The Lord’s Prayer (Part 2)

Jesus taught His disciples to pray. Their prayer, popularly known as The Lord’s
Prayer, reveals how we should regard God and power and grace to accomplish
important things in our own lives and the lives of others.

The Lord’s Prayer also reveals us for who we are when Jesus prays, “Forgive us our
debts as we forgive our debtors.”

We all tend toward idolatry. We want to define God’s holiness in terms of our
own. We want to define heaven in terms of earth. We want to make our own kingdom
come in our own way and call it “heaven.” This habit silently creeps into all our lives
like weeds in a garden, devastating us and the lives of those who depend upon us.

That is why Jesus makes a place in His prayer to ask our heavenly Father for
forgiveness. We cannot experience the coming of God’s kingdom into our earthly lives
when we do not confess our sins before Him. Unconfessed sin and lack of repentance
block God from working His kingdom into our lives. Unconfessed sin prevents us from
experiencing His greatest blessings.

Because God is gracious to forgive us, He expects us to forgive others, sharing the
grace we receive from Him.

Jesus also knows our tendency to yield to temptation. Jesus’ prayer reminds us
that God never leads us into temptation, but He delivers us from evil. This may sound
simpleminded, but temptations are tempting. They are so attractive to us, we simply
cannot give them up on our own. Since they are beyond our power, we must depend
upon Him to deliver us from this evil. The fact that Jesus tells us to pray for this
deliverance means that He will do it.

In our pride and self-sufficiency, we often find it difficult to ask for help. This is
why we are reminded at the end of the Lord’s Prayer as at the beginning—everything
begins and ends with God. Just as the Lord’s Prayer begins with praise, it ends with
praise: “For yours is the kingdom, the power and the glory forever.”

Even as believers, we are inclined to say, “Mine is the kingdom, the power and the
glory.” Praise is not something that comes naturally to us. True praise does not involve
words merely uttered by our lips but by our hearts. True praise is learned progressively as
life’s lessons teach us the truth of what we say.

All true prayer recognizes God’s right to rule this earth. It recognizes God’s
right to rule our lives. It recognizes our need to submit to Him as king of our bodies,
our behavior, our plans, our church, our families, our work, our school and
our possessions.

All true prayer recognizes God’s right to extend His rule into every corner of the
earth and every corner of every heart. That is why we must continue to take the gospel
to those who are still trying to define God’s kingdom in their own way.

Millions of people in India yearn for God’s kingdom but do not yet know the
One who has made it available to them. Let us respond to God’s call to give them the
Good News.

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