How The Lord’s Prayer Became Mine…and what I Pray for You

Lords prayer graphic

Easter Sunday, the most attended church service of the year. Voices all over the world will be heard reciting The Lord’s Prayer. After all, this is how the Lord said we should pray, and so we pray exactly as He did. But are we missing something? Is it enough just to say the words, or did Jesus intend something so much greater?

I’ve been involved in a small group for the last few weeks where we have been taking a closer look at The Lord’s Prayer, line by line, praying through corresponding verses each week. It has truly been a beautiful thing to open up this power-packed prayer like a brand new gift. At first glance it seems that this prayer is full of commands towards God…Thy kingdom come…thy will be done…give me this…forgive me…don’t lead me into temptation…deliver me.

It seems pretty demanding…on the surface.

But what if Jesus gives us these words, not so we can dictate to God, but so that we can be reminded of his goodness. After all isn’t that what prayer is all about? Reminding us that God’s hand is in it all. That we are invited to be a part of what he is ALREADY doing.

Prayer takes us straight to the heart of God. It is what connects us to His plan already in progress. It takes our out-of-control life and brings it increasingly under the control of our Father, our Father in Heaven.

So, as we pray this prayer this week as a reminder, not as a list of demands, may it go something like this:

Our Father who art in heaven…
God, you care about everyone equally. I am no better and no worse than anyone around me. I am your child and that is where my identity lies. You are OUR Father who is in heaven, because of this you have an entirely different perspective than I do. Thank you for recognizing that I need to be reminded of this often. The distractions of this world do a pretty good job of taking my eyes off of you. I can never have enough reminders of who you are and my place in your family.

Hallowed be thy name…
You are separate from anything on this earth, yet you have made a way for me to talk to you. You have the most holy name of all, yet you call me “mine.” Your name is just as precious as you are, and should be treated as such. May I remember to always recognize you as holy, treat you as holy, and reflect your holiness.

Thy kingdom come…
It is so easy to be the king of my own domain, but you remind me that you are to be my king, you are the ruler of my domain…not me…not ever. Your ultimate kingdom is just around the corner. As you rule my heart, may it be a reminder that you will one day rule a new heaven and a new earth.

Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven…
Your will is happening. There is nowhere that I can go to escape your will for me. I can either chose to surrender to your will and glorify you in what you have for me, or I can fight it, live a life of turmoil and find that peace will continually be just out of my reach. I am reminded that the ‘peace that passes all understanding’ is only found in the center of your will. Closely hold me there and keep me from selfishly sabotaging myself.

Give us this day our daily bread…
Not only are my needs met, but you quench my desire to worry about tomorrow. Today, right now, you have provided what I need…I am satisfied. My provider. Jehovah-Jireh. Whether it is through the toil of my own hands to put food on the table, or a spiritual gift you have lavished upon me, I have absolutely no need to worry. Today you remind me that I am cared for, I am loved, I am yours.

And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors…
I am forgiven. THANK YOU, JESUS! You have washed away my guilt and shame. To continue in my guilt  is basically saying that I don’t think your sacrifice was good enough for me, that the price you paid was not high enough. But that is a lie straight from my enemy! You have strategically given me a daily reminder of your selfless sacrifice and your never-ending forgiveness. A strategy to not only defeat my enemy but to follow your example and practice forgiveness.

And do not lead us into temptation…
You lead me. Temptation is placed in front of me by my enemy. You never lead me towards it, but are instead continually leading me away from it…toward yourself. Toward holiness, righteousness and truth. Temptation is filled with lies that my enemy uses to play to my evil desires and draw me away from you. But as I draw closer to you, in my weakness, your strength shines through it. The only direction you lead me towards is victory over my enemy. You gently remind me that if I only follow you, my struggles will become dim in comparison to your life-giving light.

But deliver us from evil…
I am at war, but you have already won! When it feels like the world simply cannot get any worse…it does. My heart is heavy as I live in this evil place. But this is not my home. This is not the end. You have given me the tools, the armor; all I need to do is put it on. You remind me that all I need to do is stand my ground…you have already won. I have been delivered. I stand here armed with the belt of truth and the breastplate of righteousness. My feet are fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. The shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, the sword of the Spirit…required protection as I stand to face my enemy and say, “YOU HAVE NO POWER HERE! GOD HAS ALREADY WON!”

For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. AMEN!

1 Comment

  1. Joy welled up inside me as I read this. Despite the fear and trepidation I had about doing this life group, God clearly has blessed it as evidenced by your heartfelt expansion of the Lord’s Prayer, the fruit from having spent facetime with God and receiving his encouragement through his Word. I’m so pleased that you’ve freely given away through your blog the insight and blessing you’ve received from God.

    Reply

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