Saturday, May 11, 2019
9 This, then, is how you should pray: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, 10 your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us today our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”
Ohhhh, this is tough one! Just yesterday we talked about rote prayers and saying things just to say them. Practically everyone of us can recite this, what we call “The Lord’s Prayer” automatically. Is this one of those “babbling prayers” Jesus was talking about in Mt 6:7-8? This passage is a continuation of the previous one, so Jesus is now giving us an example.
First: it is important to understand His words: “This, then, is how you should pray: …” He doesn’t say “this is what you have to say, what you should say, these are the words to say, you have to have all these things in order for your prayer to be heard, etc.”. So what is Jesus getting at?
Modern Hebrew and the Aramaic language in Jesus’ time has implied meaning to the words, not just one definition. For instance Abba means father, it also implies the head of the house, the provider of the home, the protector of the family, the one who gives me comfort, etc. The phrase “Abba ba” literally means “father comes” But in the implied language it also means “father is coming home, our family is together, we are ready for shabbat (if on Friday), we are one together, our spiritual leader is among us, and so forth”
Jesus was instructing the disciples (us) that the focus (not words) in our prayer need to be:
Our Father in Heaven: God is our Father, He it is who takes care of us and He is in Heaven, in an incorruptible place
Hallowed be your name: God has a name above every other name, He alone is to be hallowed (revered, adored, worshipped)
Your kingdom come: God and His followers have transferred to a kingdom which is at war with the kingdom of the earthly realm, and we acknowledge that this earthly kingdom will decay and come to an end but His kingdom will last forever
Your will be done: It is God’s will that forms the universe and keep everything together, not our technology, our wealth or our might
On earth as it is in heaven: in heaven, God’s will is done automatically, no reasoning, no second guessing. And of His kingdom is to be on earth through us, we are to be obedient to God, without questioning, without doubt that God is in control
Give us this day our daily bread: like the Israelites in the wilderness had to rely on God each and every day for their sustenance, we too like David says: I need your word more than my necessary food. We rely on God to supply not only our physical sustenance, but our spiritual as well
And forgive us our debts (trespasses): we, not being perfect, continue to fall short of God’s glory (Ro 6:23) but yet, God is a God of reconciliation, not punishment, that desires us to be in right standing with Him
As we forgive our debtors (those who trespass against us): As God gives grace to us because of our repentance, we offer forgiveness to those who hurt and offend us, so as to work together with God toward reconciliation
And lead us not into temptation: God doesn’t tempt us, and to keep from temptation, we must follow His leading as the good shepherd (Ps 23). God will supply a safe and secure place for us.
But deliver us from the evil one: the devil, the enemy of God, the enemy of our souls, the accuser of the brethren wants nothing more than to take hold of us and keep us away from God our Father. Even though Jesus died to set us free, the devil will still try to put a wedge between us and God. But he is defeated by the blood of Jesus shed on the cross of Calvary, to pay the price of our deliverance, and to bring us back into right standing with God our heavenly Father.
So when we pray, these are the elements of our faith we are expressing, the care and love God the Father has for us, who He calls sons and daughters, and we call Abba Father.