“After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.”
Matthew 6:9-13 KJV
So often we pray this prayer as a tradition. This masterpiece of prayer should be more than a simple recitation. The structure of prayer in this is extraordinary. In a short paragraph Jesus models for us the necessary content of prayer.
1. The acknowledgement of the Father in heaven and His Holiness (verse 9). God is Holy! Our lives can only be properly lived when we are conscientious of God's righteous nature.
2. Proclamation of His Kingdom and His will in our lives here on earth just as it is in heaven.
(verse 10). We must cry out to Him for His divine intervention in this fallen world. We need His will to be done instead of our own. Our will is corrupt. His is perfect.
3. The request for our daily provision (verse 11). Only God can grant the mercy of life and the grace to sustain it. We need daily nutrition for our spirit, soul, and body. He is the author of life, the sustainer of life, and the purpose of life.
4. Seeking forgiveness for our deficits (verse 12). We all have shortfalls called sin (see Romans 3:23). We are in arrears as it relates to our account with God. We need His forgiveness to balance the books. When we property understand and appreciate the value of His merciful forgiveness, we will, correspondingly, extend the same to those who have sinned against us in the human realm. Divine forgiveness, properly understood, always translates into a proper perspective of personal offenses.
5. The request for divine navigation through this daily living (verse 13). We all have our challenges as we face the temptations of the evil world all around us. Every day we are bombarded by Satan's allurements. We must depend upon God and the guidance of His Holy Spirit to walk through this maze of life with proper perspective and direction. Only through Him can we come out on the other side of this world and finish the race successfully! We MUST ALWAYS remember that life is about His Kingdom, Power, and Glory! AMEN!!!
Curtis R. Norris
Rev. Curtis Norris