The Jerusalem Council

A Global Association of Orthodox Jewish Believers in Messiah Yeshua

Aveinu (The Our Father, The Lord’s Prayer)

The Aveinu, also known as The Lord’s Prayer, is the prayer of our rabbi, Messiah Yeshua ben Yoseph mi’Netzaret. When his disciples asked him to teach them how to pray, they weren’t necessarily asking him to teach them the mechanics of prayer, more than asking what is his prayer at the conclusion of the Amidah / Shimonei Esrei (18 Benedictions).

The Amidah (the Standing Prayer(s)), also known as the Shimonei Esrei (18 Benedictions), is a collection of 18 (now 19) prayers said three times a day by Jews all around the world during the moedim (appointed times) of Shacharit (morning prayer), Mincah (afternoon prayer before sundown), and Maariv (evening prayer after sundown) – times that G-d himself desires to meet with us.

It is traditional that at the conclusion of the Amidah, that one insert the prayer of their rabbi. MyJewishLearning.com states:

Although the official structure of the Amidah concludes with the prayer for peace, the Rabbis of antiquity added on private, personal meditations.

Traditionally, Judaism has settled on one particular prayer, that of Mar the son of Rabina as Talmud Berachot 17a states:

Mar the son of Rabina on concluding his prayer added the following: My G-d, keep my tongue
from evil and my lips from speaking guile. May my soul be silent to them that curse me and may my
soul be as the dust to all. Open Thou my heart in Thy law, and may my soul pursue Thy
commandments, and deliver me from evil hap, from the evil impulse and from an evil woman and
from all evils that threaten to come upon the world. As for all that design evil against me, speedily
annul their counsel and frustrate their designs! May the words of my mouth and the meditation of
my heart be acceptable before Thee, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer!

The full prayer after the Amidah found in most Siddurim is:

My G-d, guard my tongue from evil and my lips from speaking deceitfully. To those who curse me, let my soul be silent; and let my soul be like dust to everyone. Open my heart to Your Torah, then my soul will pursue Your commandments. As for all those who oppose me and design evil against me, speedily nullify their counsel and disrupt their design. May it be Your will, Adonai my G-d and the G-d of my forefathers, that human jealousy may not rise up against me, nor my jealousy upon others; may I not become angry today, and may I not anger You. Rescue me from the Evil Inclination, and place in my heart submissiveness and humility. O our King and our G-d, cause Your Name to be unified in Your world; rebuild Your city, lay the foundation of Your House, perfect Your sanctuary; gather in the scattered exiles, redeem Your sheep, and gladden Your congregation. Act for Your Name’s sake; act for Your right hand’s sake; act for Your Torah’s sake; act for Your sanctity’s sake. That Your beloved ones may be given rest; let Your right hand save, and respond to me.

It is a good prayer, and orthodox Messianic Jews will pray this concluding prayer after the Amidah. Personal benedictions may be inserted at this point as well, but typically this prayer is all that is mentioned in this section of the daily prayers in most Siddurim (Jewish prayer books).

Based on this, it is appropriate to insert the Aveinu (the Lord’s Prayer) at this point after the Amdiah, in between “May the expressions of my heart…” and before the conclusion of “…May the expressions of my heart…” and it here within these “bookends,” that the disciples of Yeshua expected him to give them his prayer to be inserted here.

We find in Messianic Jewish writings that the Aveinu was to be included as part of the conclusion to the Amidah (the Standing Prayer(s)), which are prayed three times daily.

Acts 2:42

and they were continuing stedfastly in the teaching of the apostles, and the fellowship, and the breaking of the bread, and the prayers.

Didache 8:2-3

2) Likewise, don’t pray as the hypocrites, but as commanded in the Gospel in this manner:
Our Father in heaven,
Sacred is Your Name.
Your kingdom comes.
Your will is acomplished,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us each day our daily bread,
and forgive us our debt
in the manner that we forgive our debtors.
And do not allow us to fall to temptation,
but deliver us from evil,
for Yours is the power and the glory forever.
Amen!

3) Pray in this manner three times per day.

Acts says the followers of Messiah were devoted to the prayers (referring to the Amidah which is prayed three times daily), and the Didache also states that the Aveinu was to be prayed three times daily. These positions are in complete agreement with greater Judaism which teaches that after the Amidah the prayer of one’s rabbi and/or personal benedictions are inserted there as part of one’s daily prayers.

So it is with this that the orthodox Messianic Jewish leadership at JerusalemCouncil.org encourages all followers of Messiah Yeshua to pray the Aveinu after the prayer of Mar ben Rabbina within the concluding “May the expressions” section, which is after the Amidah, three times a day during Shacharit, Mincha, and Maariv.

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15 Responses to “Aveinu (The Our Father, The Lord’s Prayer)”

  • MRavMac says:

    I tend to take a slightly different stance on this issue. I believe it to be a teaching on the required steps and inclusions needed for proper prayer.

    Steps that are all too often taken lightly.

    I have taught on this for a couple of decades and must admit it was NOT received well in mainstream Christianity and I see won’t be received well in Orthodox Messianic Judaism.

    Here is a link to an article I did on it some years back. http://flmilw.org/archives/116 Prayerfully it will add to the discussion.

  • Thanks MRavMac for sharing your excellent paper on what one can learn from the Aveinu prayer. I should clarify that I and other orthodox Messianics tend to hold a both-and position on the Aveinu in that it is a teaching on prayer we can learn from, as well as a prayer that was historically expected to be included as part of the daily liturgy.

  • I would point out that, despite what the Didache says, the line “for Yours is the power and the glory forever” is not in the Scriptural version. (Not that it’s not true, but the Didache claims that it is.)

  • In most of the New Testament churches I attended they used the prayer as a liturgical prayer.
    Which for the most part was “nice” but they were just mouthing words to be mouthing words in unison and I don’t think it had any real heart to it.
    Which for me (and I’m thinking for Adonai too) was a real waste of time.*Keep this in mind for the question below.

    Then I read a interesting book by Hank Hanegraaff called “The Prayer of Jesus” and it was the 1st time I saw the prayer as a format on how to pray. It was an eye opener and well written.

    To read here that Yeshua used it with his personal daily prayers I’m not sure I agree with that. That he would suggest it to his students, now that I could see.
    Yeshua never sinned so why would he need to request it from His Father?

    I’m rather new to this so pardon me for asking what may seem obvious but…

    I am puzzled by a few other things: Jews have prayers for everything and I do mean Everything. And following the teachings of Paul in 1st Thessalonians 5:16-18 we are to be praying continually. Which is the path I take, when my life doesn’t require me to focus on my job or another person I (work at) keeping in prayer with Adonai continually as in with out stopping.

    *So why did they need “called” to prayer 3 times a day?
    Why did they have to stand to say them? Why not kneel?

    I don’t always knell but when it comes to seeking forgiveness (as mentioned in the Adonai’s prayer) that is where I prefer to be.

    Maybe it’s the whole idea behind liturgy that I’m missing. It kind of strikes me as words out of habit and not out of heart. Isaiah 29:13 & Mark 7:6 speaks out against this so to get into a habit of praying with pre-written prayers now is really awkward for me.

    Any ideas on how to get passed that? Or should I?

  • Kathleen,

    The “continual prayers” refer to the “tamid” or “continual” offering of the two lambs morning and evening. During those times of the “continual offering” the incense is offered up in the Temple. This offering of the incense is said by HaShem to be “a Holies of Holies to you.” Incense represents the prayers of the people going up before HaShem. The tamid offerings are considered a moed – an appointed time to meet with HaShem. We find this in many places of scripture, one of my favorites being “May my prayer be set before you like incense; may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice.” (Psalm 141:2). The morning, afternoon, and evening prayers have been done daily for thousands of years. If you research about the Amidah, you will find much more information on this.

    Most, if not all of the prayers said during the set times of Shacharit (morning sacrifice), Mincha (evening sacrifice), and Maariv, are scripture, or are from scripture. So when we daven – when we pray during these set times of Shacharit, Mincha, and Maariv, we are praying scripture during the times HaShem desires to meet with us. Like all appointed times, they have everything to do with the Messiah, for it was at Shacharit that Messiah was crucified, Mincha when he died, and Maariv when he rose. To pray these “continual/tamid” prayers is what is meant by the phrase to “pray continually.” May your prayer times be enriched by this.

  • That was very kind (mean that sincerely) but that still didn’t answer my questions.

    Quote: “…more than asking what is his prayer at the conclusion of the Amidah / Shimonei Esrei (18 Benedictions)”

    Yeshua never sinned so why would he need to request forgiveness from His Father, by using the Lord’s prayer (or Amidah) as you suggested?

    What is to “daven” and what does it have to do with kneeing or standing and where is that written that you must stand instead of kneel? If you have sinned you really need to be more humble before HaShem. The last time we see Yeshua praying in the garden, he was on the ground.

    Quote:This offering of the incense is said by HaShem to be “a Holies of Holies to you.”
    Torah location please?

    I think you are taking 1 Thessalonians 5 out of context because he was not talking about temple worship, he is talking about keeping your prayer life active and clarifies this by verse 18 “give thanks in all circumstances, for this is G-d’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

    He repeats the same teaching in Ephesians 6:18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.

    And my last question- how do you keep liturgical prayers from being dry and heartless or should you not use them, if you can not?

    • As a male, Yeshua would have to have kept the three pilgrimage feasts, including Yom Kippur. Since he didn’t consider “equality with the Deity as something to be grasped,” he likewise would still have prayed for forgiveness.

      To daven simply means to pray (as in to recite liturgy). The set time prayers are called “standing prayers” – something even Yeshua alludes to when he says “when you stand praying.” Rods says “because one rises in the presence of the aged.” In addition, I believe it’s because “Abraham stood in the presence of HaShem” when the angels went to Sodom, since it was Mincha. AskMoses.com says its “to honor G-d.” Rods further explained that one kneels during Yom Kippur, and one only prostrates at the Temple.

      Exodus 30:35-36
      Make [the mixture] into incense, as compounded by a master perfumer, well-blended, pure and holy. Grind it very finely, and place it before the [Ark of] Testimony in the Communion Tent where I commune with you. It shall be holy of holies to you.

      As you can see, the incense is called a “holy of holies” to you.

      Psalm 141:2
      May my prayer be set before you like incense; may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice.

      John explains:

      Revelation 5:8
      And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.

      We know the “tamid” offering offered morning and evening, is when the incense is offered in the Temple. These are the times of prayer. “Tamid” means continual, thus in a Jewish mindset, the prayers of the morning and evening are called the tamid prayers, or “continual” prayers. Thus “pray continually” is a direct reference to the “tamid” or “continual” prayers of Shacharit and Mincha, and this is an expected teaching coming from Paul, a Pharisaic rabbi who “imitates Messiah.”

      Since when is reading scripture “dry?” The rabbis say you can not daven if you have no chavenah – focus and sincere intent. Many coming from Protestantism don’t realize how much of a blessing they have been robbed by formerly eschewing all liturgy. Yet what many don’t realize is, that if you sing worship songs with others, you’re singing liturgy. What a better way to connect with the generations of ancient days, and sing the same liturgy they sang? There are times for liturgy (since when one prays the liturgy, they are praying scripture in most cases, and in all cases, are reciting the same thing by all other Jews in that timezone at the same time), and there are times for spontaneous prayer. In fact, during the liturgy, there are several places whereby one may enter into spontaneous prayer. In fact, doing the minimum of meeting with G-d as he desires, three times a day, I find those times to be the most powerful to launch into spontaneous prayer after the liturgy. The liturgy prepares our hearts and minds to meet with HaShem, and reminds us that we are to minister before HaShem on the earth. After we have engaged HaShem with the promises he gives us, outlined clearly in scripture, which we recite, we become echad (one) with HaShem so that as we pray during liturgy and spontaneously afterwards, our prayers are not laced with selfishness, but prayed within the very will of HaShem. In fact, there is no other sure way to know the will of HaShem than by reading scripture, since scripture is most certainly his will. Thus one can begin praying in the will of HaShem by praying scripture.

  • John Belham says:

    Dear Israel,
    Thank you for inviting me to add a comment on your recent addition to the Jerusalem Council website on the Aveinu.
    The aims of the two website entries are very different.
    You are justifying the liturgical use of the Aveinu, and its placing after the Amidah, from ancient usage.
    Whereas we at http://www.lords-prayer.co.uk are attempting to tease out the practical implications of this world-changing prayer in our daily living. Very much the approach that Kathleen, above, valued.
    I very much appreciated reading the original prayer of Mar son of Rabina as it distinguishes between the differing types of evil that may befall us. This distinction very much resonates with the treatment of the subject of evil offered on http://www.lords-prayer.co.uk. I find it a pity that the full prayer found in most Siddurim omits this.

    Thank you.

  • I understand that Jewish Traditions run deep in your heart because they are apart of how you worship our Abba. If I have offended you in any way, I do apologize.
    The last thing I want to do is hurt you or disrespect you in midrash.

    I want to learn the customs of our family, but when I do them I want to do them from my heart and do them in step with Adonai. I owe Him my soul… my very breath. He desires and deserves nothing less then that from me and that is what I plan to give Him as much as is within me.

    Shalom my brother!

  • I am not offended at all. :) Anyone who is easily offended, is not of the Messiah.

  • I’ve not considered reading the scripture ever as being dry. The kind of liturgy that I have come in contact with is nothing like what you have outlined above!

    The liturgy I have known has always been what is used in the Methodist Church- The Apostle’s Creed, The Lord’s prayer, I’m they had a Method for everything.
    The home meal prayer when like this G-d is great, G-d is good and with thank him for our food amen.

    After your 1st year in the Methodist church – you knew exactly what sermons subjects you were going to hear and what songs you were going to sing, prayers you would say… for the rest of your life! YIKES!

    The Catholic Church was worse in that regard – 5 Hail Mary’s, 10 Our Fathers… you get the idea.

    The Baptist Church drove me nuts with singing 100′s of verses of a song called “Just as I am” at the end of every sermon.

    I was taught that the Jewish way of praying so far, was going to be something like this…

    Blessed are you O’L-rd our G-d, King of the Universe who returns our soul to us in the morning so we may live for you again amen. (am prayer)

    Blessed are you O’L-rd our G-d King of the Universe who brings forth bread from the Earth and provides us with every good thing. (lunch prayer)

    Blessed are you O’L-rd our G-d King of the universe, who holds and guards our soul through the night. amen (bedtime prayer)

    I’m soo not into repetition!

    What is amazing is that about a 3 years ago I had a co-worker of mine ask me to partner with her to read through the Bible cover to cover. We did this on our own during our lunch breaks – we only get a 1/2 break so we eat and read at the same time.

    At night though I found myself “stuck” in the Psalms. I find it very comforting to read before pray and fall asleep for the night. So I have yet to read else where at night.

    I’m not a morning person at all but I pray to him before my eyes even open and on my days off I love to start my day reading more of the Psalms.

    Interesting how He worked all that into my life huh? :)

  • I love Psalm 145. I often read Psalm 91. He Shem as used the Psalms to do a lot of healing in my life.

    When I was going through one of the most difficult times in my life and thought nobody understood He had me read the 22 Psalm. That was a huge eye opener and drew me very close to Him.

    I tried your link but it would not load the whole page. It stopped or hung-up after the blue bar across the top loaded and I’ve tried it in FireFox and Interenet Explorer.

    Had a chance to look at a few others. Something to save up for :)

    Thank you for your help!
    We had our Purim celebration at out congregation tonight! And I made apricot cookies for the 1st time!

    I have to admit I “cheated” a little because of the time (or lack there of)
    I used slice & bake sugar cookies and Smucker’s Apricot Fruit Spread. But I did fold them in one three sides.
    They turned out really good anyway and they didn’t last long at the dinner! :)

    Hope yours is/was blessed too!

  • Oh I ran across this online and was not sure but the deal was because they were using words I’ve never heard of. Thought I’d run it by you to see what you think…

    http://jewschool.com/2007/09/18/12667/warning-artscroll-womens-siddur/

  • Melody Upham says:

    As a former catholic, I ‘threw the baby out with the bathwater’ when I became an evangelical christian and deliberately avoided any type of ‘rote’ liturgical prayer. It is only as a Messianic that I have begun to appreciate their value. Israel, I agree wholeheartedly with you that they are anything but dry and are an excellent stepping off point for my personal prayers. Great topic!