The Lord’s Prayer

img_8348Messy Church is tonight at 5pm in the parish Hall. Our theme is The Lord’s Prayer.

The disciples watched Jesus as he often went off to a quiet place to pray. His time of prayer left him refreshed and rejuvenated to continue the difficult work he had been sent to do. Intrigued and wanting to experience this peace that resulted from Jesus’ time of prayer, they asked him to teach them how to pray. The prayer Jesus taught them has been a wonderful gift to his Church. The sum of all the parts addresses the needs and the trials that are part of the human condition. The prayer lays out a framework for walking the complexities and pitfalls of our earthly journey.

The first two lines (Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name) reminds us that there is something greater than this earthly existence, that God’s home is in a place of peace and joy. Hallowed or holy comes from the ancient English meaning whole. We all have brokenness in some part of us, but God is perfect and whole and worthy of our praise.

The next two lines (Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven) reminds us that we are invited to work with God in healing the broken areas of our world. We are to work toward justice for all and to treasure the gift of creation.

The line “Give us this day, our daily bread” acknowledges that we are creatures that have needs and that we need food for our journey through life.

The next lines (Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us) can be a struggle for many of us who bear the scars of hurts inflicted on us by strangers and those who are meant to care for us. I have seen an interpretation of these lines that says, “Forgive us our sins. And teach us to release others from the prison of our hearts.” It is an interesting thought.

The next line (Lead us not into temptation) is an acknowledgement that we all experience times of trial and that we need God to walk with us.

The line, deliver us from evil, I have seen interpreted as “dissolve the evil within us”. All of us have unrecognized prejudices and biases with which we struggle. This line is to help us focus on becoming the person that God created us to be.

The last line (For yours is the kingdom, the power and the glory forever and ever) is an acknowledgement that we are not self-made, but all that we are and all that we have is by the grace of God. All things are in God’s hands.

When you pray with the Lord’s Prayer, think about each line and what God would have you hear as you pray. Every care, every need, everything that we need to have a full life is included in these few lines. May you find peace and joy as you pray.