’s in the fact that no one was saved when Jesus authorized a group of unconverted Jews to address God as their “Father” (and not just “His” Father.)

That’s my hope too.


interesting. i think i see what you’re saying, Michael. in other words, the disciples’ “Our Father” looked forward to their salvation, and possibly to a collective salvation of all for whom God is God. He’s our Father whether we know it or not, and someday, we will be able to understand that, and relate to Him as such.


Yea, I guess that’s what I’m saying (maybe you just put it better than I could.)


no, no, i’m just slow on the uptake. you actually expressed it better, and clearer. just took me a while to get it. http://www.theomegasector.com/public/style_emoticons/default/blush.gif


Just a bit to add …

I just found some notes of mine from awhile back, when I was looking at the Lord’s prayer. One of the things I wrote was “When God’s will is done, His Kingdom is come!”

(My husband saw that and gave a doubtful, “Hmm…” LOL)

But, I do think it’s true, the kingdom of God rules over the hearts of men… not as the kingdoms of this world.