Home > Highlanders > On “the Lord’s Prayer”

On “the Lord’s Prayer”

I meet with a group of guys who get together dark and early on Fridays at a local coffee shop to do life together, process the week, and keep each other thinking about things bigger than ourselves. We’ve recently been plodding through the Gospel of Matthew and the conversation recently turned to the section in chapter six commonly referred to as the Lord’s Prayer.

The “Lord’s prayer” has become very special to me in recent months. I have prayed it consistently during my frequent bouts of insomnia, and I often repeat it a few times as I drift off to sleep. Maybe it’s the Catholicism in my family history, but I have found that in a few short sentences, Yeshua, the rabbi of Nazareth, gives us a pattern that probably says all there is to say in many of our conversations with God. As I struggle to make sense of prayer and develop the habit, I go back to the model Yeshua gave us. Here’s why:

    • It “puts me in my place.” It reminds me that God is the one who holds it all together. And I’m not.
    • It reminds me of my priorities. My #1 objective should be that I be an agent of change to help God’s will and kingdom inhabit Earth, as just as his will is done in heaven.
    • It reminds me of what’s important: My “daily bread” is all I should really want. Anything more than the bare necessities is luxury. (Oh how I need that reminder!)
    • It reminds me not to be judgmental: If I don’t insert the unintended comma in the middle of the phrase and read it as it’s written — “…forgive us of our sins as we forgive those who have wronged us…” (with no pause between “our sins” and “as we forgive…”) — I remember that if I don’t forgive others, I am not worthy of forgiveness. I need this reminder all the time!
    • And it reminds me of my frailty. I need God to lead me away from temptation – because I struggle to lead myself away from it – and that he delivers me from the evil one – because I have an enemy who lies and who wants to alienate me from God.

An old version I can’t find, but that I recall from my youth added, “…for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever, amen.” While this isn’t in my NLT version, I like it because it closes with a reminder that no matter how self important I become, I am once again humbled and again, back in “my place.”

Far from empty phrases or rote recitation, the Lord’s Prayer brings me back to perspective. It reminds me of my place in this world, in God’s plan, for his glory. (Not mine.)

And I need that reminder. Every day.

Categories: Highlanders
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