Yesterday, I wrote about spending time with God and started looking at how Jesus taught the disciples to pray. I talked about there not being a “magic formula,” and that God just wants to hear from our hearts. I also looked at how Jesus taught that we should be spending time alone with God and we don’t need to pray in front of a bunch of people to appear holy. The other point Jesus made that I looked at was that our prayers didn’t need to be full of fancy words and long sentences. God just wants us to be ourselves with Him. Isn’t it special that God, who created the world and is greater than our minds can comprehend, wants to spend time with us? I mentioned that there is no magic formula to prayer, but today we are going to look at the Lord’s Prayer, which is a model that Jesus gave us to show us what we should include in our prayers. Please turn to Matthew 6:9-15.
Before I begin to write about the Lord’s Prayer, I want to start by saying that there are many theologians who have studied the Lord’s Prayer and have written books about what it means as a model to us. I am not going to be able to delve deeply into this topic in one blog post; however, if we look at it as a model so we can remember what we should be praying about I pray this post will be a good starting point. Over the next two days I will look at what the different phrases in the Lord’s Prayer represents.
The first thing that strikes me when Jesus starts to pray is how He addresses God in this prayer: “Our Father in heaven…” We have a Father in heaven that loves us more than anyone here on earth. No matter what type of family you are from, whether wonderful or dysfunctional, our Father in heaven loves us more! “Hallowed be Your name,” is a reference to how great God is. Jesus was showing us that when we approach God’s throne, we are to come with praise in our hearts; remember that God is greater than anyone or anything we know! While He wants us to approach Him with our needs and concerns, we need to remember that He isn’t a vending machine and He Is God!
“Your kingdom come,” is a reference that we want to see God here where we are. When I was studying Jesus’ parables, many of them referred to the kingdom of God. I looked at how the kingdom of God is present in our hearts when we are doing His work and serving others. We give others a taste of the kingdom of God when we show them God’s love. It is like we are asking God to lead us to where He wants His work done. “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven,” refers to the fact that no matter what we want, we are aware that God knows what is best. We are submitting to the fact that we need to trust that God’s will understands what is best for us and everyone around us. When we are praying for His will we are surrendering our limited vision.
When you pray, do you remember that you are approaching a loving Father in heaven who is holy? Do you trust that God’s will is best?