Summary: The Lord's Prayer - a recap of what we mean when we pray it
We all know the Lord’s Prayer.
We pray it at worship, funerals, even weddings. It is universal because we all know it. In fact, we know it so well that sometimes we forget what we are talking about when we pray. Let’s spend a few minutes this morning getting reacquainted with this familiar friend.
The first thing to notice is one you likely already are aware of. This is a corporate prayer. Every personal pronoun in it is plural. Our Father, give us, lead us, deliver us.
It is designed to be a reminder that we are not alone in our worship, we are a part of the family of God.
Our Father, Who art in Heaven:
At the opening of every prayer, like the opening of a letter, we address the person we are speaking to. Jesus teaches his disciples that it is good to call God, Father. Next week is Father’s Day, and we all have fathers on earth. We also have a creator and father in heaven. In fact, the word Jesus used often for God is Abba, the Hebrew word that children called their Daddy.
So, Jesus tells us that we need to come to God in the same uncomplicated way that we go to the one here on earth who loves us and protects us.
Holy is your Name …
One of the things that most saddens me in the world today is the total disregard we have for the name of God. While there are rude words we have been known to use, it is the time when we simply and casually use God’s name as a curse that defines who we are. I must admit, even my Dad, during his Air Force Years might use strong language, but out of respect did not use the Lord's Name. And, just so you know, adding the initial H to the name of Jesus does not change it.
Followers of God respect that every time we use God’s name we are praying. Use it wisely, do not call upon God unless you are serious.
The best way to do this is to realize that every time you use God's name is a prayer to God. What are you saying to God when you call out his name?
Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will Be Done, here on earth as it is in heaven.
Have you ever pondered these words? What does it mean that God’s Kingdom and will be done here, just as it is already done in heaven? What is heaven like, anyway?
When we look at the end time prophesies, we see that Heaven is a place where God is. And in the light of God’s presence we see that everything is illuminated. Sin, which is the opposite of light, is glaringly exposed. There is no sin in heaven.
And because there is no sin, there are no more tears, or sorrow, or separation from the ones we love.
Asking for God’s will on earth as it is in heaven is to ask, among other things, for the return of Jesus when all things are put right.
Some people deny this part of the prayer. It happens when they say that everyone should be in heaven. How could God discriminate. BUT, if those who continue to do evil are in Heaven, how is that different from the world we live in today? They are really saying, let heaven become what we have here on earth, not the other way around.
Give us this day, our daily bread.
You do notice the daily part of this? Back when Jesus hung out on earth, there were no refrigerators. Come to think of it, there was no electricity. Each person made their bread for the day, every single day.
But this passage talks about more than just bread. It asks for “this day.”
It reminds us that each day is a gift of God. Back when I was a teen, during the Jesus Movement, we often used the phrase, “My Father makes each day new.” On our worst day, we can remember that tomorrow isn't today. God creates it anew.
Going back to the taking God’s name in vain, another common expression was that we could wake up each morning and say “Good God, Morning.” Or “Good morning, God.”
I confess, that many mornings I fail to be reminded that today is a gift. I fail to say, “Good morning, God.”
That is why it can be so effective to do our Bible reading and Prayer time in the morning. It sets up the entire day. It lets us see God in every moment of time.
Ralph Spaulding Cushman wrote a poem that says it well. He talks about life as a sea. And when he meets God in the morning, God is with him through the day. [Not sure of copyright, so I did not include poem, even though I read it in my sermon. First line is " I met God in the morning, when my day was at its best."]