The older I get I seem to reflect on my early years and see how the Lord grounded me in the faith even when I was unaware of it. Some of you might have had a similar upbringing like myself; do you remember the teaching times of learning prayers around the dinner table or just as you are getting ready for bed. As I grew up in England I remember attending a Church of England school and it seemed like every Friday we walked to the church and entered into a service always, repeat after me: The Apostles Creed and the Lord’s Prayer. Coming to Canada we started every day with O Canada and the Lord’s Prayer. But I believe we seem to have abandoned a part of the foundations of our faith otherwise known as The Disciple’s Prayer. Today across our Nation and the world we have been asked to join in The Lord’s Prayer together to voice that which Jesus taught His disciples how they should pray.
Illustration: I recall a year last June going to the Men’s Retreat at Ottawa Valley P.C. It was during chapel, prayer chapel we were asked to pray and if we needed help from being distracted use the prayer guide based upon The Lord’s prayer. I said to self I don’t need this but I needed it “Could we tarry (pray) for one hour.”
Read: Matthew 6:9-16 “This, then, is how you should pray: “‘Our Father in heaven,hallowed be your name,10 your kingdom come,your will be done,on earth as it is in heaven.11 Give us today our daily bread.12 And forgive us our debts,as we also have forgiven our debtors.13 And lead us not into temptation,but deliver us from the evil one. 14 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”
The Lord’s Prayer is a prayer which only a disciple can pray. It is a prayer which only one who is committed to Jesus Christ can take upon his lips with any meaning. It is not a child’s prayer. It is not meaningful for a child. It is not a family prayer unless by the word family we mean the family of the church. The Lord’s Prayer can only really be prayed when the man/woman who prays it knows what he/she is saying, and they cannot know that until they have entered into discipleship with Jesus Christ.
Our Father in Heaven:We mustaddress Him as Our Father, there is nothing more pleasing and pleasant than to call God, Father. As recorded in John’s Gospel Jesus addresses Jehovah as Abba, Father a 156 times.
Max Lucado “The Great House of God writes-The first two words of the Lord’s Prayer are affluent in significance: “Our Father” reminds us we are welcome in God’s house because we have been adopted by the owner.”
Romans 8:15-16“For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!”16 The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God,”
Psalm 103:13-14 “As a father has compassion on his children,so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;14 for he knows how we are formed,he remembers that we are dust.”
This prayer is personal-our Father intimating we must pray, not only for our self but with others. The Prayer guide we were issued suggests for us to picture Calvary and thank God you can call Him “Father” by the virtue of the blood of Jesus. Through Jesus death and resurrection and ascension focus on God the Father and God the Son for Christ and God the Holy Spirit. Jesus has become our mediator who speaks on our behalf.
Isaiah 53:5“But he was pierced for our transgressions,he was crushed for our iniquities;the punishment that brought us peace was on him,and by his wounds we are healed.”
We have an awesome privilege in approaching our Heavenly Father whose love for each of us is mind boggling to say the least. Unconditional Love!!
Romans 3:23-24 “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.”
As Our Father, Heaven cannot contain Him; yet so in Heaven as there manifests His Glory. He is Our Father, and therefore, we may come to Him with boldness but with reverence.
Luke 2:9 “An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the “Glory of the Lord” shone around them, and they were terrified.”
Hallowed Be Thy Name: A Name that is above all Names; we are to giveGod the Father the Glory rightfully due His name. Praise Him for His perfections and the wonders He has made. We need to fix our end to give Glory unto Him. As we call upon His Hallowed Name one learns to walk in humility and in reverence. Honor His Name; regard Him as Holy, consecrated a holy place.
Philippians 2:9-11“Therefore God exalted him to the highest placeand gave him the name that is above every name,10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,in heaven and on earth and under the earth,11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,to the glory of God the Father.”
We desire to pray that name “Father, Our Father” that is, God Himself, may be sanctified and glorified both by us and others. Pause for a moment. Let’s look around us and be drawn to our worship banners, study His Name, glorify His Name with the shout of exaltation, declare Him as Majesty, worship the King of kings and Lord of Lords.
Max Lucado writes-Be Hallowed, Lord-do whatever it takes to be holy in my life. Take your rightful place on Your Throne. Exalt yourself, Magnify Yourself, Glorify Yourself, You be Lord and I’ll be quiet……By seeking God in the chapel, you do the same. When you set your sights on Our Father, you focus on one “cut above” any storm life may bring:
Psalm 46:10 “Be still and know that I am God.” This verse contains a command with a promise. The command? Be Still. Cover your mouth. Bend your knees. The promise? You will know that I am God. The vessel of faith journey’s on soft waters. Belief rides on the wings of waiting.
Illustration: pause just for a moment, this summer I took my Mum & Dad for a trip on the lake we were fascinated by the works of God’s hand. We came to a full stop and watch baby turtles sunbathing on the rocks, swimming coming to the surface and watching us as careful as we were watching them. It’s exciting when we see God’s work but equally when we pause in His presence and soak it up.
Your Kingdom Come: The Kingdom of your Father which is in Heaven; this is at hand; pray that it may come. How exciting this prayer is for believer’s, tap in and seek the Father. Turn to the Word of God, as we pray it let your heart echo it. Does not Christ promise?
What God has promised we should pray for? Promises are given not superseded but to quicken and encourage prayer.
"Come unto me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and you shall find rest unto your souls." - Mathew 11:28