Prayer (Part 2)
This is the second in a two part series on prayer. Part one goes through Matthew 6:5-8 and part two goes through verses 9-15.
Now we have the second part – Praying after Gods own heart
9 Pray then like this:
“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
Sometimes we need to remind ourselves who it is we are actually praying to! We are praying to the creator God, the one who made the Universe, he made everything we know in six days and rested on the seventh, not because he needed rest but to give us an example of how we should rest.
I find it slightly funny that Jesus has just finished instructing us not to do vain repetitions and in many churches this prayer is chanted verbatim in a droning fashion with no heart, no feeling and a lot of tradition and religion. The words are from Christ so they are sacred, but we have to please use it as the blueprint it was intended to be. Not “vain repetition’ or “holy chanting”. We need to read the second line
“hallowed be your name”
His name has to be hallowed, respected, revered, the Jews would not spell out the name in fear they got it incorrect or blasphemed it. This goes for everyday speech as well as prayer, we can’t use Gods name in a cussing fashion casually and sing hallelujah to it on a Sunday. We have to appraoch it in Old Testament fashion that the name of God is to be the name above all names, something to be taken seriously. God will not be mocked.
I am struck by how trivally people will use the name of God, like he is some great big “genie in the sky” wanting to cast our prayers as wishes. How televangelists mis-use the name of God for their own profits, it saddens me as a Christian. The word “hallowed” means separated, consecrated, separated unto God (symbolizes purity) to cleanse deeply, or to expunge from sin. (Greek – hagiazō) In short take it seriously, give it the respect it is due!
10 Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
This is really important as what you are asking is that God’s will and kingdom come first. Remember I was saying that God isn’t some “spiritual genie” who is to be called upon to give you a spiritual wish list. It is really important to align ourselves with the will of God in our lives. It will allow us to have a dynamic prayer life and what we request from God will be granted, because we will be asking in his will. God knows our heart and knows what we need before we ask.
This really knocks on the head “self-promoting Christians” those who wish to make a name for themselves by loosely aligning with Christianity, but really want to have a “My kingdom come” mindset. It is really difficult and you have to do a lot of self-appraisal if you take the call to ministry that you are doing it with the right heart and not self-promoting.
On the subject of heart, this is really a test of your heart, your will may want a life of luxury but God is perhaps calling you to a life as a missionary with spiritual wealth as opposed to material wealth. We are still told “thy kingdom come” it is a sweet surrender of self will and entrusting that “your will” may be better in the long run.
I think it is awesome that God invites us, like a father inviting his children to complete a task with him, God is more than capable of allowing his will to be done without our petitions or requests, but it is great to me at least that we have a God that allows us to make requests to help fulfil Gods will in our life. Such as the voluntary nature of a Christian’s submission. We have full co-operation in our submission to his will.
11 Give us this day our daily bread,
12 and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
It is appropriate to ask God, the creator of heavens and earth, for our needs, for our daily bread. It is not a “wish list” to ask God for a Mercedes Benz (as the country song goes) like I have said before, God knows your needs before you ask them, he also knows your heart. a good example of this would be the man who prays consistently for a lottery win, he promises God that he would tithe 10%, pay off his debts and be generous to people in the kingdom. God can see this guy’s heart and knows that with the little that God has entrusted with him, he hasn’t used his money wisely, he hasn’t tithed, he hasn’t been generous with any abundance that he has had and if he had used the blessings that God gave him he would make ends meet. God also sees his heart and knows that a vast wealth would ruin him.
God is the God of provisions, as he provided for the Israelites in the desert by literally giving them “daily bread” If we are truly seeking Gods will and are not distracted by the world, we will automatically have less desires for the world.
Imagine the situation, you are a millionaire, you have devoted your whole life to building wealth in cash stocks, you have millions of dollars invested in wealth schemes, you are a self-made man. People envy your life, you can walk into literally any shop and buy anything, and money is no object in this scenario. Then disaster happens, The US balance of payments are declared void, the dollar is no more, the money is not even worth the weight of the paper it is printed on and there is no way of transferring your wealth. You go from multi-billionaire to destitute in a second, your world collapses. You can’t even pay your credit cards. What you have built your life upon has not sustained you. Your God of money has failed you. Where do you turn?
Verse 12 tells us to “forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.” What an awesome concept, a never ending account of forgiveness that assumes that we forgive, do not hold grudges and actually do that rare but awesome concept of “loving one another”
One of the most common dissentions between Christian brothers and sisters is when one has loaned something (could be anything could be money, could be property) and is unable to bring it back (either by loss, theft or accident) or restitute the loss and the loaner gets really bent out of shape to the loanee, it may be justified, it maybe that the loanee simply cannot provide the means to replace what is gone, I have two views on this one.
Has the loanee tried their upmost to resolve the issue? – Ideally if one is much more affluent than the other then it should be written off and forgiven, but the onus is really on the loanee to try to resolve the issue, be up front and honest, explain what has gone on and make offer to replace or refund. I would hope that the offer is genuine and the loanee would embrace his brother in trouble and just write it off. If it is written off we should make no account of it in the future, not store it up against the other party in gossip and actually forgive the guy and let it go.
Can it be forgiven? – Obviously if both parties are not doing well and it can’t be replaced, can it be resolved by forgiveness? Like I said above, real forgiveness does not mean one thing in front of someone and then gossip behind their back. It means that the slate is wiped clean, never to be brought up again. There is a reason I am an advocate for forgiveness, Jesus tells us why in Matthew 18:21-35
We have been forgiven so much; we deserve eternal damnation for our sins. But yet we have a God who atoned for our sins and gives us part in our own salvation. What is a little forgiveness based on what we have been forgiven for?
13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
This is my favorite part of the prayer, people say “God will tempt us?” temptations will come, but if you are living your life under Gods will, will you want hose temptations? Your flesh will desire and crave it, (that’s why it’s a temptation – it is not meant to be easy) I am not going to pretend that it won’t, however your will and the will of God will allow for deliverance.
We have to own our own part in this also though! We cannot cry, this magazine/film/game/book/situation/whatever tempted me and God did not deliver me! We have to own the fact that we chose not to be delivered from it and used our own free will to partake willingly in that sin. If in our heart of hearts and we want in the will of God to be removed from that sin, we will be removed from that sin. God will not cause you to move further apart from him.
14 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, 15 but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
and this is the crux of what I was saying earlier, we have to align with the will of God and do this will all of our hearts, God sees the heart and see’s when you are doing “half measures’ or “going through the motions”. We can seem holy, do and say all the right stuff and have a heart that is rotten to the core. If you want to see what Jesus thinks of that, do a word study on the Pharisees and see what he said to them. It is an eye opener and a great self-appraisal if you think that you are super holy or where you need to grow in Christ.
God bless and I pray this was a blessing and please feel free to like, share or comment on here or whatever social media platforms you use as the Lord leads you to, as always I love questions about this or any other article so please feel free to fill in the form below, all comments are moderated to avoid profanity.
For additional reading please read:
09/11/2015 – The LORD’s prayer – Introduction
09/14/2015 – The LORD’s prayer – Part 1 – Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name
09/15/2015 – The LORD’s prayer – Part 2 – Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven
09/16/2015 – The LORD’s prayer – Part 3 – Give us this day our daily bread
09/17/2015 – The Lord’s prayer – Part 4 – And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors
09/18/2015 – The Lord’s prayer – Part 5 – 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.