This then is how you should pray...


How - not what.

Should - not must.


How and Should.  Some religions - even some Christian denominations - seem to be more into what and must.  But that's not what Jesus said.  He said How and Should.


Before going any further, let's start off with the simple question - Why?

I chose the image on the right for many reasons, one of which is that it answers the Why question.  

Prayer is - at it's core - a conversation with God.  A two way conversation.  Yes - we say words.  Maybe out loud.  Maybe silently.  But something comes from us with the intention that it goes to God.  But it's more than that.  If we don't listen for a response - we're missing a huge part of why we pray.  

The Lord’s Prayer

Mt 6:5 “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

Our Father in Heaven


But what does the word "Father" really mean?

It's a common enough word.  But does it have the "common" meaning in this context?


You may ask - why is this important?  The words that Jesus spoke regarding how we are to pray start with "Our Father".  How could it be anything other than of utmost importance to understand who this "Father" is - and what is His relationship to Jesus and to us?


Christians think we know what this word "Father" means.  But have we looked any deeper?


Muslims think they know what this word "Father" means.  But have you looked any deeper?


Our Father - inage from merredinunitingchurch.org

hallowed be your name,


“Hallowed”


What does that even mean?

Is it yet another word that’s been “watered down” to the point where it means nothing like it used to?


It seems important to be able to answer these questions – since we’re saying God’s name is hallowed.


See for yourself –


Hallowed

Adjective - regarded as holy; venerated; sacred:

Hallowed be Thy name; the hallowed saints; our hallowed political institutions.


Seriously!  This is from dictionary.com:


our hallowed political institutions

Your kingdom come … on earth as it is in Heaven


Do we realize the full implication of these words?  

We pray for God’s Kingdom to come.  

But do we live like it?  


Mt 6:10 thy kingdom come,

thy will be done

on earth as it is in heaven.


We want earth to be like God’s Kingdom.  

Of course.  

Why not?


But do we rally know what that implies?

Or is it a case of be careful what you ask?

Because you may not really be ready for it?

Your will be done ... On earth as it is in heaven


Do we realize the full implication of these words?  

We pray for God’s Will to be done.  

But do we really mean it?  


Mt 6:10

 thy kingdom come, thy will be done

on earth as it is in heaven.


But do we really know what that implies?

Or is it a case of be careful what you ask for?

Because you may not be ready for it?


Are we really ready for God’s will to be done -

in our lives?


Not God’s will – as we have created Him.  

God’s will – for which He has created us.

Give us this day our daily bread


There’s a (hopefully) obvious double meaning to the word bread.  

Also a specific reason for the word daily.  


But what’s not said – but certainly implied?

  

As in the previous verses, there’s much more to the Lord’s Prayer than just a bunch of words.  


There’s meaning behind those words.  

A meaning that we need to understand to really do what Jesus said before giving us these words – use this prayer as a guideline – not simply for what we must pray – but rather for understanding how we should pray.

Forgive us … as we forgive …


Mt 6:12 Forgive us our debts,

as we also have forgiven our debtors.

Mt 6:14 For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.

Mt 6:15 But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.


Uh Oh.  

Major Uh Oh.  

This sounds really important.


So – Jesus tells us the way we should is to ask God to treat us the way we treat others.  We are actually telling Him that if we don’t forgive others, then we aren’t asking Him to forgive us either.  


Think about that.  When someone does something horrible to us / a friend / a family member – and we refuse to forgive them, are we are telling God that we don’t want Him to forgive us either?

Lead us not into temptation


Lk 22:31 “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat.

Do you feel like this is happening to you?

You may know, in the very next verse – Jesus says He prayed for (Simon) Peter.

Lk 22:32 But I have prayed for you, Simon …

But – do you remember / know what Jesus prayed for?

Or what happened next?


You may be thinking that Jesus prayed for Peter – so all’s going to be well. Based on that – we may think that if we pray to Jesus – asking Him to also pray for us – that everything will be well for us too.

However – that’s not what happened.  Not even close.


 How can that be? We pray, as Jesus said

Mt 6:13 And lead us not into temptation,

and we expect that nothing bad is going to happen.  

If we ask for that – God will deliver –

Right?


Care to guess again?

For thine is (everything) …


The last verse –

and maybe the most difficult one –

of The Lord’s Prayer –


For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.


What’s so hard about praying this verse?


Time for an ego check.  In fact – time to put it away. Forever.

Time to remove pride from our lives.  

Forever.

Time to admit that he with no toys is the winner.  

Forever.

Time to admit that everything we’ve ever accomplished wasn’t because of us.  

Forever.


That’s hard.  Really hard.

We say The Lord’s Prayer a lot.  But, do we really think about what the words say - what they mean?


There are lots of books that talk about The Lord’s Prayer as well.  They answer those questions about what it means.  Each has it’s own point of view.  Here’s what may be a new viewpoint for you.


I was asked by one of the people in a Bible Study at church to write something on this important prayer.  For months - I tried.  It wasn’t working.  Then, one day while I was having some quiet time with The Lord, something started to come to me.  Look at The Lord’s Prayer from a different point of view. Something I’d never read about.  


We are asking for things in The Lord’s Prayer.  God has done amazing things for us.  And the best are yet to come.  He promised us things that will be here - things we learn about in Revelation.  Such as -

Rev 21:1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.  2 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.  3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.  4 He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

Rev 21:5 He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”


God is going to make everything new for us.  And earlier we read -

Rev 19:6 Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting:

“Hallelujah!

For our Lord God Almighty reigns.

Rev 19:7 Let us rejoice and be glad

and give him glory!

For the wedding of the Lamb has come,

and his bride has made herself ready.

Rev 19:8 Fine linen, bright and clean,

was given her to wear.”

(Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints.)

Rev 19:9 Then the angel said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!’ ” And he added, “These are the true words of God.”


When we pray things like “Your kingdom come” - this is what we’re ultimately asking for.  Same for forgiveness - being here and experiencing this is only possible with forgiveness.


So - are you ready for this to happen if God’s kingdom comes right now?

How about your family - loved ones - friends - acquaintances?

Maybe even strangers?


Remember this? -

“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”


We say the Lord’s Prayer.  Are we actually living like we believe all of this?


Read on - and see for yourself…

Prayer

              

Mt 6:5 “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.


  Mt 6:9 “This, then, is how you should pray:


  “ ‘Our Father in heaven,

  hallowed be your name,

  Mt 6:10 your kingdom come,

  your will be done

      on earth as it is in heaven.

  Mt 6:11 Give us today our daily bread.

  Mt 6:12 Forgive us our debts,

      as we also have forgiven our debtors.

  Mt 6:13 And lead us not into temptation,

      but deliver us from the evil one.’

  Mt 6:14 For if you forgive men when they sin against you,

      your heavenly Father will also forgive you.

  Mt 6:15 But if you do not forgive men their sins,

      your Father will not forgive your sins.

 Original thoughts © whichgodsavesus.com  -- other items (images, book quotes, Bible verses) may be from other sources

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