Our Father Who is in heaven
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day, our daily bread.
Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen.
How many times have you recited the “Our Father”? Hundreds? Thousands?
Have you meditated on this prayer?
The first time that God is referred to as a Father in the Bible is when God tells Moses to say to Pharaoh,
‘Thus says the LORD, Israel is my firstborn son, and I say to you, “Let my son go that he may serve me.” … Exodus 4:22-23
N. T. Wright, in The Lord and His Prayer, writes that “when Jesus tells his disciples to call God ‘Father’, then, those with ears to hear will understand. He wants us to get ready for the new Exodus. We are going to be free at last. This is the Advent hope, the hope of the coming of the Kingdom of God.” (p. 4)
Jesus proclaimed that He was ushering in the Kingdom, “Repent, the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Matthew 4:17
With that Kingdom in our hearts and spirits, God’s will is being accomplished, and His name is being revered and hallowed in our lives. It’s a process. We’re still in the desert on our way to the Promised Land.
Jesus is supplying us with our daily spiritual and physical needs, for He is the manna from heaven, the Living Bread, the Bread of Life. John 6:51
We’re still stumbling in this wilderness, and we sin.
We cannot pay the debt we owe for the wrongs we have committed against God, for one sin deserves death. Our Savior, Jesus, took our debts, our sins, upon Himself and paid the price for our debts.
“He himself, the carpenter, was called to take wood and nails to accomplish the real Exodus, the real defeat of evil.” (N.T. Wright, The Lord and His Prayer, p. 6)
Jesus was a carpenter. I wonder if Jesus thought of the cross each time He took a piece of wood in His hands to carve a yoke for an oxen or create a table for a family’s home. I wonder if He winced when He hammered a nail into that wood.
He gave His all for us on the cross. How can we not forgive the debts of others? Jesus paid the price for their debts, too. Eternity awaits … eternity with my Savior and Friend.
Jesus is taking His friends, His followers by the hand and keeping us in His right hand as He leads us through the valley of the shadow of death. Although we may be surrounded by darkness and evil, He prepares a table before our enemies. He will not leave us, and He is praying for us. He will not lead us into any trial or temptation that we cannot withstand, and He will keep us from the evil one.
Surely goodness and mercy will follow us all the days of our life.
For God’s is the kingdom; His is the power, and His is the glory forever! Amen.