Have you ever done or said something so often that your brain goes on autopilot when it repeats the activity? For years that was how I felt when it came to reading or reciting The Lord’s Prayer. Someone would begin saying it, and the words would come out without thinking about what I was saying. That has changed for me in the last few years. My circumstances now find me in a place where this prayer had become a significant part of my devotional life. I view it as a stabilizing factor in an unstable world.
When we pray this prayer, we start addressing it to our father, not our earthly father, but to our heavenly father, who loves us beyond anything we can imagine. The one who gave us Jesus to show us what He is like (John 10:30). Jesus also tells us, “How much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask Him” (Matthew 7:11). This is a father who I gladly want to love and follow, one whose name I want to make holy by my words and actions.
This is also a father whose kingdom and rulership I want to see extended on this earth. A God of love and grace is what we need. We live in a world where greed causes many to be taken advantage of by a few, where the poor and least among us are denied, and the wealthy only get wealthier. God’s will needs to be done. God gives us the ability to gain wealth, but in His kingdom, that wealth is to make sure that the least are provided for.
Our Daily Bread
The part of this prayer that has become most meaningful for me is the following phrase—”Give us this day our daily bread.” When life is going well, it is easy to forget about God’s support. I’ve found that faith in God’s ability to take care of us is only learned when I have no choice but to rely on Him. It’s when there seems to be no human answer to my problems that God alone is enough. Fortunately, my father loves me unconditionally and has promised to take care of me.
Forgiveness is the next part of the prayer. God wants us to forgive because He knows if we don’t, it will eat us alive and turn us into toxic people. Forgiveness only comes when I allow God to change me from the inside. As I spend time with Him daily in prayer, study, and meditation, I find that He softens my heart so that I can forgive myself and others. That’s when I experience His forgiveness.
Warren Blanck writes from the Pacific Northwest.© 2017 - 2021 Church Support Services. All rights reserved. Click here for content usage information.