Matthew 6:9-15 – “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. [For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.’]
14 ” For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 “But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.” NASU
My heart has been drawn to this prayer repeatedly over the past few months and I will share my musing, mediation, and focus with you. If it is a blessing to you I am thrilled, if not it may give you some idea how to pray for me. Either way, good will be done and hopefully the Kingdom and you will benefit.
Jesus said, “Pray, then, in this way…” I am fully convinced that our LORD was not offering a formula or a rigid step by step prayer but a direction of prayer with certain key elements of focus. If Jesus is our pattern, and I believe He is, then for me to grasp the fullness of this directive I must examine His prayer life. I won’t go into what I have seen there, in detail but suggest that His focus was always on the Father and His Will. His focus was always on the Kingdom and its manifestation. His focus was always on man and his need. In short, the prayers of Jesus were seldom focused on Him, even in the Garden when He said, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.” (Matthew 26:39) His prayer was on the desire and objective of the Father which was on man, the creation of God and our redemption.
When I read, meditate on, and consider the first line of the prayer I am overwhelmed. We are told to pray “Our Father…” Not my Father but our Father. This, I believe is a subtle reminder that we are not islands to ourselves but part of the Family of God and members of the Body of Christ. We are ‘living stones’ being fitted and framed together into the Building or House of God. We are His manifestations to the world and we work together and need each other. We are not to be exclusionist, isolationist, or individualists but Body Parts each needing something from and offering something to the other parts. In a sense, it is Body Life.
‘Our Father’ also brings to mind the sovereignty of God. He is our Father! A father sires’ children, else he would not be a father. He is God and we are His creatures. His creation. His offspring. I love what I heard another preacher say, “God has no grandchildren, only children.” He is Our Father which speaks to a personal relationship available to us and enjoyed by us. No wonder the Bible in Romans 8:14-16 reveals the picture and gives the reality of our relationship in which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” The Holy Spirit births in our hearts that we are Children of God, heirs of God, and joint or fellow heirs with Jesus! He is Father! He is God! He is Creator! He is Almighty!
Then, I am melted even more when I consider the next phrase, “…who art or who is in heaven.” God reigns in heaven! That speaks of His sovereignty and His domain or Kingdom. Heaven is far more than simply a place we go when we die, it is the center of God’s Domain and the Capitol of His Kingdom. It is not a place of escape from the cares, trials, and tribulations of this life and a place where we are shielded from the devil’s evil works. It is the Abode of God and where His Kingdom and Authority are fully and completely manifest and demonstrated. He identifies that He has a Kingdom before He directs us to pray regarding that Kingdom. What is the atmosphere of heaven? What is present and absent in heaven? Let that get deep into your spirits and I believe it will explode into a revelation and impart a dream that will totally transform your thinking, ministry, life, and view of the present and eternity.
‘Hallowed by Your name.’ The word hallowed in virtually any dictionary and with any definition will use words like, “made or make holy, concentrated, greatly revered, and honored.” It is giving honor to God and it is an expression of our recognition of Who He Is! We cannot make Him Holy, He is Holy. We can, however, revere Him and express our reverence to Him. It is far more about doing something in us that in Him when we “Hallow His Name!” Worship brings about a sense and state of humility that can be experienced in no other way. Praise ignites a fire inside our hearts, minds, and spirits that causes all impurities to rise to the surface and allows the Holy Spirit to skim them off and purify us. This beginning recognition of Who God is and our active investment in Praising and Worshiping Him sets the stage for the prayer and what ensues in the answer to that prayer.
For the sake of time and space, I will pause and hope you will join me again tomorrow as I share my meditation and focus through studying the prayer listed in Matthew 6. I pray that the Holy Spirit will being to birth something new in you and create a hunger that can only be satisfied by pressing in and crying “More LORD! More of You!”
God bless you as you enjoy this wonderful day in Him!