There is a way, a prayer, that will make us successful concerning chapter 6.
23 For this command is a lamp; this teaching is a light, and correction and instruction are the way to life.
It’s the Model Prayer that the LORD Jesus taught His disciples (and us). It’s found in Matthew 6:9-13. I used the King James Version because that’s how I memorized it as a kid.
Is He your Father? Have you given your life to Him and accepted His Son as Your substitutionary sacrifice for you on the cross? Have you given Him access to your life in general and then every area specifically? Assuming you have, let’s continue.
Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name.
The One who sits enthroned between the cherubim is holy. We hallow His name; in other words, we make His name special. We speak about Him with the reverence He deserves as LORD of the Universe and our King. We are speaking specifically to the Father, but the LORD Jesus is sitting right there beside Him!
Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
The Father’s will is done immediately and fully in heaven. We look forward to the day when He unites this world with His own. In the meantime, we work to make the two compatible by bringing lost people to Him for redemption; we work to save animals and habitats; we work to improve the daily lives of people all over the world.
Give us this day our daily bread…
This phrase is a reference to manna that was given to the Israelites as they traveled through the desert. They would go out and gather the flakes of manna off the ground each morning and make bread out of it. God supplied it for them. He supplies our daily bread today through the jobs that we have, the nice homes and appliances that we have, and the stores from which we purchase our food. God supplies us with all we need for today in the way of faith, love, joy, peace, righteousness, holiness and truth–if we ask for it and the are obedient.
and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.
I chose “debts/debtors” instead of “trespasses/those who trespass against us” because “debt” can mean more than just “trespass.” We understand that a trespass means that someone has overstepped his bounds with us. A debt is something that we think someone owes us, which includes trespasses. Having someone owe us is a form of entitlement. Jesus said to give freely, not expecting repayment (Matthew 10:8, Luke 6:35). I believe that this command covers debts of hurt, theft, and any kind of selfish act that robs us in some way. People don’t get off scot-free; we give them to God and He takes care of the matter. The problem with revenge is that we are small-minded. What satisfies us may be insignificant to what God has in mind for them–and His way is usually redemptive in nature!
Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
The first part of this phrase is a reminder that God does NOT lead anyone into temptation. “Every good and perfect gift comes down from the Father of heavenly lights” (James 1:13-17). The second part is a reminder that deliverance is what God does for us. Jesus prayed in His priestly prayer, “My prayer is not that You take them out of the world, but that You protect them from the evil one” (John 17:15). Jesus also said this to His disciples a little later on that same evening, “‘Why are you sleeping?’ He asked them. ‘Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.'” (Luke 22:46). “The Spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Mark 14:38). PRAYER (connection) is how we are delivered from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.
Let us never forget that God is GOD. He is King of the universe and Ruler of this world. Nothing gets past Him. The Day of Wrath is coming, but He is “slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion. Yet He does not leave the guilty unpunished…” (Numbers 14:18). His timetable is set on an eternal clock, so He sees this life and beyond for each of us. Knowing that He has everything in control and has asked us to join Him in His work, we pray for and strive with people to come to a saving knowledge of Him and to become like Him. As long as people have breath and a beating heart, there is hope–even for the most wicked people.
“So be it.” That’s the literal interpretation. We would say, “May it be so according to Your will, O LORD.”
Abba, we give You our lives today. We hallow Your name and ask for our daily bread. We pledge to forgive those who “owe” us anything, and pray that they would come to You for forgiveness, cleansing, and healing. Change us all, O LORD, to be like You. We look forward to being like You and with You when Your kingdom comes. Until then, we strive with each other–and with ourselves–to bring Your kingdom to earth through us. Even so, come, LORD Jesus. Amen.