THE LORDS PRAYER
Much has been written about the Lords Prayer. The purpose of this tract is to point out the major focus of the content that makes it a prayer for the Kingdom. It is not simply a prayer for our daily needs in the world here and now. It is a direction for obedience to the word of Jesus when He said, "Seek ye first the Kingdom of God."
The address is not simply to God, it is Our Father, who art in heaven. The seat of the Kingdom is defined as "out of this world"; but the prayer is for the Kingdom to come to our location. The reason for the Kingdom to come was for Fathers will to be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Our prayer is for God to bring the remedy to our problems in the world. We do not pray for a democracy or republic wherein we might have a voice in the way we are governed. We pray for an absolute monarchy. It is not even a limited monarchy where we can trust the parliament to keep us safe from tyranny.
The King put on flesh to show us the nature of the King. He demands that we choose what He has in mind for us, or we will not attain it. He doesnt even make us go through a background check. He says, "If you want to live with me in my Kingdom, you will have to do so on my terms." I will not enforce them. If you do not comply, you will simply find yourself on the outside rather than enjoying the inside. That is the Kingdom we are to seek, and for which we pray.
When we have asked for the Kingdom, we then ask for the sustenance to grow up in that Kingdom. "Give us this day our daily bread," is not a good translation. The Greek text reads, "Give us this day our supersubstantial bread." Perhaps we could better translate, "Give us this day the bread we need to sustain us in your Kingdom."
We have been born again to enter, and we need food that will give us the nutrition that we need to grow up into the Kingdom rather than languish here on earth. Lord, you know what I need. You know that the food of this age does not suffice to nurture us in the Kingdom, and we are seeking the Kingdom now.
We are praying to be released from our bondage in the Old Creation that we might find the new Kingdom which is at hand. We are praying that we may be fed with bread that will enable us to grow in the Kingdom, so we might not be dragged back into the Old Creation.
In order that we might be set free from the bonds that bind us in the Old Creation, we pray, "Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us." Lord, we are willing to turn loose all of the judgments we have made against all of those who hassle us, if you will just forgive us for hassling you.
It is evident Lord that we cannot become free in your Kingdom until we are free from hanging on to the kingdom we have been trying to build for ourselves; so we are willing to forgive as soon as you forgive us and so enable us to forgive those who have not met our own expectations. Lord, if we can get rid of both at one time, we will be free to enjoy your Kingdom with no sweat.
With each request we are asking, with Saint Paul to be delivered from the dominion of darkness and transferred to the Kingdom of His beloved Son. Col 1:13
There is a lot of concern over the translation of the next petition. "Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one." There is a strong feeling that God would never lead us into temptation. It must mean something else.
The problem is that we find that Holy Spirit does lead us into temptation. When Jesus was Baptized in the Jordan by John, He came up out of the water, and the heavens opened and the Spirit descended like a dove, and rested upon Him. Then the voice came from heaven, saying this is my beloved Son, or You are my beloved Son depending upon the Gospel you select.
The next thing that happens does not depend on the Gospel you select. The Spirit led Him out into the wilderness to be tempted by Satan. What we need to see before we begin to argue with the prayer is the nature of the temptation that we face. The truth is that Holy Spirit cannot avoid leading us into temptation in the line that Jesus was tempted.
Jesus was not tempted to do anything bad. He was tempted to do Gods things the worlds way. Satan asked Him to turn stone to bread and feed people without the essential nutrition of the Word of God. Satan asked Him to jump off the pinnacle of the Temple so that He could attract multitudes instead of ascending a Cross so that He could set the multitudes free from bondage. Satan offered Him the authority and power of the world to bring in a Kingdom that could only be brought in by the exercise of Gods love.
We cannot be tempted by the world until we know the will of God, and we cannot know the revelation of that love until we receive Holy Spirit who comes to lead us into the will of God for us. The moment we receive Holy Spirit, we are open to being tempted by Satan, who knows the logic of his seduction, and the ease with which we are so often led by him out of the Kingdom for which we pray rather than into it.
The evil one is so much a part of the landscape today that we dont often realize that we are being led astray. We open soup kitchens without making sure that the people who are fed have access to the Word of God as well as the earthly food.
We attract people to the churches with any sort of attraction that we can find and use rather than holding up Jesus Christ where people can see clearly to choose Him in the power of the Cross. In the attraction, we often fail to make clear the cost of discipleship is a Cross of our own.
And we are forever confusing the authority of the world with the authority of God. We exercise authority over one another as the gentiles while we ignore the clear words of Jesus, "it shall not be so among you." Mk10:43 We often paint a picture of the Kingdom of God with the same brush that yields to the temptation to use the authority of the world to accomplish the mission which Jesus sent us to accomplish.
We are tempted as long as we live torn between the leading of Holy Spirit and the seduction of Satan to use the worlds wisdom instead of the wisdom of God. When we see the error, we can then complete the prayer, "For Thine is the Kingdom and the power and the glory for ever and ever. Amen."To Fr Al's Main Page