The riches of the Lord's prayer
Jesus main teaching on prayer in the gospels is 'The Lord's prayer'. It is a formula to repeat. As I have meditated on it and used it as a framework for praying I have come to appreciate its richness. It is like a multifaceted diamond.
In a previous post I commented on an observation, that the prayer contains Christian answers to the four big world view questions.
Here are some more features I have noticed (you might like to add your own as comments):
- The prayer starts with our identity - children of our Father. This is important and I often don't get beyond reflecting on this because all of our Christian life flows out of our identity.
- 'Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven, give us today our daily bread' reflects Jesus teaching to seek first the kingdom of God and all these things (food, clothing) will be added to you
- The three major categories of temptation:
Pride of Life - Looking good (ie look at me or boasting)
Lust of the eyes - Accumulating lots of stuff (ie expanding our kingdoms)
Lust of the flesh - always satisfying our desires even in unhealthy ways
are countered by the first phrases:
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name (ie it is not all about us!)
Your kingdom come (not about our kingdoms)
Give us today our daily bread (natural desires are good if they don't dominate and we don't live by bread alone but by the word of God)
- It reminds me that as I receive God's forgiveness (which is a separation or release from sin, not just the guilt) I need God's leading in the choices I make and his power in the spiritual warfare I will encounter (Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil)
David Wanstall, 13/05/2009