05 May 2011

From the Evangelist Desk May 2011 edition.

Giz a Prayer, I can do dat Prayer!

Matthew 6: 9-13
This then, is how you should pray:
“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.(NIV)

Have you ever thought about splitting the Lord’s Prayer up and praying into each section at a time? This is something that I attempted to do a few years ago, whilst leading intersession during a church service. (My big mistake was not telling everybody that I was going to do that, and when I started Our Father… the congregation being true to form immediately followed my lead, by taking up the second line before I have a chance to stop them). We all learn from our mistakes. When we finished I then thought I’ll tell them what I am up to now and lead the intersession.

So this time I thought I would put fingers to keyboard and try to pray into the Lord’s prayer again, using comments and alike should the need arise. (Notice how modern I am, fingers to keyboard, not pen to paper).

Our Father in heaven hallowed be your name.
Abba Father, your name is Holy (hallowed) above all names. You are creator of all things known and unknown.
Your Holy name be praised as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be.

Your kingdom come.
Lord we pray that your kingdom will come here on earth, the earth that you created. We pray that your kingdom will bring peace and breakdown the cultural and behavioural conflicts within the world and that we as your people will live in harmony and unity this day forward.

Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Lord teach us your ways, bring us closer to you to understand you better and open our minds and thoughts to do your will here and know in your Holy name.
We pray that we are open to your purpose for us, so that we are able to do your will joyously in our daily lives on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.
Lord we trust that you will feed us both physically and spiritually. Physically each time we eat we remember that is by your grace that the food as been provided. Each time we read your Word we reflect and mediate on the spiritual food that you provide to sustain us.

Forgive us debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
Lord let us believe that when we ask for forgiveness of our sins, you and you alone can forgive them. Let us also understand that we must also forgive those who sin against us, because harbouring non-forgiveness can draw us away from your ever-forgiving presence.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.
Lord we ask for your protection this day against all the pits and traps that we may fall into due to our weak and feeble nature. Give us wisdom we pray to rise against the trails and tribulations of our daily lives influenced by others.
Lord light our way we pray on the narrow path to your kingdom. Teach us to keep to the path and your instruction this day forward.

Matthew 6:7
And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like the pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. (NIV)
Here is a question or two for you. Breaking down the Lords Prayer as I have above, am I then babbling? Or am I maybe doing something that Jesus had in mind, where a prayer structure is offered to pray into?
I like to think that it is possible that Jesus meant us to use the Lords Prayer in full to open our mind, body and spirit to the Lord, but also to break it down to help us focus on our daily intersession with him.

In summary:
How many times a day do you think that you could pray a line of the Lords Prayer to help you focus on a problem or situation? When we witness disaster on the television, when we see bloodshed in places of conflict, when someone offers us that ‘golden apple’ that we know we are not supposed to eat. When we feel down and need feeding up, (Give us this day our daily bread).
The Lords Prayer has so much passion and depth. What a wonderful tool for our daily Christian toolbox.

Yours in Christ.

Rick Hayes
© Rick Hayes, May 2011