I don’t know what your prayer life is like. Mine has changed over time, having had its ups and downs. One thing that has always been consistent though is the “Our Father”. I’ve prayed it when it was the only prayer I was saying and I’ve prayed it among a litany of current prayer practices, including just resting in the Lord, in silence.
I think it’s the first prayer I learned. Compared to other rote prayers, it’s always been my favorite. Above all, I think the reason I like it is that it’s the playbook for our lives.
Not being a theologian, nor a Church scholar, here’s my take on the meaning, as simplistic as it might be:
Our Father, who art in Heaven
Hallowed by Thy Name
God is all powerful and all loving. He is our creator, deserving of our praise.
Thy Kingdom Come
Heaven is what God wishes for each of us. We need to wish if for ourselves, living like we truly want to attain it.
Thy Will be done
God loves us more than we know, creating each of us with unique gifts, for a special purpose. He knows what’s best for us more than we do for ourselves. To be happy, we need to follow God’s Will in all that we do.
On earth as it is in Heaven
In living God’s Will, we become Disciples of Christ, preparing for Heaven. Knowing the peace of Christ, we get to experience Heaven here on earth.
Give us this day, our daily bread
God provides for us all that we need at the current time. There’s no need to look back to yesterday nor forward to tomorrow. We are to be present. Be in the moment. Enjoy.
Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us
We need to repent for our sins, asking God for His forgiveness. And in addition, to be forgiven, we have to forgive those who have sinned against us. You may have heard before that holding onto resentment is like swallowing poison and waiting for the other person to die. We are only hurting ourselves in not forgiving others.
Lead us not into temptation
Protect us from the temptations of the world. Keep us safe and close to You, Lord.
But deliver us from evil.
Protect us from evil and danger, including Satan. Again, keep us safe and close to You, Lord.
To me, living the Our Father is living the life God intended for us. I think of it that way as I pray it every morning. As such, I pray it very, very slowly, hanging on to every word. Try it…you might like it. It works well for me.
Please share your thoughts with me at Mark@MarkJosephMinistries.com.
May God Bless your Path to Peace, Joy, and Fulfillment!!!