This, then, is how you should pray: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed by your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as be also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one, for yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.” – Matthew 6:9-13
Jesus gave us this concise prayer in rebuttal to the babbling of many words like pagans who think they will be heard because of their many words (v7). He did not expect his followers to just recite this prayer, but he was giving them a pattern by which to pray. We will look at this pattern over the next few days.
He begins this prayer, which I call the Lord’s prayer directive, with
“Our Father who is in heaven.” Now, if you want to be proper, using the King James version, you would say, “Our Father which art in heaven.” Personally, I like the more friendly tone of the NIV.
We aren’t too sure where, or what, heaven is, but most of us believe it is the spirit realm where God, our Father, dwells. We recognize him as the Father of creation and the initiator of relationship with man. It is he who has planned from the beginning to show himself to be our Father who is in heaven.
Our Father in heaven is truly father to us in ways that no one else
can be. Many of us had good and healthy relationship with our father,
but others of us do not have pleasant memories of that personage.
Whatever our memory of father in our past, our Lord, as our heavenly Father, is good to us beyond what any human could be. He will comfort us when we are hurting, forgive us when we are in disobedience, console us when we are mourning and deliver us when we are in bondage. He is everything to us that a father is supposed to be, but more. He is everything to us that an earthly father cannot be.
The fact that he is our "Heavenly Father" puts him in a realm that no earthly father could reach. When we pray it is right to give homage to He who is the father of fathers and worship him.
Prayer: Thank you for being my eternal Father in heaven. And thank you for being more than any other father could be. Amen.
Principle: Jesus gave us this concise prayer in rebuttal to the babbling of many words like pagans who think they will be heard because of their many words (v7). He did not expect his followers to just recite this prayer, but he was giving them a pattern by which to pray.
Affirmation: I have learned to use this prayer Jesus gave us as a pattern to use when approaching God.
Reflection: Give some thought to the pattern Jesus gives us in this prayer. First, adoration of the Father and the revelation of himself through his name. Then committing to do his will followed by petitioning him for our daily needs and seeking his strength and courage to resist temptation. The conclusion of the prayer is praise and worship. Follow this pattern in prayer and you will be blessed.
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