There are many versions of the Bible. There are many versions of “The Lord’s Prayer.”
In my Bible, Jesus instructs, “Pray along these lines: ‘Our Father in heaven, we honor your holy name. We ask that your kingdom will come now. May your will be done here on earth, just as it is in heaven. Give us our food again today, as usual, and forgive us our sins, just as we have forgiven those who have sinned against us. Don’t bring us into temptation, but deliver us from the Evil One (or ‘from evil’). Amen’ “ (Matthew 6:9-13)
Elsewhere, my Bible reads: “Once when Jesus had been out praying, one of his disciples came to him as he finished and said, ‘Lord, teach us a prayer to recite just as John taught one to his disciples.’ And this is the prayer he taught them: ‘Father, may your name be honored for its holiness; send your Kingdom soon. Give us our food day by day. And forgive our sins – for we have forgiven those who sinned against us. And don’t allow us to be tempted.” (Luke 11:1-4)
Neither of these versions is the version of “The Lord’s Prayer” that I have recited since childhood — and still do. But they are very similar.
I am not a religious scholar. I do not know whether one version of “The Lord’s Prayer” is more pleasing to God than another. However, I believe no version of “The Lord’s Prayer” will please God unless it is offered with sincerity and from the heart. When offered from the heart, it is both beautiful and pleasing to the Lord.
“The Lord’s Prayer” was never intended to be our only prayer, though. Nor was it intended solely for church.
Jesus tells us, “…when you pray, go away by yourself, all alone, and shut the door behind you and pray to your Father secretly, and your Father, who knows your secrets, will reward you.” (Matthew 6:6)
Jesus cautions, “Don’t recite the same prayer over and over as the heathen do, who think prayers are answered only by repeating them again and again. Remember, your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him.” (Matthew 6:7-8