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Reflections on Jesus' Model Prayer

PrayerJesus taught his disciples to pray using this simple but powerful model prayer:

Our Father in heaven, may your name be kept holy. 

May your Kingdom come soon. May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.

Give us today the food we need

And forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us.

And don’t let us yield to temptation, but rescue us from the evil one.

[If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.] (Matt.6:9-15).

We are to avoid vain or empty repetitious prayers like the pagans use.

We begin with confirming our relationship with God as his children and he as our Father. What an amazing things to be a child of God and to know his love, acceptance, approval, care, security and discipline when needed. May he be set apart of holy or sacred in our lives and in our world.

Pray for God's kingdom (characterised by justice, righteousness, peace and mercy) to come. Then seek to be the answer to this prayer by being an instrument of God's kingdom throughout your day.

Pray for God's will to be done on earth as in heaven - starting with every area of your own life. Think about what God desires and pray for it to come into reality. What could you do today to work for his will to occur in your sphere of influence?

Pray for your own daily needs and those of your family and friends. God cares and will supply the resources you need.

As a reflection of our own experience of forgiveness, forgive those who may have hurt or offended you. Use their offence as a means of showing them Christ's love. This is so vital that Jesus amplifies its importance by an extra comment at the end of the prayer.

We have a very real enemy and there will be tests and temptations. Pray for strength, discernment and wisdom to overcome. 

Some manuscripts add "For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen." This doxology was most likely added later (probably based on 1 Chron. 29:11-13). We can finish with praise and worship to God, acknowledging Him as the world's true Lord and giving him our adoration.

Comments

Excellent encouragement and reflection. Thanks Mark for expounding the Lord's Prayer.

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