Our Daily Prayer

Luke 11: 1-4
Jon 4:1-11 / Psa 86

Lord, teach us to pray just as John taught his disciples.
(Luke 11:1)

For forgiveness and daily bread,
And for protection from harm’s way;
As we don’t know what lies ahead,
So pray to Our Father each day.

One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When He finished, one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.” He said to them, “When you pray, say: ‘Father, hallowed be Your name, Your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And do not subject us to the final test.’ ” (Luke 11: 1-4)

Reflection

Like the seven days of the week, the Lord’s Prayer in the Gospel of Luke can be divided into seven parts. With just a few short sentences, our Lord gave us the complete formula for unlocking the vault of heaven that will supply all our essential needs, especially in building a loving relationship with God, our Father.

First of all, Our Father – is a strong indication that Jesus intended this prayer as one of communal rather than private worship. As Jesus reminds us, “Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them” (Mt.18:20). It is in a prayer community that we find peace and fulfillment. Together in prayer, we make holy (hallowed be) the Name of our Father, so that we, His children may also be set apart from sin. By according Him the respect and honor that His holiness demands, we are also made holy. (Note that many who joined our brotherhood no longer swear or profane the name of the Lord.) Your kingdom come is the third part where we ask God to manifest His reign in our hearts by the power of His Holy Spirit, and of His Word, our Lord Jesus Christ, Whom we believe will come again. Then we pray, Give us each day our daily bread, and we reflect on how God provided manna to the Israelites each day they were in the desert (Ex.16:15-21). God wants us to depend on Him every passing day for all our needs. As our Lord Jesus assures us, “Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself” (Mt.6:34).

I believe the most important part of the Lord’s Prayer is when we pray, Forgive us our sins, because from the very start of His ministry, Jesus had always preached repentance for the forgiveness of sins. Just as we need to ask for our needs on a daily basis, we also need to pray continually for God’s forgiveness in order to draw ourselves farther away from our former sinful ways. But the road to perfection is not only in receiving God’s forgiveness, but also in forgiving everyone who sins against us. Our forgiveness must surely depend on our forgiving. “If you forgive others their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your transgressions” (Mt.6:14-15).

And lastly, we ask God not to subject us to the final test. Only our Lord Jesus passed the final test, but He knew that we must all persevere in life’s trials if we are to merit the Father’s kingdom. In this petition, we are not asking God to “lead us to be tempted” but asking for His guidance and grace. The apostle James said, “When tempted, no one should say, ‘God is tempting me.’ For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.” (James 1:13-15) Therefore, Jesus tells us to always seek the Father’s help in warding off the temptations of sin.

Thank You, Lord Jesus, for teaching us how to pray. Through Your prayer, we have been drawn into a more personal relationship with Your Father, our Father. Amen.

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