Lord’s Prayer People
October 13, 2009
We come now to the end of our study of the Lord’s Prayer. My own walk with God has greatly benefited by pondering the deeper meaning of the Lord’s Prayer. As we wrap things up, let me repeat again that the Lord’s Prayer answers the question, “What does Christian prayer look like?” Truly Christian prayer starts with God, moves to our human needs, and rises to God again. As we learn to pray the Lord’s Prayer with understanding, we journey to the very heart of our Heavenly Father. Jesus gave us this simple prayer so that starting from wherever we are on planet earth, we can instantly travel to the throne room of the universe. There we come face to face with the One who loved us and gave his Son to redeem us. We call him “Father” and he welcomes us as dearly-loved sons and daughters.
Every word in this prayer is important. Nothing is added as filler. Nothing is unimportant. Every word adds to the meaning of the whole. It is truly the model prayer for the followers of Jesus.
The word Our reminds us that we do not pray alone but in fellowship with God’s people scattered around the world.
We pray to our Father who loved us and gave his Son for our salvation.
We affirm that Our Father is in heaven where he reigns supreme over the entire universe.
We ask that God’s name be hallowed by the way we live so that others will look at us and give glory to our Father in heaven.
We are praying both for the King and the Kingdom to come and while we wait, we pray for courage to be “Kingdom People” who reflect the values of the world to come.
We pray for God’s will to be done even if it means that our will is not done.
We acknowledge that God’s will is not yet done on earth as it in heaven, but we do our part by sharing the gospel and showing forth the love of Christ to those we meet every day.
We pray for our daily bread because we depend completely on the Lord for what we need, and we share what we have with others because God has blessed us so richly.
We pray that our debts might be forgiven because we are sinners in thought, word and deed.
We also forgive our debtors, knowing that we cannot have fellowship with the Father while we harbor bitterness in our hearts toward others.
We pray that God will not lead us into temptation because we realize our weakness and we know that without God’s help, we will lose the battle every time.
We put on the armor of God by faith, asking God to deliver us from the evil one.
Because we believe that Yours is the kingdom, we eagerly anticipate the day when the kingdoms of the earth will give way to the kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Because we believe that Yours is the power, we do not give up in the face of difficult trials but instead live in faith that the Lord has a purpose and will give us whatever we need to face the challenges of each day.
Because we believe that Yours is the glory, we have chosen to live for God instead of for the praise of men.
We confidently believe that these things are true forever.
Therefore, we say Amen, so be it, Lord.
What Difference Will It Make?
Now we are finished. Only one question remains. What difference will the Lord’s Prayer make to you? Are you any different because you have read this book? Will it make any difference in the way you live? I wish someone would start a “Lord’s Prayer” movement in the body of Christ. How much richer we would be if God’s people would make this prayer central in their lives. How much stronger this church would be if all of us would pray this prayer every day. How much deeper our walk with God would be if we grasped what this prayer is saying to us. We would have more joy, more power, more strength, more wisdom, more of all the things we so desperately need.
Let me leave you with some specific suggestions. First, pray the Lord’s Prayer each day. I don’t mean simply to repeat it by memory, although that is certainly good. Pray it slowly, thoughtfully, pausing over each petition, pondering the words, rephrasing them until each petition becomes the desire of your heart.
Second, try singing the Lord’s Prayer. You don’t need to be a trained soloist and you don’t need an audience. You could sing the words while you walk or while you drive or while you ride an exercise bike. The music and the words together will tattoo this prayer on your soul.
Third, pray it with you children. Begin each day by praying the Lord’s Prayer around the breakfast table. Let each child repeat a phrase until you have said the whole prayer. The brevity and cadence of the Lord’s Prayer is so simple that young children can learn it even if they don’t understand all the words. If your children learn this prayer early on, they will not forget it when they are older.
Four, try praying this prayer for someone else. The Lord’s Prayer is a great guide to intercessory prayer. Begin by praying that God’s name might be honored in that person’s life, that they might submit their life to God’s kingdom and God’s will, and then go on from there. Every righteous thing that you could desire for any friend is contained somewhere in the Lord’s Prayer.
Five, teach it to someone else. Use this book as a study guide. Read a chapter together and work through the questions. And don’t forget to tackle the Action Step every week. While you’re at it, go ahead and jot down notes, thoughts, observations and questions in the margin of the book. I wrote this book to be used and not merely to take up space on a bookshelf. By teaching this prayer to someone else, you’ll be helping at least two people-your friend and you. By the way, the Lord’s Prayer would make an excellent study for a small group or a Sunday School class. It‘s also an excellent pattern for group prayer.
We’ll know we’ve begun to learn what this prayer is all about when we become “Lord’s Prayer People.” Those are the people who have taken this prayer off the pages of Holy Scripture and made it a part of their lives. They not only say this prayer, but also believe it and live it and share it with others. God grant that we should all become “Lord’s Prayer People” and so bring glory and honor to the One who taught us to pray in this way.
Lord Jesus, we have your words before us. How simple they are, yet how profound. It will take us a lifetime and more to fully comprehend them. Thank you for making this prayer simple so that we could understand it. Thank you for making this prayer profound so that we would never grow bored by it. May your words become our prayer so that your glory might become our goal. Amen.