Yesterday, we prayed the Lord's Prayer or the Disciple's Prayer as I like to call it.
Today, let's reflect on these words...
9 “This, then, is how you should pray:
“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
10 your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.’
We could easily spend the next two weeks breaking this prayer down. It's so rich!
But I wonder if it has become just another thing we say without fully understanding it or meaning it.
When was in Israel a couple years ago, our guide led us to the mountain where it is traditionally believed that Jesus preached the Sermon on the Mount. After exploring the area she asked a person in the group to open the Bible to Matthew 6:9-13. After we read it she pulled a sheet of paper out of her folder and began to read a message that completely changed the way I pray this prayer. After I got back to the United States I wished that I had that message to help me focus again when I pray the Lord's Prayer. After some research I found the guide's email address and she was gracious enough to send me a copy.
I hope it will too challenge you and help you mean each word of this prayer:
Praying Christ’s Prayer
I Cannot Pray If…
I cannot say OUR if my heart has no room for others and their needs.
I cannot say FATHER if I do not demonstrate this relationship in my daily living.
I cannot say WHO ART IN HEAVEN if all my interests and pursuits are in earthly things.
I cannot say HALLOWED BE THY NAME if I, who am called to bear His name, am not seeking to be holy.
I cannot say THY KINGDOM COME if I am unwilling to give up my own sovereignty and accept the righteous reign of God.
I cannot say THY WILL BE DONE if I am unwilling or resentful of having it in my life.
I cannot say ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN unless I am truly ready to give myself to His service here and now.
I cannot say GIVE US THIS DAY OUR DAILY BREAD without expending an honest effort for it, or if I would withhold from my neighbor the bread I receive.
I cannot say FORGIVE US OUR TRESPASSES AS WE FORGIVE THOSE WHO TRESPASS AGAINST US if I continue to harbor a grudge against anyone.
I cannot say LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION if I deliberately choose to remain in a situation where I am likely to be tempted.
I cannot say DELIVER US FROM EVIL if I am not prepared to fight in the spiritual realm with the weapon of prayer.
I cannot say FOR THINE IS THE KINGDOM if I am unwilling to obey the king and let Him take complete control.
I cannot say THINE IS THE POWER AND THE GLORY if I am seeking power for myself and my own glory first.
I cannot say FOREVER if I am too anxious about each day’s events.
I cannot say AMEN unless I can honestly say, “Cost what it may, this is my prayer.”
Help me to pray more frequently,
Help me to mean my words,
Forgive me when prayer seems like going through the motions
Renew within me a desire to be closer to you.
23 Yet I am always with you;
you hold me by my right hand.
24 You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will take me into glory.
25 Whom have I in heaven but you?
And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
26 My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever.
27 Those who are far from you will perish;
you destroy all who are unfaithful to you.
28 But as for me, it is good to be near God.
I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge;
I will tell of all your deeds.