The last two weeks, we have been exploring the prayer Jesus taught His disciples to pray. It is known as The Lord’s Prayer. I love this prayer. It’s precise, succinct, and doesn’t waste a word. It’s the greatest prayer ever prayed.
Last week, we started with “Our Father Who art in heaven (the heavens), Hallowed (Holy) be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” You can look at last weeks’ article to see what I said about that. Here is the rest of the greatest prayer ever prayed.
“Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debt’s (moral debts or sins), as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.”
What does “give us this day our daily bread mean?” God has a mission. His mission is for His kingdom to come and His will to be done on earth as it is in heaven. How does it come? God displays His kingdom in and through us if we are willing. God’s kingdom comes when we live and display God’s will, not our own will. It’s about making God known to others through how we live, and the wisdom we have. When they see that, they see God’s kingdom come and His will done.
So Jesus asks us to ask God for our daily bread or food to eat to keep us alive. Back then, finding food was most everyone’s daily concern. So Jesus starts with prayer to God for meeting our physical needs.
What does “forgive us our debts (moral debt or sins), as we have forgiven our debtors” mean? In the same way that God’s wants us physically healthy, God wants us spiritually and emotionally healthy. When we trespass God’s word, and we all will, God wants us to ask Him for forgiveness right away. Why? When we violate God’s will, it separates us from God. He doesn’t move. We do. The more we sin, the further we get from God until we are walking in spiritual darkness.
But God has made a way back to Him and to His kingdom light. We confess our sin to Him, and then let Him cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Then He brings us back into the light. Asking for and receiving God’s forgiveness moves us back to God and His kingdom and His will.
Jesus wants us to be emotionally healthy too. He tells us to forgive others the way that God forgives us. Why? “Without forgiveness, life is governed by an endless cycle of resentment and retaliation.” (Roberto Assagioli). We shut down. In the same way that we need food for life, we need to forgive others for life. Forgiving others is setting the captive free and discovering that the captive was us.
What does “do not lead us into temptation but deliver us from evil” mean? It’s praying for help when ungodly temptations come along. It’s petitioning God to deliver us from the temptation to succumb to the temptation. Jesus reveals to us that we have a God who is able to give us the power to overcome the temptation if we ask. That keeps us more emotionally healthy for God’s kingdom to come and his will to be done…through us.
The last statement of the Lord’s Prayer is, “For Thine is the kingdom, and the power and the glory, forever. Amen (so be it).” God gives us the power to be representatives of His kingdom for His glory forever and ever. So be it!
Church-Community Connection is published weekly in 10 newspapers all over the world. Most of these newspapers are local paid subscription newspapers. The goal of these 450 word articles is to build a bridge to the community through humor, wisdom and changing mental perceptions that the community has of the church.