Saturday, February 7, 2009

The Lord's Prayer

I have been doing a Bible study with some ladies in my church, and we are studying the Gospel of Luke. We recently had a lesson that focused on prayer, and in it we looked a bit closer at the Lord’s Prayer. I appreciated the way the authors of this study looked at the Lord’s Prayer and I wanted to share a brief overview of this prayer that is so well known to us. It’s a simple overview, but it’s always great to be reminded of…

While Jesus was not the first person ever to call God “Father,” He did make this title central to our relationship to God in a new way. Jesus also added “new depth and content” to this way of addressing the Lord of the universe. Contemplate the difference it makes to begin each day by praying to God as your Father.

“Hallowed be your name, your kingdom come…”
In this, both our prayers and our lives become God-centered. We pray that our lives will reveal God’s holiness to everyone around us and that our first concern will be God’s kingdom.

“Give us each day our daily bread…”
This reminds us of our dependence on God.

“Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us…”
Praying for forgiveness reminds us that we need to receive and practice forgiveness as much as we need food to live.

“And lead us not into temptation…”
The petition on temptation recalls Jesus’ wilderness time (and our own) and leads us to approach each day with the humility of knowing we need the Holy Spirit to guide our every step.

To pray to God as Father in this way each day is to take regular steps toward the primary goal of our lives – to become Christlike, conformed to the image of Christ. As Christians, we will receive and radiate the saving life from God that Jesus brings. We can enter the mystery of this transforming process by the simple yet profound practice of starting each day by praying the way Jesus teaches us to pray.

No comments: