Yesterday, I looked at the first few phrases in the Lord’s Prayer. I wrote how we have a Father in heaven that wants to hear from us! That thought is always amazing whenever I think of how amazing and perfect He is. I also mentioned that we approach God with the attitude that our will (desires and wishes) may not always match God’s perfect will and we need to be ready to surrender to His will. When we approach Him, we want to come to Him with a pure heart of understanding that God knows what is best. Before we finish looking at the rest of the prayer, please read through the whole prayer again in Matthew 6:9-15.
“Give us today our daily bread,” refers to our needs. God wants us to come to Him for our needs and concerns. While I have referred that He is not a vending machine where we do the right things and we get what we want in return, but He is approachable. He does care for us and He wants to help us. We know that God is our provider. Last week I mentioned how sometimes we are uncomfortable asking God for things that we need. For years, I was afraid to ask God for much because I didn’t think it was good to ask. When I think about it, we approach Him as our Father so I shouldn’t feel strange asking God for my needs. I don’t make my children feel bad when they ask me for things; I may not always give them what they want because I know what they need. We can know that God has the same discretion and He is an approachable Father.
“Forgive us our debts as we also have forgiven our debtors,” is a strong statement that can be difficult to swallow. A few months ago I studied a parable that taught this same idea that God expects (not wants) us to forgive. After we have received so much mercy from our Father, how could we not extend forgiveness toward others? We are acknowledging that we need to forgive through this statement and if you find yourself struggling with forgiveness, then ask God to help change the attitude in your heart. Any time that I have seen the need to change my attitude toward forgiveness, I ask God to help me. Forgiveness is not always easy to extend to other people. Please read what Jesus says in Matthew 6:14-15. This statement is a reminder that we need to be in constant check of the attitude in our heart toward other people because it reflects our understanding of how much we have been forgiven.
“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one,” is a statement that expresses trust to me. We know that God will lead us in the way we should go and we are asking for help in the situations that can cause us to fall into temptation. We can ask God to help us avoid temptation and trust His guidance. 1 Corinthians 10:13 reminds us that God will not allow temptations to be more than what we can bear and He will always provide a way out. We can pray that we will always be able to see the “way out” when unavoidable temptations arise.
Are you bringing your needs to God? Are you remembering the forgiveness that God has extended to you and forgiving others? Are you praying for help when temptations come?