If Jesus lived a perfect life, for what was he asking forgiveness when said the Lord's prayer? What "debt" or "trespass" had he committed that he felt needed to be forgiven?

If he was just giving a model prayer that only applied to the fallible mortals listening, it seems that would mean he was being insincere in prayer, or that he was asking for something from the Father he didn't really need, which seems out-of-character for him.

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    1st he was instructing the others how to pray they were sinners. 2nd if he actually prayed this prayer to his father it was being offered on behalf of the group so it is appropriate that he ask forgiveness of “our” sins even though he had none. The group had debts and trespasses so they could say amen to the prayer.
    – Kris
    Nov 12 '18 at 15:49

In Luke 11:1 one of Jesus’ disciples said to Jesus, “Lord, teach us to pray”. The NIV Study Bible Notes give this explanation regarding Luke 11:1-4:

The Lord’s Model Prayer was given here in answer to a request... The prayer is a pattern for believers , who have already been forgiven for their sins. Jesus speaks here of daily forgiveness, which is necessary to restore broken communication with God.

Jesus was not asking for forgiveness for himself. Rather, he was teaching his disciples how THEY should pray. Matthew 6:9-13 says, “This, then, is how YOU should pray..."

The Bible makes it clear that Jesus was without sin, and even though he was tempted, he never sinned and therefore he had no need to ask his Father in heaven to forgive him.

God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21).

He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth (1 Peter 2:22).

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin (Hebrews 4:15).


In Matthew 6:9, after Jesus criticised how Pharisees and others pray, we read things like (depending on the Bible version):

Pray then like this: Our Father...

This, then, is how you should pray: Our Father...

So then, this is how you should pray: Our Father...

We find similar phrases in Luke 11:2.

It is evident that Jesus was teaching his disciples (and us) how to pray. There is no need to resort to a super complicated linguistic construct such that Jesus would not have had to say the prayer in first person (plural). No one would seriously understand the text in the way you seem to be understanding it.


Christ was sinless.

However, He was asked how to pray, and so He gave the people a prayer format.

For us humans, that always includes a portion of penitence as we are not sinless like Christ. :)


Do we literally pray for our daily bread? This was just an example prayer.

In many places in the Bible it says that Jesus already washed away our sins at the cross.

Jeremiah 31:31-34 (Israelites broke the old covenant so God made a new covenant that He will forgive their iniquities and remember their sins no more through Jesus Christ.) Heb 10-14 for by one offering he has perfected thsoe who are sanctified. KJV Hebrews 10:17 (and their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.) Romans 3:23-24 (process of how we were justified freely by his grace through the redemption in Christ Jesus.)

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