That word takes you and me and it smashes us together in just three letters. It takes you out of your journey, and me out of mine, and it puts us on the same path.
No longer am I praying on my behalf, but on yours as well. No longer am I just thinking of the way I view God, but also how you view God. I don’t recall this ever being explained to me in a way I understood before. It’s very simple, maybe so simple everyone just assumed I knew the complexity of it. He’s our Father, but just the word, the way the prayer is started, suggests that we pray it together.
The title is breakdown, not because that’s the state of my being, but because I want to break the Lord’s Prayer down. For you and for me, to meditate on the words we so quickly ramble off.
Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. STOP.
What is hallowed? To make holy, set apart as sacred. God’s name is holy, it’s set apart. Do I treat it that way in my daily life? Do I even think about that when I hear others throw it around as an exclamation of surprise?
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done. STOP.
I ask Him to have His way, for HIS will to be done. But wait- what if His will is different then mine? (Newsflash Sam, it probably is: “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts, says the Lord, and my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.” Isaiah 55:8) So God- have your way. I back down, I’m giving you room to do what you need to do (as if He needed my permission..)
On earth as it is in heaven. STOP.
I think I dwell on this line the most. It’s easy to get caught up in the pain of this world. Out here in this school we keep ripping open the wound in our hearts, injustice after injustice. When you think you’ve seen the last statistic on pornography, the last story on gendercide, watched the last documentary about children sold into slavery, you have another story, another face, another lost heart. God- if what it takes to have heaven on earth is for you to have your way- TAKE IT. I give all of this up, the good and the bad, to have what you have for us in heaven.
Give US this day our daily bread. STOP.
First off- us. Jesus encouraged them to come together in prayer to ask God for their daily provision.Second, how many times have you gathered with others to ask God for your daily needs? Me- maybe once, in Papua New Guinea when we needed a village to stay at. And I can assure you there was a certain level of urgency in that prayer. We had nothing, we were fully relying on God to provide, and of course He did.
And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. STOP.
What if God forgave you the way you forgave others? Is there someone on your heart who hurt you? That one person who hurt you deeply, who you just can’t seem to forgive? What if He forgave the same way we did, in a kinda-sorta-halfway-almost completely forgiven way? Thankfully He is bigger than that. The moment we ask, He wipes it clean. A clean slate. So is Jesus asking us to do something impossible here? No. Jesus doesn’t put something in front of us that we cannot handle. Is it difficult? Absolutely. Impossible? Never, for “nothing is impossible with God” (Luke 1:37)
Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. STOP.
How many times have you prayed this: lead us not into temptation, all the while knowing the temptation you struggle with is waiting for you as soon as you say “amen”? Knowing it, and not giving it up to God? Have you prayed this with the intention of still returning to that which turns you from Jesus? That gossip, the words that pierce hearts instead of build them up. The actions that bring you shame but you “just can’t seem to shake”. See ,the thing is, we love sin. If we didn’t, we would run from it all the time. Before you ask God not to lead you into it, which He would never do, check yourself and see where you are leading yourself into it.
For YOURS is the kingdom and the glory and the power forever. Amen.
Again, this is a repeat of before, but really- it’s all about God. Its HIS kingdom, HIS glory and HIS power. He lends us His power to live for Him, but how easy is it to steal His glory too? How easy is it to make life more about this kingdom than the next?
I’m reminded of a worship song I sang a few years back, where one line goes “I’m sorry, Lord, for the things I’ve made it, when it’s all about you, it’s all about you Jesus.” And it’s true, it’s too easy for us to make it about the lofty beautiful words we say, about the amount of people listening, about the intensity of our voices, but really, it’s all just about Jesus. He wants us to meet together before Him and rest. I encourage you today to go find someone, even if just one person, and pray together. Thank God for who He is, what He has brought you through. Thank Him for His plans that He has for you, for the victory He’s already won for you. Thank Him for carrying a burden too heavy for you, and for giving you all you need to walk in His power. Be broken before Him, before another person, and experience the beauty and freedom that comes from being raw with one another.
With Strength that is not my own, Sam