As a kid I was very proud of the fact that I had memorized all those things that the grownups would always say together in church. To me it sounded more like a chant and I focused more on the sound of the congregation than the actual words and the overall meaning of the event taking place. Thankfully I have matured at least some since then and I have been able to try to understand Jesus’ message in Luke chapter 11 where he presents the disciples with an example of prayer and its function.
1 One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.” 2 He said to them,
These direct examples that Jesus gives us for how to live life reveal so many basic truths of our religion and relationships with God. Just as with Jesus’ prayer in this verse, prayer is to be considered holy and set aside for a certain place and certain time. That is the real message of this prayer.
Does anyone have their own certain place that they pray at?
The importance of this regularity in time and place or the regularity in the words that Jesus prescribes for this prayer are to make a long term effect on Christians’ prayer lives. The disciples wanted to know HOW they should pray Jesus responds with what we know as the Lords prayer but continues on,
5 Then he said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend, and he goes to him at midnight and says, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, 6 because a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have nothing to set before him.’ 7 “Then the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children are with me in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’ 8 I tell you, though he will not get up and give him the bread because he is his friend, yet because of the man’s boldness he will get up and give him as much as he needs.
Therefor, Jesus answers the disciples’ request saying that to pray correctly as Jesus did you must pray with persistent and shameless audacity. As in many cases this is probably not what the disciples were expecting. They wanted to be prayer WARRIORS and the BEST PRAYERS in the land, but Jesus preaches to them humility and lets them know that they are to make prayer a daily routine as we make the Lord’s prayer a routine in our worship rather than as an occasional fanciful prayer.
With this knowledge I have been able to see prayer in a different light, and I no longer view the repetition of words beginning with Our Father as merely a traditional repetition of words, but as the way we all should pray as Jesus j=himself told us.
I also have looked carefully at Jesus’ example to see what themes are important to include in prayer including, praise, forgiveness, and the closeness of God. I have attempted to figure out what the Lord’s Prayer means to me in my terms, and in my life.
Starting out Our Father or hey daddy this prayer is not only an example of how we should communicate with God but also reflects our entire relationship with our eternal Daddy.
Who art in heaven conveys the mystery and indescribable greatness of god who has to mow a lawn that is galaxies and galaxies lawn, has to take care of billions of children on Earth, but has still so personally helped me in times of trouble and awarded me when I lived by his example.
Hallowed be thy name, I love you and I’m going to praise you so everyone else will know of your greatness. This should definitely include retiring your number at the braves stadium and hanging a baseball with your name on it in left field at turner field.
They kingdom come thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven. Help me to act more like you and the examples you have given me through the life of your son and the bible which you have presented me.
Now give us this day our daily bread. The word companion comes from the Latin one who shares bread. It is interesting then to see that Jesus puts God in such a personal reference again as he is our companion, and along with this our provider for the most basic and physical and spiritual attributes that keep us alive.
Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. God you know I mess up and you know others around me mess up to and I know I need to apologize. I need to apologize because Jesus, the only non imperfect human had to be tortured and killed for those little white lies or hurtful comments that I make while I am graciously and repeatedly forgiven by merely desiring forgiveness. I ask also for the forgiveness of those around me as I strive to n=be Christ-like as he forgave those around him even on his dying day.
Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil
Even as I strive to be Christ-like I know I will mess up and be tempted. As we sometimes say before communion, the Prayer of pardon and confession
These are all thing s we all do however we ask God to give us strength and clarity to rebel against the evil that we have known ourselves to commit before.
For thine is the power the kingdom and the glory for ever
Now I marvel at your greatness and power and see that everything around me is yours including me, and everything good in me is really you, and I with all of the rest of the Christian family are pieces in your kingdom giving you power that grows in the addition of your kingdom, and for this I am grateful to be a part of the family of God.