The Lord’s Prayer
I have been thinking about the Lord’s prayer. Recently, I have been looking at several books where the author share what Jesus was hoping to teach us. I know that many times I am just reciting the words and not really thinking about what the words mean. It is my hope that when you read this reflection, you are reminded of how Jesus taught us to pray.
The Lord’s prayer consists of three parts, the start or beginning, the petitions, and the conclusion.
At the start or beginning, we start by praying to “The Father,” our heavenly Father who is good and gracious, our Creator, our preserver, our Lord and Father of the universe. True prayer depends on a spiritual relationship where we call Him “Father,” and this can come only through faith in Jesus Christ. Prayer is something that happens between the Father and his children and there needs to be intimacy in the prayer. Then, we say “Who art in heaven,” we are beholding all things in heaven and earth and every possible event from everlasting to everlasting.
From the preface, we are led into six petitions (humble requests) and praise the Lord by saying (1) “Hallowed be Thy name,” we are praying that God’s name is holy, revered, and praised. To honor God’s name is to worship and respect our Lord. Now, when we say (2) “Thy kingdom come,” we are praying for eternity, for the Lord to return, to resurrect the dead and to bring in eternity where there is love and joy! As we say, (3) “Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven,” we are asking that His will be done. We are asking God to use us to accomplish what He wants, so that His name is glorified. May all inhabitants of the earth do Your will as willingly, and as continually as is pleasing in Your sight! As we go into the next petition, (4) “Give us, today our daily bread,” we are asking for all things needful for our souls and bodies, not only the meat that perishes, but the sacramental bread, and Your grace, the food which endures to everlasting life. Have faith and trust the Lord with your finances, health, job, and life challenges. Avoid worry, and have faith and trust in God! Petition five (5) is asking the Lord for forgiveness of our sins, “And forgive us our debts, as we also forgive our debtors.”
Not only are we asking for forgiveness, but we are also forgiving others. No one is perfect. We must give up our right to get even. Respond to evil with good. Treat everyone with kindness. As we forgive others, we find the freedom to refocus on God’s purpose for our lives. The final petition says (6) “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” We are asking protection from temptation, which is difficult as we are all human. We resist tempting thoughts with biblical truth. Protect our mind. Before we say “no” to the devil, we have to say “yes’ to Jesus Christ. Read the Bible and have God’s Word with you. Once it is in your heart, the Holy Spirit can bring it back to your mind and you are better able to resist temptation.
We conclude by saying “For Thine is the kingdom” – the sovereign right of all things that are or ever were created. “The power”– whereby You govern all things in Your everlasting kingdom. “And the glory”– the praise due from every creature for Your power, all Your wondrous works, and the mightiness of Your kingdom, which endures through all ages, even “forever, Amen.”
May we all be reminded of the powerful words Jesus taught us when he taught us the Lord’s prayer!