“Now Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he finished, one of his disciples said to him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray…’” Luke 11:1
Approximately five months after Kim’s death, my pastor asked if I would teach a summer equipping class at our church on The Lord’s Prayer. After considering the opportunity, I agreed to teach the class.
I began my preparation by reviewing a section of Scripture I already knew well. Who isn’t familiar with Matthew 6 and The Lord’s Prayer? Most of us have it memorized.
But sometimes familiarity can be an enemy to understanding.
I began by looking at the context. It was such a good reminder to hear Jesus’ words leading up to his teaching on prayer. Your Father is in secret. Don’t pile up empty phrases. Instead, Jesus says, pray in the way he is about to model.
“Our Father in heaven, hallowed 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 our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” Matthew 6:9-13
Now remember, I reviewed this well-known prayer during a time of grief and mourning. And the benefit to my soul has been incalculable. Jesus’ model prayer has been a guide to help me. Therefore, in the next few entries I will share a few observations and experiences from my time studying and, more importantly, praying The Lord’s Prayer. These are not ground-breaking insights, but they are simply my experiences of healing by praying the prayer Jesus taught his disciples.
Our Father is in Heaven
One day I was praying The Lord’s Prayer, and I got stuck on the very first word: “Our…”
I couldn’t get any further. I was overcome with gratitude that I was praying to a Father who was not my Father alone. I am part of a body and a part of a godly heritage. The church has a history replete with faithfulness. There’s a whole cloud of witnesses standing ready to commend God to me, to all of us. Throughout the generations, they have found him wholly trustworthy. We are a temporal blip on an eternal screen. And he is our Father. He’s the Father of all.
He’s also in heaven. And I am on earth. I was reminded of Ecclesiastes 5:2:
“Be not rash with your mouth, nor let your heart be hasty to utter a word before God, for God is in heaven and you are on earth. Therefore let your words be few.” Ecclesiastes 5:2
Earthbound, I am approaching my God who is in heaven. He is worthy of respect, honor, and trust. We come into his presence in awe. Such a foundation of a holy and trustworthy God is a balm in a time of need. Such a foundation evokes trust during a time of need. He is our Father, and he is in heaven. Kneel in awe as you begin to pray The Lord’s Prayer.
“Our Father in heaven.” Matthew 6:9