Summary: A short talk, second in a series on prayer, in which I look at aspects of the Disciples' Prayer also known as the Lord's Prayer, or the Kingdom Prayer
Do you ever feel as if life is just too busy? Would you like to be able to slow down, focus on what’s important in life, and consider some of life’s big questions? Upon retirement I don’t think there are many people who say, “If only I’d spent more time at the office.” Instead many people – especially Fathers – say, “I wish I’d spent more time with my children.”
A few weeks ago we used some clips from the film Finding Nemo as we thought about the amazing love of God – our Heavenly Father who searches for us. How does he search for us? He entered our world in the person of Jesus to seek and save lost people and he continues to seek and to save lost people today.
Unlike our earthly Fathers some of whom did a good job, some of whom didn’t; God is the perfect heavenly father; and when we pray, not if; but when we pray Jesus says, “This is how you should pray” (6:9).
“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name” (6:9). To his first disciples and also to his modern-day disciples Jesus says approach God in prayer with loving reverence, but also approach him believing that he is the model father, the model parent, the One who cannot love us any more than he already does.
Prince George knows his Mum and Dad love him. They hold him, they feed him, they talk to him, they enjoy him, and they beam down their smiles upon him. He already recognises and responds to their voices – and I believe that God wants us to have that sort of relationship with him as our Heavenly Father.
Will George speak to Dad like this? “Your Royal Highness Prince William Arthur Philip Louis, Duke of Cambridge, Earl of Strathearn, Baron Carrickfergus, Royal Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, Knight of the Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle…Dad, can you tuck me in!”
No, Prince George will call him Dad. There will be times when he’ll call him your Royal Highness but more often than not it will be, “Dad”.
Believers in Jesus are encouraged to approach God with worship, with reverence, with adoration, but as our heavenly Dad. We do not need to use long, complicated; difficult to understand words and titles.
Father in heaven; hallowed be your name. Lord God, my heavenly father, may your name and your honour be my priority this day, this hour, this moment.
Hallowed be your name! Prayer is not about presenting an Amazon wish list before Santa! Prayer is being in the presence of God, anytime and anywhere. Prayer is a line of communication with Father in heaven and this prayer taught by Jesus, sometimes called the Lord’s Prayer, the Disciples’ prayer or the Kingdom prayer, is a template.
This prayer is like scaffolding. It’s a framework for prayer around which we build.
Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven (6:10): Lord, in my life, in this Church, in my family, in the lives of my children, in the life of Sam McFeely, at work, at school your will be done. May my life, my agenda, and my priorities this day, this week fall into line with your agenda and priorities!