With my posse we discussed the Lord’s Prayer. It is a prayer that we use every Sunday but I wonder how often we actually think about it. The Lord’s Prayer is not a mantra but a model of prayer. Rather like ACTS (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving and Supplication) the Lord’s Prayer is meant more as a teaching prayer than a prayer to be recited week in, week out. However not only does the model of the Lord’s Prayer contain adoration, confession, supplication but it is also a prayer of re-orientation. When we become selfish in our faith thinking that it is something private and personal the Lord’s prayer reminds us that we are part of something much much bigger.
Our Father – not My Father, but our Father. We cannot selfishly hold onto God for he belongs to us all. When we pray Our Father we remind ourselves that we are part of a family, and God is the Parent, the one we rely on.
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done – We are pointed back to God’s kingdom and not our own kingdom. All of us are guilty at some level or another of kingdom building whether at home or work or even in the community. We put our family, our work, our life first and save for a rainy day, rather than work for God’s kingdom. Think of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. He prayed not my will but yours be done. Sometimes God’s will is far more challenging than we imagine.
On earth as it is in heaven – The angels and archangels are already doing God’s will. We pray that we would be willing to submit to God’s will as well. And it is important that we do it now, not just when we get to heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread – Do we trust God to provide for us or do you find yourself worrying about what you will eat or wear? When comes to working for God do we trust him enough or are we waiting for the day when we have everything? Our daily bread, our manna from heaven cannot be stored up but is enough for the day in hand. Don’t worry about tomorrow for it will have enough troubles of its own. And God will provide the courage, strength, peace, grace, mercy, love, patience, and whatever else we might need. Just remember you might be the answer to another’s daily bread provision!
And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors – Did Jesus know the poison that bitterness and anger brings? I am sure he witnessed it and the most powerful words said were his – Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do. Forgiveness is a necessity for healing and letting go of all that will hold us back in God’s mission fields. We cannot preach a forgiving welcoming God and then be miserable with the burdens we carry.
Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil – The world is messed up but we have to play by its rules (wise as serpents and gentle as doves). With God all things are possible but as Paul says in Ephesians 6:12 there are more things than we can imagine in the spiritual realms. We pray that as we engage in spiritual warfare we won’t be distracted from our calling even when it costs us much.
For thine is the Kingdom, the power and the glory for ever Amen – We work not for ourselves but for God. And as we finish our prayer we are reminded of his power, glory, eternalness and purpose.
It is not God’s job to make us feel important. We are his subjects and we worship him. However God is so loving that he allows us to call him Father – a personal term of love and relationship. This is a powerful prayer and we dare not take it lightly. It is a prayer of surrender, commitment and acknowledgement that God is in all things and through all things, and we are his. Jesus lived his earthly life in constant submission to God his Father and we are called to follow his example (read John’s Gospel). This prayer demands it. Are you ready for everything this prayer will bring about?
God bless you and your journey with him. Comments and reflections welcome.