Meditating the Word of God – 17th November
The verse for today is from Matthew 6:9-13. We have it here from a few versions of the Bible.
Pray like this:
Our Father in heaven,
may your name be kept holy.
May your Kingdom come soon.
May your will be done on earth,
as it is in heaven.
Give us today the food we need,
and forgive us our sins,
as we have forgiven those who sin against us.
And don’t let us yield to temptation,
but rescue us from the evil one. (version NLT)
Pray like this:
‘Our Beloved Father, dwelling in the heavenly realms,
may the glory of your name
be the center on which our lives turn.
Manifest your kingdom realm,
and cause your every purpose to be fulfilled on earth,
just as it is in heaven.
We acknowledge you as our Provider
of all we need each day.
Forgive us the wrongs we have done as we ourselves
release forgiveness to those who have wronged us.
Rescue us every time we face tribulation
and set us free from evil.
For you are the King who rules
with power and glory forever. Amen. (version TPT)
After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
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. (version KJV)
Pray, therefore, like this: Our Father Who is in heaven, hallowed (kept holy) be Your name.
Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven (left, remitted, and let go of the debts, and have given up resentment against) our debtors.
And lead (bring) us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen. (version AMPC)
Jesus taught this prayer to the disciples when they asked him to teach them how to pray? Hence, this prayer is called the Lord’s prayer. It’s also called Our father’s prayer, as it starts with our father. What Jesus teaches the disciples is applicable to us, hence we learn this.
Before teaching this prayer, Jesus cautioned us not to pray to show off, but to pray in secret, so that we would be rewarded in the open. More on this another day.
God our Father: This prayer addresses God as Father. We can say this prayer sincerely only if we consider ourselves to be sons and daughters of the Lord God, creator of the universe. A very special position of privilege. We have this unique privilege only because of Jesus Christ. ‘Our Father’ reminds us that it’s not my father, but our father, a perspective when we are loving and caring and united as children of God. Thus, at the very start of this prayer, we are reminded to reach the place of unity among us as Christians, as the body of Christ. (Christians being those who have accepted Jesus Christ as the saviour and obey his commandments.)
In Galatians 4:6 we have this verse, And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” (Note sons include daughters as well)
Hallowed be your name: God’s name is Holy. It has always been so. Here we ask all people to get to know Him as Holy – God’s name to be made Holy and glorified among all people.
Your kingdom comes: We ask for God’s Kingdom to come into our daily lives. In God’s Kingdom we have fullness of peace, joy, abundance, healing and wholesomeness. In God’s Kingdom we don’t find envy, jealousy, offence. We are thus asking for Heaven to manifest in our daily life and circumstances. A life of signs, wonders and miracles. Understanding this, our expectations change. Knowing this, our reality changes.
We are aware of our brokenness when we recognise that we have very many shortcomings, and it’s only the Lord God who can mend us. It’s only His Grace, His Mercy which can make us whole again. It’s only a total surrender to Him, to His will that can change our dire situation.
Your will be done on earth, as it is in Heaven: Many a time, in our short-sightedness, we quarrel with people whom we are supposed to be loving. We are envious, we become offended, we cheat, steal, hear, watch and think wrong and do things not pleasing to God. Here we are asking for God’s will to be done – through us and through people we are directly and indirectly connected. This can be your school, your family, your workplace, your city, your state police, country’s army, your nation’s leaders etc. Thus, we want all of them to behave, live and rule as per God’s will, as it would happen in Heaven. We can get a glimpse of what’s conveyed in the first few verses of 1 Timothy 2
Give us this day our daily bread: This implies both bread for food and daily spiritual food. In Exodus 16:4, we see God provide daily food in the form of manna. Later, even quails. Jesus multiplied the little boys lunch box and fed the 5,000 men and women and children that were hearing him out. In Matthew 4:4, Jesus says, but Jesus told him, “No! The Scriptures say, ‘People do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
Forgive us our sins: Forgive us our sins, wrongs, resentments as we have forgiven others. So, first we forgive others, then we can ask God to forgive us. Being still and examining ourselves gives us an understanding of our innumerable shortcomings. We are all infected and impure by sin. We have in Isaiah 64:6, When we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags. Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall, and our sins sweep us away like the wind. Although there could be initial resistance to forgiving others, when we discover the extent of our sin it’s a huge realisation of our sinfulness and how much we require a thorough clean up. And the Lord is more than willing to do so. What we need to do is step 1, forgive others and then step 2, seek the Lord’s forgiveness.
Lead us not into temptation: We need protection from slipping into temptation. We can get it only from God. Jesus was tempted after his fasting in the wilderness. Satan tempted Jesus with arguments which seemed reasonable. With wisdom and discernment and knowing the word of God, Jesus, as a full human, could handle the temptations. The discernment and knowing of the word of God comes from the Father God and the efforts Jesus took to learn the scriptures.
Although Jesus was hungry after a 40 days fast, Jesus withstood the Devil, quoting from Deuteronomy 8:3, Jesus said, “man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.” Later, to withstand the 2nd temptation, wherein Satan wanted Jesus to take a leap from a great height, Jesus refused, replying to Satan, saying “Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God,” Jesus said,(Deuteronomy 6:16). We see Satan not only choosing the timings very cunningly, the timings of our weakness, he also appears to have a very holy reason by using scripture verses. Thus, in the final attempt, Jesus told Satan to zip his lips and leave that place by saying, “Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve.” (ref. Deuteronomy 6:13)
Jesus Christ went through all this as a man, for us to learn and understand and to be strengthened. The victory of Christ is also ours as a heritage, an inheritance, every way ours. This victory of ours is further emphasised in this verse from Hebrews 4:15. “This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin.” (Heb. 4:15).
Experience a huge transformation in your heart and your life as you pray to our Father prayer the next time.