In Matthew 6:9-13, Jesus taught his apprentices (disciples) to pray like this:
“Our Father in heaven,may your name be honored. 10 May your Kingdom come soon. May your will be done here on earth, just as it is in heaven. 11 Give us our food for today, 12 and forgive us our sins, just as we have forgiven those who have sinned against us. 13 And don’t let us yield to temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. 14 “If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. 15 But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.”
Now, fellow apprentices of Jesus, how do we pray that prayer and live it out. Consider his statements and my follow-up observations and questions one-by-one and let’s sharpen each other…
“May your name be honored…”
Observation: To honor means to hold someone or something in awe and place a supreme value on it.
Question: What attitudes and actions are smoking-gun proof that God is our highest treasure and joy?
“May your kingdom come soon…”
Observation: God’s kingdom means that God rules and reigns in individual hearts, in His Church, and in His creation
Question: How can I actually assist in bringing Jesus’ kingdom to my immediate world?
“May your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven…”
Observation: In Heaven, every created being does the Father’s will completely and joyfully.
Question: Generally, would you say that today our lives are lived in such a way as to say, ‘Thy will be done’ or “My will be done?’
“Give us our food for today…”
Observation: In the Matthew 6 context of this prayer, this request for daily provision is meddling in our level of trust that God cares for us and can and will meet our needs.
Question: In what ways can we show a high God-trust when our closets and pantries are spilling over?
“Forgive our sins, just as we have forgiven those who have sinned against us…”
Question: Is God’s forgiveness of us as conditional on our forgiveness of others as it sounds from a straight reading of Jesus’ words? Why or why not?
Don’t let us yield to temptation…deliver us…”
Observation: You probably memorized this prayer with ‘And lead us not into temptation.’ Scripture makes it very clear in such passages as James that God DOES NOT lead us to sin (See James 1:13-15, for example).
Question: Christians today habitually charge directly into the vortex of temptation, expecting God to tackle them or pull them out of it. Do you agree or disagree? Why?
Weigh in with your comments below.
Join our discussion Sunday morning, 9:00 a.m. in Room 224.