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Our Father

June 9, 2013

“Our prayer is valid, because the God to whom we pray is in a position to answer us”

“Prayer is like a Penthouse lift. It goes straight to the top” – Gerard Kelly (Jesus Driven life)

When it comes to the Lord’s Prayer, there are a number of immediate things that come to mind.

I was brought up in a church which never said the Lord’s prayer. Some Christians reading this will no doubt think I must have been on another planet, not in another denomination! We were always taught that the Lord’s prayer was not intended to be repeated word for word, but was a pattern to pray by.

I went to school in the days of “Christian” school assemblies. Every day of the week, we said the Lord’s prayer. I was never sure if those who led us in the prayer believed it for themselves. Of the 600 ish teenagers in the assembly, most did not seem to join in, there was just a faint mumbling and a few of us who actually said the words. This for me was not a good experience of the Lord’s prayer. It was just like some half baked chant. I certainly couldn’t believe that was what Jesus intended.

As I have moved around a little more over the years, I have come to realise the importance of the Lord’s prayer, but at the end of the day I still lean towards the understanding that it is not the words that we need to pray every time, but the pattern we need to follow, the things we need to bring to God in prayer.

I find more meaning now when I say the set prayer, but there are still occasions when I feel I am going through the motions and not really engaging with the words. I mean it is so easy to say “forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us” without taking a pause to see if we really live that out!

The prayer starts “Our Father in heaven”.

That really sets the context for prayer. I am not just praying to a friend, but I am praying to a father. The greatest father of all. As we were reminded in my last blog (“Private”) prayer is firstly  a private thing. But it does become a corporate thing. It’s then when we pray together that we come as brothers and sisters to Our Father.

But again we are reminded that he is Our Father in heaven. He has the ultimate power. What if we brought our requests to someone who really cared about us, but did not have the power to help. Right at the start, the prayer reminds us that God our Father has ultimate power. Love + power = a winning combination when it comes to prayer. We are not wasting our time when we pray.

We can certainly come knowing we are welcomed and loved, and come expectantly.

Let us pray

 

 

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