Summary: We need God's forgiveness to flow to us and through us.
A woman bought a parrot for a pet. All the parrot did was treat her bad. It insulted her and every time she tried to pick it up, it would peck at her arm.
One day she got fed up with the parrot and as it was insulting her she picked it up, it continued with the insults.."you're ugly! I can't stand you!" and it pecked at her arm as she carried it. She opened the freezer door and threw him in and closed the door. From inside, the parrot was still going on for about 5 seconds and then it was suddenly quiet.
She thought, "Oh no, I killed it!" She open the door and the parrot just looked at her. She picked it up. Then the parrot said:
"I'm very sorry. I apologize for my bad behavior and promise you there will be no more of that. From now on, I will be a respectful, obedient parrot."
"Well OK" she said. "apology accepted".
The parrot said "Thank you".
Then he said, "Can I ask you something?" She said, "Yes, What?"
And the parrot looked at the freezer and asked, "What did the Chicken do?"
Matthew 6:9-13, “This, then, is how you should pray: ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’”
We’ve been working our way through the Lord’s Prayer as a model for how we should pray. When Jesus said, “This then is how you should pray” it wasn’t that He meant these exact words but these attitudes. When we pray these are the area’s that we should cover and the attitudes that we should have. Jesus gave us this prayer as a model.
The Jewish people at that time compared you spiritual life to your physical life. It is a good comparison because when your spiritual life suffers so does your physical life. They said that your prayer life was like the circulatory system. Areas of your spiritual life are like arteries, when they are clear and in good condition the love, joy, peace, and all of those things that we are promised by God and get from God are ours. Our life is better. But as life happens, they can become clogged. Sometimes they are clogged not because of life, but from simple neglect. We just put our focus on other things and neglect God. But when we pray, if we follow Jesus model we work through these area’s to unclogged them, or keep them clear so that our spiritual life is good and then our life is good.
The prayer begins with the artery of relationship. We realize that God is our Father. But He’s not an imperfect or flawed father like all of us had or are. He is the perfect Father. He wants to see us grow and and He loves us even when we fail. That is the type of relationship that we are privileged to have with him. But there is the caveat that even though we have a relationship with Him. We are not like Him. He is high and lifted up and we are fallen. We honor Him, and love Him because He paid the price to be with us. That is the lesson of “Hallowed be Thy name.” That is the artery of worship. When we realize and express that we have a relationship with God, but He is greater then we are so we live to bring honor to His name.
From there He moved to the artery of priority. In God’s kingdom He comes first and everything else second. The beautiful thing is that when we put His kingdom first, God said He would give us everything else. We can make Him our first priority because He made us a priority. Intellectually we can know this. When you are in the service of a king, it follows that you put the king first. We can read the introductions to Paul’s letters where He refers to himself as a bond servant, one who is in the service of another in exchange for the payment of a debt. That is definitely who we are and servants definitely must serve their masters first. But we can forget that. We forget for a lot of reasons but the biggest is that the artery of provision gets clogged. We get worried about the things of this world. We get worried about our stuff and having enough stuff or having the right stuff. But the stuff of this world doesn’t last and even if it does, we don’t. It all belongs to God and He said, if we would trust Him then He will take care of it. When we grasp that fact. When we keep the artery of provision clear, then we get peace and joy, and a sense of purpose.