Over the years I have written my interpretation of the Lord’s Prayer many times before, but not recently from the perspective of a mature Christian. This would be a good time to share with you a fresh interpretation of where I am today. As we might know, He did not tell us how we should pray but gave us a model of what an effective prayer would consist of. However, before He gave us the model He said something that I felt to be more instructive. This would be located in Matthew 6: 5-7.
“And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut the door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place’ and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words. Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.” After His instructions, He offered this example.
Christ started by saying, “Our Father which art in heaven.” He wants us to address God as our heavenly Father. He created us in the heavenly abode and gave us life and being down here on the earth. One distinction is that God is different from us as mortal beings. His abode stretches through all realms of existence. God is Spirit! He is not a man or a person as we are. He is the top of the top, the Most High God. We need to acknowledge this distinction as we approach His holy altar. I will speak more about this later because, in the next stanza, it mentions, “Hallowed be thy name.” Even His name is holy. Everything about God is holy. Scripture tells us that God is holy and wants us to be holy as He is. However, the Father is quite aware of the challenges of living in a carnal body that is laced with sin. He made it possible for us to approach Him through the acceptance of the blood sacrifice of His Son. Your sins are forgiven. You are washed by the blood.
Next, He says” “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” One version says in Earth and the other say on Earth. I could go there but let’s just leave it as where we are currently located on this planet. However, Thy kingdom come means that God’s kingdom comes to us in several ways. Through acceptance, we are given the Helpmate to live in us and to be with us here on the earth. Though He is our helpmate, He does not make us obedient to the Father. We still have free will and can decide to disobey God. That is why our choices are very important because they coincide with our ability to follow God or stray away from Him. You can do either, but at a cost of the consequences. Should we seek God’s will to be done then we are on the side of God. If we use our free will to decide against God then His will is not done through us as it is in heaven. Should we select friendship with the world we are at enmity with God and His heavenly abode.
Next, we get a bit more specific regarding seeking our personal needs. “Give us this day our daily bread.” That is not only talking about food rations but all our needs we require to prosper and survive. God is our provider when we turn to Him seeking His provisions according to His divine will. Most of us tend to seek what we want even though it might not be what is best for us. God’s will is only for the good, not necessarily for things we want or like. God sees up into our future and decides what is best for us with His foreknowledge. He knows what will happen and give us our needs incorporating what He knows. We only see with our human mortal eyes with no idea of what the future might hold for us. Therefore, our Father wants us to place our trust in Him by faith and allow Him to make the best decisions for us according to His knowledge. He will provide our daily needs according to what He knows.
“And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” Widen the circle beyond what is just monetary debts into things we owe that may not be necessarily money. We owe things such as kindness, goodness, righteousness, love, caring, and other aspects of what makes us human. That is why we are told to do unto others as we would want them to do unto us. Not doing unto others builds a debt as well. Sin can include what you do and do not do that carries debt upon the soul. Always do what is right and decent for others so you do not accumulate debt. Allow God to help you figure out what is right and good concerning others. Christ taught us the way. He also forgives you your debts so doesn’t hesitate to turn to your Lord and Savior.
“And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from the evil one.“ Firstly, God does not lead us into temptation because there is one appointed that does that very well. Satan is the deceiver who lies, cheats, steals, and does everything possible to part us away from the Father. We are tempted daily, at times all day to try to separate us from the love of God. That is the job of the devil. He is quite good at it! The evil one is the devil, Satan, Lucifer, or a few other names we use for the prince of darkness. You can’t possibly believe in God without knowing there is an opposing force that counteracts God. The Father will deliver us from the evil one but according to His divine will. There are times when the power of evil might be used to push us even closer to God. Do we trust that God has placed in us a power that is greater than the evil one?
“For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever, Amen.” Since I have much more to say about this subject, I will leave this passage as it states. God is the kingdom with all the power over all things in the heavens and the earth. His glory rings supreme forever and ever. Amen, which means we agree with God. Hopefully, that gives a bit more clarity to the Lord’s prayer than just memorizing a few words. They are holy words that impact heaven and earth. With this covered, I would like to go over why I wanted to write about the power of prayer and how you might want to dig a bit deeper if you want a better outcome.
Over the past few years, I attend an early morning prayer group. The people there belong to a p local church that I have a great familiarity with because I have so many great friends there. I also know the Head Pastor very well. There are so many mature Christians that really know how to pray very deeply in this group. Not too long ago my prayers were usually more scripted, but I am learning how to speak to God from the heart. Before I could get there I needed to know that God is my heavenly Father and learn how to place my complete faith and trust in Him and His judgment.
Originally I think I saw God as some distant deity in some far-away-land. It is much easier to speak with Him knowing that He actually resides in me through His Holy Spirit. I no longer need to imagine a physical being in my presence because I know that everywhere I go He is there with me. I also know that hiding things from Him is impossible. When I pray He is right there in my face listening to all my prayer requests as well as my praises and worship to Him. He will always answer my requests in ways that are perfect for His will even though they might not be exactly what I hoped for. He knows what is best for me because He has already seen the final outcome of all things pertaining to me and my salvation. He also told me not to lean upon my understanding of things because that may only frustrate me. If I truly trust in Him I would know that my Father knows what is best for me always.”
There is a tendency for us to think that things that happen in our lives might come as a surprise to God. That could not be further from the truth. What comes as a surprise to us was fully known even before the world was formed. The human mind has a hard time imagining existence without time or a being that is everywhere at all times from the beginning to the end of days. Christ knew that intimately and wanted us to know what He knows. When you understand exactly who the Son is in relationship with the Father you would know that the Father is in Him and He in the Father. Christ told us that He would be able to do even more things for us once He is sitting on the throne with the Father. The concept of the Trinity is most baffling to most of us. There are three in One, the Godhead.
As a final verdict, I can only say, until you experience God in ways that are beyond your carnal being you don’t really know the power of God or the power of praying directly to Him. God has a way of rewarding those who believe in Him and trust in Him by faith. We are the ones who make the decision. He does not discriminate against any that He made. If we desire God, He comes to us but if not, then there is no reason for Him to come until we are ready. Prayer is our direct link to our Heavenly Father. That is the way Christ taught us to pray. You can’t know this until you are willing to seek Him diligently; asking and knocking on His door to get His attention. Try this and call me later. To almighty God be the glory, Selah!!