June 27, 2016
Happy Monday Blog, Everyone…Let’s PRAY!!
Well, it’s been Summer, officially for about a week now and I’m wondering…is it me, or is it really HOT?! I don’t remember a summer when it’s been so hot, so early! I love my deck but it’s just too darn hot to sit out there passed 9am! Last weekend though, we headed to the beautiful Shenandoah Mountains for a week to attend my niece’s wedding. It was simply breath-taking and the climate was most tolerable. There were about a hundred of us and we stayed in the coolest cabins all up and down the mountain. A few Black Bears were spotted throughout and fortunately they didn’t care any more for us than we them…they were kind though, as we were in their neck ‘a the woods, so to speak. The garden wedding was more than I expected…in every way—I love weddings!! The newly weds left the next morning for a fabulous honeymoon in St. Lucia. CONGRATULATIONS, Vicki and Evan!! You guys ROCK!!
I was talking to my baby sister a couple of weeks ago about a paper she was working on for her Religion class. As we discussed it briefly, I felt led to ask her to send it to me when she finished. Over the weekend she sent me a copy of it and told me she had turned in the paper and had received something which is foreign to me…An “A”— She’s always up to something and finishes what she starts…Congratulations, Little Sister — YOU!!
After reading her paper, I wanted to share this with all of you today, because I’ve always thought The Lord’s Prayer was such a simple, yet powerfully-worded prayer. Well, of course it is…these are the holy words of our Heavenly Father!
“The Lord’s Prayer” (Matthew 6:9-3) by L. Manderson
The Lord’s Prayer is such a special and deliberate prayer, and one which compels Christians throughout the world to recite and teach their children. The tradition of teaching this beautiful prayer continues, but with few knowing who first spoke these words and the historical and spiritual values. Jesus knew that His life would be short on this Earth, and that made the meaning of every word that He spoke to His disciples and those who followed and wanted to hear His teachings, even more crucial. In the repetition of reciting the Lord’s Prayer, we become complacent and do not consider the meanings of these powerful words spoken by Jesus, the Son of God.
In the New Testament, in the gospel of Matthew, it tells of how Jesus knew the importance of His disciples and all others to know how to pray and not just in repetition to God. Teaching His followers how to pray might have led to His great Sermon of the Mount.
The Lord’s Prayer—(Matthew 6:9-13)
Our Father which are in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come,
They will be done, in earth, as it is in heaven.
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom,
and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
The first petition of The Lord’s Prayer – Matthew 6:9
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name: Jesus is teaching his disciples most importantly how to first, address God. Jesus referred to God as “Father”, and He wanted all of God’s children to do so also. “Our” Father refers to God, the adjective, as used by us, does not express possession, but an entirely new relationship with God. God is the “Father” of all, so we began our prayer to Him with “Our Father, in heaven”. Hallowed be your name is specifically reminding us that God’s name is holy and sacred. To speak of God’s name is to speak of the way God has chosen to be revealed through His actions in history.
The second petition of The Lord’s Prayer—Matthew 6:10
Your kingdom come: Jesus devoted His brief life on earth to His ministry about God, our heavenly father, and about His kingdom. The disciples misunderstood many of the teachings of Jesus. God’s kingdom was interpreted by many at the time, as a kingdom on earth, instead of God’s kingdom in Heaven. This petition was primarily about a request that God bring His kingdom to earth, so that all of His children would know the true God, submit to Him and have salvation.
The third petition of The Lord’s Prayer—Matthew 6:11
Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven: We believe that there is a heavenly kingdom and God is the ruler of all. Those of us living on earth, by the graces of God, should acknowledge that in our daily lives, and let Him know that we want His will to be done to perfection on earth as it is in heaven. We can only imagine how wonderful God’s reign is in His kingdom in heaven and the love for Him must be overwhelming.
The fourth petition of The Lord’s Prayer—Mathew 6:11
Give us this day, our daily bread: It is extremely imperative to have our physical needs met with food and water to survive. I believe that when praying this petition, there are equally important meanings. Our spiritual needs must respectfully be met daily, also by God. In order to stay in the arms of our heavenly Father, we must continuously have His words and guidance in our lives. Bread is sustenance for our bodies, but God is the sustenance that we need for our souls.
The fifth petition of the Lord’s Prayer— Matthew 6:12
Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors: This relates to the act of forgiveness of anything that keeps us from the Lord and His work. We ask for forgiveness of our sins that we have committed against someone, but at the same time, we must forgive those have in some way hurt or harmed us. We must forgive in order to be forgiven. It is not always easy to do that, but we are to obey the word of God at all times.
The sixth petition of the Lord’s Prayer—Mathew 6:12
And lead us not into temptation: The final test could also be stated as temptation. We are asking God for strength and guidance that we will stay with His word and His path for a spiritual life that fills us with enough of his love that we are not tempted or subject to the final test that could break our spirit and take us away from God.
The seventh petition of the Lord’s prayer—Matthew 6:13
But deliver us from evil: The evil one in this final petition refers to Satan, the angel who God kicked out of heaven. When children of God are tempted, as humans will be, it is Satan who is there urging us on to do something stupid and that would get back to God that we had disobeyed Him. It is because of the power of evil in Satan and his demons that we pray and ask for God to protect us from this evil one.
The Lord’s Prayer was to be a prayer from Jesus that would teach us how to pray to God, reverently, and without babbling. It says so much, but in very few words. Most importantly, it starts by telling us about the holiness of the One that we have come to talk with appealing to his grace, respectfully and gratefully. The relationship that Jesus had with His heavenly Father was one of kindness and love and Jesus wanted all of God’s children to have that wonderful relationship with God. It is important that God can trust His children, as His heart was badly broken when Adam and Eve disobeyed Him in the Garden of Eden. Even though we can’t undo that tragedy in history, we can at least not follow in steps that will alienate us from God.
“When Jesus finished these words, the crowds were astonished at this teaching, for He taught them as one having authority, and not as their scribes” (Matthew 7:28-29).
The words of authority that Jesus spoke came from God, and the words of The Lord’s Prayer gave them hope and understanding of a loving God who only wanted the best for His people.” L. Manderson
This week my prayer for us all is that we’ll reacquaint ourselves with this incredible, everlasting daily prayer. And also, let’s remember to thank our Savior for loving us so much that He made sure He left us with a such a Gift!! Amen.
God is Great! God is Good!! Always!!!
I love you,
A big “Thank You” to my dear sister, L. Manderson for her awesome contribution today with The Lord’s Prayer.
Here’s one for us all: “Pray more, complain less and love like crazy!’