The Lord’s Prayer is by far the most famous prayer within the Bible, as well as throughout Christianity as a whole. This is Jesus’ direct model to His believers on how to pray. But there is greater truth to this prayer than meets the eye. Here are 4 lessons you can learn from it.
We are family
Jesus utilizes the collective and plural noun ‘our Father’ to describe a deeper relationship with God that goes far beyond rules and commandments. Jesus’ words “our Father” were to help us understand that our relationship with God is exactly that, a relationship. We are His children. He is our Father. And, we learn from Paul’s letter to the Romans that we too have received this spirit of adoption, by which we can cry out Abba, father. This double use denotes a greater level of intimacy crying, “daddy, daddy.” We are now a part of that intimate relationship.
We are ambassadors of heaven
Jesus taught us to pray, “your kingdom come your will be done.” The kingdom is here in partiality, and not in fullness, or as Paul tells us, “we see through a mirror darkly.” So, what is God’s will, and what does his kingdom look like? God’s kingdom is one of new life, resurrection life, and hope, as well as one of no sickness, no pain, and no tears. It is our job as believers to contend for these things in the world around us. You and I are ambassadors of the kingdom that will be made whole at the resurrection. We are to represent that kingdom well.
God is our source
We can trust God to give us what we need when we need it. Jesus didn’t teach us to pray, help me store up a bajillion dollars and have tons of food (which there is nothing wrong with having money, but that is for another time.) What he taught us is that we can ask God for and trust Him for the minimum of what we need. I have had money stored in my bank accounts, and I have had empty bank accounts (even negative accounts at times). In all of it I have learned that even when the account is empty God has given me just what I needed when I needed it. Even when times were slim, I trusted Him as my source, and He has always come through.
Forgiveness is a two way street.
Now, this one is a tough one. But, Jesus teaches us to pray, “forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.” In the very next chapter He teaches us that the same measure in which we judge (approve, pronounce an opinion, or pronounce judgment) is the same measure it will be shown to us. When we pronounce, even if only to ourselves, that a person is unforgiven, we will be unforgiven. The same measure we give forgiveness, will be what we receive. You see we actually create our own trouble when we fail to forgive. Down the line a few more chapters in Matthew 18:21-35 Jesus tells us the parable of the unforgiving debtor. At the end He tells us this “That’s what my heavenly Father will do to you if you refuse to forgive your brothers and sisters from your heart.”
The whole purpose of this powerful prayer was to draw us into greater communion with the Father. You are a child of God; You are an ambassador for the Kingdom; You can trust Him too for your minimums; and forgiveness is a two way street.