As I look back on what I have learned the last few days I am again amazed at how much I have to learn. I am also in awe of a God who lets us learn at a pace that is right for each one of us. I have said the Lord’s Prayer all my life. It is probably the second prayer I learned, the first being “now I lay me down to sleep” which I still pray sometimes because it comforts me.
Here I will share some of the new things I learned about this prayer…and some of the things that I had forgotten or have been taking for granted.
- Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name
Jesus tells us to pray to our Father, His and mine and yours. Father is a personal and intimate term. Not just anyone is your father only he who gives you life be it your earthly human father or your heavenly Father. We respect and honor His name because of who He is, the one true God.
- Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is heaven.
We are living in His kingdom not yet fully realized here on earth. One day it will be and though it may seem to be delayed it is not; it will come in God’s perfect time. Meanwhile, we pray for His will, what the Father wants, to be done here, now. We may not know the entirety of it or understand much of it but what we do know and understand is what we are meant to do. We are the beacons of hope in this dark world and must not hide our light.
- Give us this day our daily bread,
We ask that we be given what we need for the day. No more no less. I am not saying that it is wrong to have more than we need for one day or even to ask for more. But I do think we are not to expect more.
- and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
Notice the verse says “as we have also forgiven our debtors”. This seems to presuppose that we have done this. I ask for forgiveness but have I truly forgiven the offenses against me? He forgives me though I offend Him deeply. Whatever sins have been done to hurt me are nothing in comparison to how I grieve the Father with mine.
- And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
Of course, God does not lead us into temptation but He will lead us into troubles to strengthen and bring us closer to Him. In those times of trials we ask the Father to keep us from the temptation to sin. To ask to be delivered from evil, or from the evil one, is something that cannot be stressed enough. God does not leave us on our own in the world, we always have the Holy Spirit with us in our daily life, but how often do we take His protection for granted?
- For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever. Amen.
This last verse is believed to have been added later and is not in most newer translations. However, this is how I learned the prayer and I always include it. Somehow it seems fitting to end my time with our Father with this proclamation.
Blessings this day of grace,