Daily Reflection : 6/18/2020
Jesus said to his disciples: “In praying, do not babble like the pagans, who think that they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them. Your Father knows what you need before you ask him. This is how you are to pray: ‘Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.’ If you forgive others their transgressions, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your transgressions.” (Matthew 6:7-15)
Some look at the Christian faith as a series of rules we obey. But that is far from the truth. Christianity is not about what we do and don’t do. It’s about a relationship. It’s about a relationship with the God who made us.
It’s not about what you know; it’s not about what you do; it’s about who you know.
Think about the fact that when you love someone, that comes out in the way you live. Today’s scripture tells us how knowing God comes out in the way we pray.
The Lord’s prayer starts by telling us to address God as “our Father in heaven”. We pray to God as our Father. He’s not an abstract principle. God is a person. But if God is our Father that also means he’s a person who loves us. He wants to hear us. He wants us to ask him things. None of our human fathers have ever loved us perfectly.
Then we pray seeking the honor of God. After Jesus tells us which God we pray to, the Lord’s Prayer then has six requests. The first three are all to do with God’s honor. We are to pray that God’s name would be honored. We are to pray that God’s kingdom would come. We are to pray that God’s will would be done. Even those of us who acknowledge that Jesus is our king do not always live as he would want, so we are to pray that God’s priorities would be worked out in the here and now.
Calling God our Father also means recognizing that the loves us and wants to look after us, and because he’s our Father in heaven he’s able to give us all we need. And this also comes out in the way we pray, as the last three requests of the Lord’s Prayer shows.
What’s slightly surprising is what we ask for. It’s not quite what we’d expect.
The first of these three sounds obvious. Give us this day our daily bread. Bread here stands for everything we need, our daily necessities. The challenge comes in that we just ask for what we need for today, and possibly for tomorrow. This challenges us in two ways. On the one hand, the fact that we are to pray for what we need may seem obvious, but many of us just take things for granted.
But if the first prayer for our needs is slightly surprising, the other two are even more so. .If you asked me what we most need from God, what we should most be hoping he’d do for us, I’d never have come up with what Jesus says next.
Forgive us our trespasses as we also have forgiven our trespassers And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.
We all let God down in the way we live. We do so every day. And so we need God to forgive us for what we do wrong.
We are all weak, and prone to let God down tomorrow. We also need God to keep us from situations where we won’t be able to remain true to him, and to give us his strength to be faithful.
Forgiveness for the past. Faithfulness for the future. Is there any more for which we could ask?
Prayer of The Day
“Father in heaven, you have given me a mind to know you, a will to serve you, and a heart to love you. Give me today the grace and strength to embrace your holy will and fill my heart and mind with your truth and love that all my intentions and actions may be pleasing to you.”
We can approach God confidently because he is waiting with arms wide open to receive his prodigal sons and daughters. That is why Jesus gave his disciples the perfect prayer that dares to call God, Our Father. This prayer teaches us how to ask God for the things we really need, the things that matter not only for the present but for eternity as well. We can approach God our Father with confidence and boldness because the Lord Jesus has opened the way to heaven for us through his death and resurrection.