By now, I assume most of you have been told the Lord’s Prayer. It is a great way to start praying and it teaches you a way to approach the Lord. But have you really looked where Jesus teaches the Lord’s Prayer though?
When Jesus is conversing about praying to God, He says this is how you pray, not what you pray. Jesus is an awesome mentor for all of us but sometimes we do not listen precisely.
When someone comes to see you and asks for help, you show them how to do something. This does not mean they do this exactly like that every single time they try to solve a problem. The same applies to our prayer life.
You cannot pray the Lord’s Prayer and expect everything to be right if you do not know what you are saying!
Jesus wanted us to have a way to approach Him but He did not want us to become zombies in what we do (of course, zombies is another way to describe us but that’s a topic for another day).
With this post, I want to break down the Lord’s Prayer and go into detail on what Jesus meant and then talk about each part.
Now when I define prayer, I consider it conversing with God. One of the best conversations with God happened with Moses. When Moses communicated with God he rarely actually spoke. Look closer at Exodus 25-31, where Moses just listened. Earlier, in Exodus 3, Moses does communicate his doubts but he also does what he is told.
This sets an example of listening during prayer as much as speaking with God. Do what He commands and not what we wish.
Another prayer warrior, David, in 2 Samuel 7 starts a prayer exactly in the way Jesus described but not in those exact words.
The most impressive thing about David’s prayer is how long he notes how holy and mighty is God. It’s not until the fourth paragraph that he finally asks for God’s blessing. This I think is one of the best examples of how to keep prayer holy. Praise God more than you beg of Him and His will will be done.
Job is another famous conversationalist with God from the Old Testament. His first discussion comes in Job 40, where he says that he has no way of commenting to the Lord. This is where we all fall short I believe. We think we have the right to complain to God and tell Him what to do but we have to realize, like Job, that His plans are higher than ours.
Now those are some Old Testament examples of conversations that I believe we have forgotten when we pray the Lord’s Prayer. Let us take a moment to then break up the prayer and talk about what Jesus wanted us all to understand in His instructions.
Hallowed Be Thy Name
Now one of the best parts about the Lord’s Prayer is that it tells you what’s the most important thing right away. Let us define Hallowed: “Sacred, Regarded as Holy.”
The first thing Jesus commands us to do is recognize that our Father is holy and above us. This is an important start because it puts us in our place. It reminds us that God’s way is above our way.
Your Will Be Done
Speaking of God’s way, the next part of the prayer is to recognize that His purposes will be accomplished no matter our plans. This is important because it reminds us that God doesn’t always work on our time and He doesn’t always answer like we hope He will.
God wants us to ask of Him but you have to understand that His answers are not always what we want to hear. If you are truly God’s children, then you have to give Him the credit that He knows what He’s doing.
Therefore, follow God and accept His will and you will truly put yourself much closer to Him.
Now, Jesus asks us something that I think is hard for us as humans. He tells us to ask for our daily bread and nothing more.
Daily bread is a reference to accepting just what we need to survive. You should not ask of God more than our basic needs because everything we get is a bonus given from God. It’s a subtle reminder that God has provided everything which means we should be content with all that we have and don’t have.
So after you have asked what you need from Him, make sure you remember to ask for the forgiveness if you haven’t recently because we screw up. Forgive our trespasses Lord, because the one thing we have to admit is that we screw up.
Remember that everyday you make mistakes. The important part is to let them go (repent), which starts with forgiveness. Ask God for forgiveness and forgive others because Jesus wanted this of us.
The part of the prayer that I have an issue with is this last line on lead us not into temptation. Like God would take us into trouble, right? 1 Corinthians 10:13 tells us that sometimes we go through temptations but God will provide a way out.
We deal with problems in our lives so that we can get better, stronger. God knows that only fire purifies steel, so sometimes we have to fight to survive. Remember that those struggles and trials might come but He will deliver us from danger.
For Thine Is the Kingdom
The last part is really just a repeat of the beginning stated differently. We are called to recognize at the end that God controls all and that we have to honor Him.
We cannot ever lay claim to anything around us because the Earth, the Heavens and even our lives are controlled by our Lord. Glorify Him with your prayer and recognize that He is Lord over us all. He is I Am.
To condense all this all down into a few sentences, your prayers should contain some certain elements:
- First, praise God and recognize that He will act how He sees fit.
- Second, consider yourself and be aware that God will provide for you whatever you need.
- Thirdly, forgive freely and generously.
- Fourthly, accept that you have to face temptations but that God will carry you through.
- Lastly, remember that God owns everything and He will make sure that His will will be carried out.
So, as I conclude let me offer up a prayer for you and us.
Lord over us all, may Your will be done in our lives. Help us to remember that You carry us through and that You will provide for us even when we fail. Lord, forgive us for falling and help us to let go of the transgressions against us. Help us to carry through the troubles and become better because of them. Thank You God for what You do here and may Your Kingdom and Glory wash over us all. Amen.