Have you ever look close...real close...at the Lord's Prayer?
The primary theme of the Sermon was "The Supremacy of God In All Things". The primary lesson throughout was "How the Supremacy of God Plays Out In Our Relationships With Others".
Right in the middle of it all, is the Lord's Prayer ( Mt 6:9-13).
9 “Pray, then, in this way: ‘Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.
10 ‘Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven.
11 ‘Give us this day our daily bread.
12 ‘And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 ‘And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. [For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.]’
It's a short but powerful prayer, particularly when viewed in the context of the primary thrust of the Sermon. When you look at it that way, it becomes clear that the prayer has God as the focus of the things being prayed...not the pray-er (the one praying).
During our time in these phenomenal 3 chapters, there were two versions of the Lord's Prayer portrayed. Both of them brought all the teaching in the Sermon On the Mount to bear on the way the Lord's Prayer is structured and prayed. While I would never pretend to try to improve upon the beauty, power and simple elegance of the original, a few have asked to see those versions in writing. I pray they are an encouragement to more carefully consider using the pattern we see in "The Lord's Prayer" in our daily devotions and prayer life.
Here's the first version, from the Sermon on Oct 16, "The Lord's Prayer":
God…You are in heaven and are King over heaven and earth
Your name is holy, may my life reflect Your holiness
Your kingdom come, may all Your Son is and represents
Manifest itself in and through me today
Your will be done, Lord I surrender my will for Yours…
Here and in heaven where You reign over all…
Lord, grant me the things I need
To acknowledge my daily dependence upon You…
Sustain me physically and grow me spiritually
That I may know how much I need You
And learn more about You today…
Forgive me for violating Your statutes and ordinances
And hindering my communion with You, Lord…
Restore me into a full relationship with You today
And I ask that You do it in a way
That reflects my emulation of what You’ve done for me
And shows in the way I forgive those who have
Violated and sinned against me…
I ask that You not allow me not to be tested
beyond my endurance…but that I rely on Your strength
and the leading of Your Holy Spirit
to lead me away from temptation today…
and if I am tested and fail…
I pray that you deliver me
From the hands and the plans of the Evil One
And I pray all these things knowing in faith
That You are powerful, loving and sovereign
Over all things…trusting that You will answer…
And that You will give me the discipline and counsel
To receive Your answer
Because yours is the kingdom
Your is the power
And yours is the glory…forever…Amen…
The sermon from Dec 4, "Lord, Lord" included a more detailed version:
Our Father, our gracious, merciful Father, who is in heaven, who sits on the throne of heaven, the King of kings and Lord of lords, Creator of everything, beautiful, awesome, amazing, loving, kind, perfect in all things, beyond our imagination, beyond our comprehension, Father in heaven, we lift up your name. We magnify it. We extol your virtues. For you, Father, are holy. Lord, you are holy.
And we pray today, that Your name would be hallowed; hallowed in our lives, that Your holiness would permeate our lives and flow from us as a witness and a testimony to Your beautiful perfection; not to our spirituality but to Your presence in our lives. And we pray that by that, Your name would be revered and hallowed by those we come into contact with.
And because of that holiness, Father, we pray that Your kingdom would come, that Your kingdom would rise up in our lives, that the presence and the saving power of Your Son, Jesus Christ, would manifest itself in all that we do, that it would come flowing from us, Father, that His power and His authority would reside in us and flow through us, Father. But we ask also for His humility and His mercy and His forgiveness and His grace to flow from us as it has flowed to us.
And we pray, as You continue to draw us closer and your kingdom continues to manifest itself in our lives, Father, that your will would be done in our lives, that we would have the wisdom and the discernment to know what Your will is, Father, as we are drawn closer to You and we would have the desire, the desire Father, to embrace Your will and to discard ours. And that as a result of that, that Your will would be done right here in our lives on earth, just as it is in all of its perfection and beauty and flawlessness in heaven.
Father, we humbly come before You and ask You to give us today our daily bread, Father, that You would sustain us physically that You would provide the food and the clothing and the shelter for us, Father, that we need. That your provision for our needs would become a testimony to the great God that you are and a testimony and a witness to our total dependence on You as we turn to you for the very bread that we eat.
But, Father even more than that physical sustenance, we pray that You would nourish us and feed us spiritually, Father, that we would dine upon Your word and that it would cause us to become strong and to grow in our knowledge and awareness of You. Feed us physically and spiritually, Father. And our hearts cry for that spiritual nourishment more than anything else, that we might grow in you.
We pray, Lord, that You would forgive us those things that we have done that would alienate us or distance us from You, but only in so much as we have been forgiving of others, Father. We pray that You would mold us and shape us into those vessels of mercy and forgiveness and grace that You designed us to be, Father, and as we move in those things, Father, we are drawn closer to You and closer to You and become more intimate with You, Father, that our sins may be cleansed daily even as we release those who have sinned against us, Father. And that again would be a testimony to You.
And we pray, Father, that You lead us not into temptation. Father, that by the presence of Your Holy Spirit, and the conviction of the Holy Spirit, and the knowledge of Your word, Father, and our desire to be closer to You, for our hearts to be as one, Father, that we would be led away from temptation. And Lord, that we would have the motivation and the commitment to turn the other way as we grow in You. Teach us, Father. Teach us the paths of righteousness. Father, should we fail in walking those paths, should we fall to that temptation, we pray then, Father, that You would deliver us. Father, You would deliver us from the evil that would seek to drag us down and cause our witness to defame You.
Lord, we come to You today lifting up this prayer with the full faith and knowledge that only You are capable of answering that prayer. Because Yours is the power, Yours is the kingdom and Yours is the glory forever and ever and ever. Amen.
May the Lord be your guide and counselor. May He be your protection and provision and...may He be the author of your prayers. jk