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Short & Sweet: an old prayer

 Short & Sweet: an old prayer

His will.
In this manner, therefore, 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 this day our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
13 And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory  forever. Amen.

Matthew 6:9-13

Our Father who art in heaven …

When I was a little girl, I had the privilege of attending a church that valued the Lord’s Prayer. We said it. We prayed it. We believed it. I can’t remember a time when I did not know the Lord’s Prayer by heart. While there is great value in committing Scripture to memory, like a well-loved song, words memorized often become words overlooked. With memorization can come a false sense of knowing a portion of scripture.
Like a wet towel wrung dry, I thought I had squeezed out every last drop of meaning from the Lord’s Prayer. Because the words were so familiar in my head, I no longer listened with my heart. After 48 years of knowing the Lord’s Prayer, what else could I learn from it?

The unfolding of His word.

God is eternal, therefore His word is eternal—it continuously delivers. Meaning upon meaning, deep upon deep, precept upon precept endlessly opens to those who seek with all their heart. In a recent Bible study, Looking For Lovely by Annie Downs, God downloaded fresh meaning  from the Lord’s Prayer straight to my soul.

Thy kingdom come, thy will be done.

First, God showed me the heart or key motivation of all prayer. It’s found in verse 10. Read it again.

Thy kingdom come.

How is God’s kingdom established on earth? By prayer. Ponder this for a moment. Prayer establishes God’s kingdom on earth. This leads to a question: What should we be praying for? Not my will. Not your will. God’s will. God’s will and God’s kingdom are connected by prayer. Prayer is not about us being happy, getting our way or being comfortable. The goal of every prayer is for God’s will to happen.

Every prayer. Every time. Period.

Second, God showed me as Christians we play a vital role in establishing God’s kingdom on earth. We are able to focus on this valuable work by praying for God to supply three basic needs:
  1. Food: Our daily bread (physical and spiritual)
  2. Forgiveness: Our forgiveness (salvation) and the grace we need to forgive others
  3. Focus: Our purpose (keeping our mind focused on Him not our temptations)

When we are not overly consumed with worry about obtaining our daily bread, earning our salvation or creating meaning and purpose for our lives, we can focus on establishing God’s kingdom on earth. God confirms this later in Matthew 6:33,

“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 

The Lord’s prayer is not a formula: say this and you will get this. It is a model for how to pray and for what to pray. We focus on His will and He’ll provide for our welfare. All of this is accomplished through prayer. And when His kingdom is establish in this world, it will be heaven on earth.

Action Points:

  1. Pray. No matter how little, insignificant or unimportant, take everything to God in prayer. Prayer changes things.
  2. Pray God’s will. This one can hurt. No matter how much you want the job, the house, the boyfriend, the car, ask for God to work your situation according to HIS will.
  3. Pray for God’s Kingdom. A kingdom is territory ruled by a king. Since the Fall, we have given Satan a foothold on this earth. We take down the enemy and reclaim our schools, neighborhoods and communities one prayer at a time.

His kingdom come. His will be done.

Life is sweet. Pray!

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