Reading: Luke 11: 1-4
Today’s passage is oh so familiar. In most every church, in all times of worship, this prayer is prayed. The words are in the hymnal or bulletin or on the screen, but most really do not need the words. The Lord’s Prayer is such a familiar prayer. One must be careful to not simply go through the motions or to recite the prayer. It must be prayed.
As the prayer begins with “Our father” it establishes our relationship with God. We are God’s children. In the role of parent, God seeks to provide for us, to protect us, to help us mature in our faith, to keep us on the path to life. But most of all, God seeks to love us in a close personal relationship.
“Who art in heaven” reminds us of God’s authority and position. God is above all and over all. God dwells in that place of perfection with the saints and angels. Yet God is not limited to just heaven. God’s presence is everywhere all of the time. We sense it in close personal ways at times and in large, powerful ways at other times. Through the presence of the Holy Spirit we have a deep personal connection to the presence of God in our lives. The Spirit dwells in each believer and the presence of God is active and alive in the world.
The prayer fittingly ends with requests. Reflecting on what is established with the opening lines of the prayer, it does seem fitting that the prayer ends with requests of God. After all, isn’t that what children do with their parent? It concludes with requests for our daily bread, for forgiveness of our sins, for help forgiving others, and to be kept away from temptation. The first request acknowledges our dependence on God for all of our daily needs. Then it turns to relationship. Forgive us when we mess up. In this it admits that we will mess up. It also deals with our need to offer forgiveness. In these two requests we are asking to be kept in right relationship with God and with our neighbors. The Lord’s Prayer concludes with our request to be kept from temptation. This is one of the roles the Holy Spirit plays in our lives.
When we pray the Lord’s Prayer, may it be slowly and with attention to detail. Sit with each phrase, allow it to resonate deep within. Allow it to bless you this day.