Daily Reflection – 6/22/2023
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 men their transgressions, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you do not forgive men, neither will your Father forgive your transgressions.” (Matthew 6:7-15)
The problem with something being too familiar is that human nature draws our mind to the remembrance of the event or, in this case, the recitation of the words. Yet, the significance of the “Our Father” is not only foundational but it is multi-dimensional.
Most important. it is the only prayer taught to us by Jesus Christ. That, in and of itself, brings a reverence to the words that no mortal could ever give. It is interesting then to not only think of the words but to reflect on what Jesus was teaching us.
You see, the Lord’s prayer was not given to us to understand the language of God as much as it was given to us to understand God. That is why the Lord’s Prayer is a prayer of love – love exemplified by how much Our Father loves us and how we are to mirror that love in the actions of our life.
It begins with a pronoun that is communal and unitive. The word “Our.” Not “My.” From the very first, we are reminded that we are bound together as His children. You and I are sisters and brothers to each other. We cannot exclude it. We cannot single it out. We cannot consider ourselves better or worse. We are His. Together.
Knowing that, Jesus teaches us to first bless, and honor God’s name, God’s kingdom and God’s holy will. Having given Him praise, the glory and the awe, we then turn to His relationship with each one of us.
As Our Father, the giver of life, we acknowledge that we both need Him in our life and depend on Him for the daily living of Our life. No ego here. No pride. No boast. Rather a simple reciting of what we should expect from He who gave us the breath of life.
Within that, however also lies a petition for forgiveness. Forgiveness is so important that Jesus emphasizes that if we cannot forgive then we should not ask our Father to do the same. God can only give us what we can receive. We can’t receive something if we don’t believe in it. We must forgive unconditionally the same way Our Father forgives us unconditionally.
Today will we pray the Our Father as a prayer of love, of longing, of praise? Jesus knows us intimately and walks with us each and every day! Will we take a few minutes and consciously and deliberately pray this prayer to Him today? If so, we may find a great treasure as well as deep peace!
Prayer of The Day
“Lord Jesus Christ, You have taught us how to pray and why we should forgive others. Continue to manifest Yourself in our hearts so that we can unconditionally forgive others their transgressions and therefore begin to make good triumph over evil.”
The Lord’s Prayer is a prayer that was given to us by Jesus as a perfect example of how to pray to God. Jesus Christ insists on the virtue of forgiveness because it is through forgiveness that strong bonds of love are nurtured among us.