Thursday, April 14, 2011

Matthew 6:9-13


9 ``Pray, then, in this way: `Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. 10 `Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven.11 `Give us this day our daily bread. 12 `And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 `And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil."

Jesus just said not to use meaningless repetitions and many words and now teaches us to pray a 30 second, 65 word prayer to pray! Although this is commonly known as the Lord's Prayer, it is really the disciples' prayer. Jesus gave it as an example on how a disciple should pray. [The real Lord's Prayer is found in John 17.]

There are 6 requests or petitions listed here. The first 3 are for God's glory and the second 3 are for man's good. This is a great balance! Let's take a look at each of these 6 requests:

FIRST-Hallowed be your name. Another way of saying this is "May your name be sanctified." To sanctify God's name is to set His name apart from all other gods, from everyone and from everything else. "Father, may your name be set apart in my life and by my life."

SECOND-Your Kingdom come or may your Kingdom come. "May your Kingdom come here on earth as it is in heaven." We are not only to be living our lives in such a way that we set God apart, distinct from everyone and everything else, but we are to be about His Kingdom and its movement to be here on earth more fully.

THIRD-Your will be done or may your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. If God's name is set apart from all else and His Kingdom is making its way into the lives of people on earth, then God's will is working itself out in our lives as well. We are to be praying for His name to be set apart in this world, for His Kingdom to make itself fully realized and for His will to become more and more of a reality here on earth.

The first three are primarily prayers for God to have His will and His way right here among us on earth. The second three have to do with our needs on earth.

FOURTH-Give us this day our daily bread. This is one of the most dynamic and practical principles of trust ever written. Jesus is referring His audience back to the wilderness where God fed the children of Israel one day at a time. We are to pray in the same way. We are to look for and count on God to come through on our behalf-daily, as we have need. This doesn't cover all you want, but what you need.

FIFTH-Forgive us our debts as we have also forgiven our debtors. As we are counting on God to come through on our behalf on a daily basis to meet our basic needs, we need God's grace in forgiving us and setting us free to be. But NOTE that there seems to be a condition-as we have also forgiven our debtors. We will see more about this in tomorrow's session in verses 14-15.

SIXTH-And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. This is a prayer for protection while we are living between the two kingdoms-God's and man's.

Three requests that will bring glory to God as His Kingdom comes down to earth and He dwells among us. Then, three requests specifically for our good. God's glory will always bring about good for us. As we focus on God-His name, His Kingdom and His will, we will discover what's best for us. I'm finding that doing things God's way is always the best way for us. It's like the principle of gravity. If you go along with it, all will be well. If you try to go against the principle of gravity, all will not be well for you. When you break God's universal laws, those laws will break you in the process. So, I pray, "May your name be set apart from all others in me!" "May your Kingdom come down to earth more fully in me!" And, "May your will be done in me!" In me, right here, right now, every day.