The pandemic prayer for you, today! … Is
The Lord’s Prayer for the Disciples
The Lord’s Prayer for the Disciples … Is
The pandemic prayer for you, today!
During the very first lockdown of covid-19. Very thorough hand-washing sessions that were at least 20 seconds or more in length were encouraged, by disease control experts. I decided right away that I would go along with this.
So in the very beginning of the pandemic, I knew I needed to find some way to make sure, that I was really washing my hands for 20 seconds. Since I was going to have to do this several times a day. I decided that this was time best utilized in some helpful way and not wasted. So I decided that I would use this daily extra time commitment wisely, & do something productive besides just tap my foot, while I washed my hands. So during this new time commitment, I started saying the 23rd Psalm or the Lord’s Prayer, out loud.
This has proved a very life-changing practice. As time has went on – now a year later, since the beginning of the pandemic in the United States, I am still carrying out this practice.. It seems now to be the Lord’s Prayer that I say predominantly. So as I say these words out loud, I think through the Lord’s Prayer content, and have a mini- devotional time, in my heart. This has been very much, a real source of spiritual vitality and strength during the pandemic. So, even if the pandemic goes away, I intend to still say the Lord’s Prayer when I’m washing my hands. I see it as being a true worshipper, like the consistent habit of teaching yourself, to pray at mealtime expresses.
So my thoughts today are not an exegesis or analysis, on the verses, as much as a personal sharing of what the Lord’s Prayer has come to mean to me, through the course of this pandemic.
Therefore I share this new deeper understanding of the Lord’s Prayer in my life with you. I do this, so the prayer Jesus taught His disciples to pray, can also be a more full and vital part of your daily spiritual life also.
“”Our Father which art in heaven “”
It is important to have a Higher Power. God is not just separate from us but Sovereignly above us. It is important for any healthy minded person, to realize there are higher, better, truer, more trustworthy, more full of light, virtuous and truthful resources than ourselves. As I have heard it wisely said, “I know there is a God and that I’m not Him.” When we start saying the Lord’s Prayer; we 1stly address Him as our Father, that we trust but Whom is Higher than us in heaven.
“”Hallowed be Thy name””
Saying the Lord’s Prayer while I washed my hands for the past year gave me the time, to think a lot about The Lord’s Prayer. One of the things that has changed about the way that I look at this prayer of Jesus is the way I say: “Hallowed Be Thy name.” I say it with a new light and renewed emphasis.
Hallowed means high, holy, exalted, above all, Awe-Inspiring and sacred. In other words, when we speak of God, It ought to be with adulation. It ought to be with adoration. It ought to be with breathtaking amazement. It ought to be with the deepest heartfelt emotion. It ought to be with our highest praise and deepest worship that we say: “Hallowed be Thy Name.”
When we look at God with a correct view; it is not just seeing Him, as an all-powerful Being, but as an all Holy Being that we serve. We do not serve Him only; because He has the wherewithal, strength and might, to literally be able to do anything, to create anything, or destroy anything. All of which are true. But we come to God In Prayer not so much because of His Omnipotence, but because of His moral essence. His name is not only high. But it is also holy. We worship God because of His virtuous, truthful, pure and Holy Essence, as much as His great might.
“”Thy Kingdom Come””
When we pray. It is important to escape our own will and to pray about the will of God. It is not just that we want God, to do what we want and need Him to do. But more than that, we want to do what God wants and needs us to do. We believe that God’s purposes will be ultimately fulfilled & that His kingdom will surely come. But we also ask that God’s purposes be currently fulfilled. We are praying and asking for help to do our part to cause His will & purposes to come into real and present fruition. We want and ask for God to help His kingdom not only to come to the world abroad but to us here & now, in greater truth.
“”Thy will be done.””
Nearly everyone of a faith background and belief persuasion accepts that it is God’s Will and not their own that must be sought after. But as Christians we know that the ultimate and final event of Christ’s life was the sacrifice of his own existence, as a man. That the laying down of everything of human reward & fulfillment was to Jesus was the front & center real cost of doing His Father’s will. Everything that could have been of personal gain to Jesus was literally sacrificed, to do that which was of reward to God, God’s kingdom and God’s purposes. We realize by looking at Jesus. That this whole matter of seeking for God’s will be done is a matter of selflessness. We must sacrifice that our personal will be done. It is a walk and oath of self-denial. It is one that might cost us anything & everything that we want – – – to attain what God wants.
Therefore, for us to be honest, praying Christians; it is all about learning to want what God wants, even though it may be personal sacrifice that we must be all about & singularly purposed to. Yet still, it is mostly important to us that we realize: “Thy will be done” is important, even when that means that our will must NOT be done!
“”On Earth as it is in heaven.””
Although we recognize God as being a Heavenly being. We also recognize that His Spirit is a very alive and active agent in our physical world. So, We not only pray for some sort of nebulous, out there, other than, will of God ….. that we will see, and experience in heaven. We ask God to be very present with us here & now.
We ask God to bring that will that is done in his Heavenly domain, to come to pass in our Earthly domain. We ask not only for the Spirit and heart of the matter but for the practical will, purposing and here & now follow through; to make it happen in our lives & in our world, now. We want the will of God on Earth as it is in heaven. And we ask God for this, in prayer.
“”Give us this day our Daily bread””
Perhaps the easiest way, to slip into a life of not truly being in real Union with God is not seeing the entirety of our life, as a gift from God. An attitude of gratitude changes everything beneficially! When we see every good gift as a gift of the Lord above, then we recognize that our life’s essential sustenance is literally the gift of God. So, We not only ask God for help in our daily lives because we want & need His assistance. But we ask for God’s help in our daily lives because we realize that it is the main and primary way, that we live as His active and daily agents. We not only want some sort of far-fetched help from God. But We know and see that our very survival and means of existence is literally given by, the Practical working of God’s hand of help and mercy. We see and know that everything we need is genuinely the provision of God! We see Him as Our source for life itself#
“”And forgive us our trespasses “”
To approach God in an honest and right attitude of Prayer demands and requires that we recognize & acknowledge that we are flawed creatures. Not flawed because of a lack of God’s ability to make us perfect and whole, but flawed because of a selfish and wrongly bent nature. A nature that in and of itself chooses something other than the ideal Good that God wants for us!
Nobody has to teach a child to throw a tantrum. Nobody has to teach a child to get a cookie, from the jar that he or she is supposed to stay away from. ((Reminds me of the story of a forbidden apple)). We have and often act completely on our own of ill intentions, hedonistic desires and selfish purposes. Selfish will, misguided acts and maligned actions are sadly too much of a giant part of Who We Are. And we need God to forgive us for these selfish deeds of harm and wrong. We cannot come to God honestly and truly, in some sort of austere piety, thinking that we think we are wonderful benevolent beings in and of ourselves. Without His wonderful, precious and reliable assistance; we commonly go astray.
So we must ask God to forgive us and help us. It is this need awareness, which leads to Divine reliance. Through needy contrition, we realize and know that it is only through God’s merciful help and salvation; that we can achieve a higher level of being more like Jesus and less like self.
Perhaps the greatest and most practical daily need for any truly practicing Christian, is this matter of daily dealing with self, through submission. To become more like Jesus, we must become less like our greedy, selfish selves.
“”As we forgive those who trespass against us.””
To me, this is the heart and the soul of the Lord’s Prayer. If we cannot forgive others, there is not a genuine heart inside us to receive forgiveness from God. Part of our asking God for our own forgiveness must be a willingness to forgive those who have harmed us. We are not naturally this way.
Instead of being slow to anger we are quick 2 be offended. Instead of not taking into account wrongs suffered, we hold grudges against our neighbors & build critical cases about them. So we know in our honest prayer that dealing with our own unforgiveness, is a critical matter of receiving God’s forgiveness ourselves. Learning and walking in forgiveness is perhaps the heart and soul of the Gospel.
“”Lead us not into temptation””
This is to me a very deep part of the Lord’s Prayer. We know we’re supposed to be like Jesus and yet, Jesus was led into temptation. So why would the Lord instruct us to ask our Heavenly Father not to lead us into temptation? Because the Lord knows our mortal frame and our weakness. And often we cannot honestly claim to be walking in the ultimate Divine strength of God like we ought to.
There are those things about ourselves that are hard to admit and give to God. We certainly need to do God’s will and be all about it. But we must pray that God deliver us from pressures and temptations that we cannot handle, to even begin the journey. We realize that it is not only the strength of God that we need; but the mercy of God that we need. Often like Peter we do not recognize our own unfaithfulness, until it’s too late! We can blunder ahead and know what we’re doing but not see that our actions, or lackbof actions, deny Christ.
So, knowing we are likely to face temptation. And that even the disciples often failed this test. We are wise to humbly ask God to please graciously Deliver Us from Temptation. Because we humbly know that our greatest strength is not our own but the power of Christ to preserve and keep us. God help us! Lead us not into temptation.
“”But Deliver Us from Evil.””
How many times have I observed some hell-bent volition of human will. I guess it’s pretty harsh words for a preacher to use. But Unfortunately evil exists, really. Both in the spiritual realm and in the human Realm. And error is so real – that sometimes it’s obviously all about destroying that which is good. And opposing and uprooting that which is of God.
And so heinous and horrible is this dread reality of evil. That many times the only way to deal with it is to ask for God’s deliverance from it. The children of Israel knew that they were in bitter bondage of slavery, in the Old Testament. And they also knew: that it was only a delivering Act of God that could free them, from this terrible bondage.
Even so, we are in a similar condition today. And it must be the hand and mercy of God that we count on more than our own human strength. We have not the personal power in and of our own strength, to stay full of the fruits of the Spirit and the life of Jesus!
Yet we know, God will ultimately triumph and so the cause of good will ultimately prevail through God’s wonderful Eternal plan. But the ultimate victory of good will be through His Divine agency and not some private, human purpose. So God we humbly ask that you Deliver Us from the awfully real cancer of Evil. Deliver us from it. And remove it from us!
“”For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen.””
We live in a day where self adulation seems to be the Principal form of worship. People love to make Heroes of themselves and to celebrate their own pompous achievements, more and they want to give credit and Glory elsewhere, even if that is where it’s due.
As Believers in Christ, we know where the real eternal authority and power comes from. We know that God was the Alpha. That it is His wise plan that initiated and began life itself. And we know that God will be the Omega. And that folding up of the Scrolls of History and the events of Man is as much a part of the plan of God, as The beginning, but yet to be revealed. And what a wonderful Assurance it is to know has God Alone will be the final Arbiter of all things. Not some frail or flawed purpose of man.
God is literally Sovereignly above that which He has created. We may not understand his purposes. But we know that His purposes are real, and will be ultimately fulfilled. It is a great relief and comfort to know that when things seem so discordant and out of balance: That God is still on the throne of life and will indeed Triumph in truthfulness, even in human history. We can count on the ultimate Triumph and Victory of good. Because Jesus Himself assures us, of the Power of Right, Life & Victory to be The truthful and eternal Promise of God.
And so this wonderful prayer ends where it begins, in worship. We are drawn to the father to begin The Prayer. And in the ending of prayer we are drawn to the Father, to continue to worship in every future! for eternity.
And no pandemic can remove from us the wonderful presence of our precious and holy Heavenly Father! And so I have discovered, even in these wonderfully short 20 second segments that we can remind ourselves in the midst of this tragedy: Of the Eternal Good Hope and promise that can never be taken away by any 🌎 earthly circumstance! “To God be the glory forever and ever!”
King James Version
9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
10 Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
13 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