The Lord's Prayer

With Thoughts by Roy Greenhill

Our Father, Who art in Heaven, Hollowed 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,
For Thine is the Kingdom, And the Power, And the
Glory, Forever, Amen

This is the prayer the Lord Jesus Christ Himself taught His disciples. It is essential to the Christian life, the sum and substance of the experience of God in our lives.

Our Father. This is a congregational concept, a group prayer prayed by individuals from the individual's heart. But we are together as the family. Your Father is my Father. In every church gathering this must be remembered and enunciated so that it will be with us when we have gone our separate ways. Jesus was the first to make the major point of God the Creator being the Father of His family. Not the Judge of probationers, but the protector of children. Some have observed that this is great honor to Joseph that Jesus would choose "Father" as the chief designation for God. But no man is spiritual father, only Our Father Which art in Heaven.

Which art in Heaven. Removed from us so very far in so many respects. Nothing on Earth is God or part of God. He is totally "Other." Pantheism is pagan ignorance. The Greeks had Gods created by the earth. The True God created the world. It is He that hath made us and not we ourselves. He is God over all. He rules the infinite, He whom we have just addressed as Father.

Hallowed be Thy Name. We make and renew this pledge, and pray for its observance. The LORD, the LORD God. That is His name. Please do not refer to our Deity as YAWEH [a proper name never pronounced]. Jehovah is no improvement. The LORD has been for too many centuries the name of our God. Using His Name as authority for ideas and actions not sanctioned by Him is vain and blasphemous. No man has the authority to damn any person, a most severe violation of this pledge.

Thy Kingdom come. On this planet of sin there are five billion souls, organized in various governments and geographic settings. Then there is Thy Kingdom, composed of millions of these billions sprinkled throughout all the continents, islands and governments. Thy Kingdom is not of this world, only the hearts that have been opened; but I do want this world to be blessed by its presence. Thank You for so blessing my nation. Oh, may your people be strengthened everywhere that they may be salt, light, water and bread where ever they are.

Thy will be done on Earth. The happiest of thoughts. How can we know what to do or choose. Life here is so short, the dangers so real, the issues so immense. If my loving Father is God, I and the congregation must lean on His Will, His Wisdom, His Power. We desire this and ask for it.

And when we read that His will is love, justice, truth, mercy, kindness.

As it is in Heaven. God's will produces the ultimate peace, freedom, harmony, joy and fulfillment. That is Heaven. In the congregation, we are to produce Heaven on Earth.

Give us. Prayer is asking. We "pray" the court. We Petition the government. We ask of God. Much has to be received as gifts. God is the Giver. Great Kings decide great Petitions. God Our Father will give more than we ask or think.

This day. Maybe we should get with some one each day to, together send this prayer. In any event, the daily aspect can be observed, and we can include the church.

Our daily bread. Food, water. Everything. No one can produce his daily needs. God is involved.

And forgive us. All have sinned. All sin. What will I do with my sin. I choose forgiveness. I need forgiveness.

Our trespasses. We have crossed the line. I have crossed the line. Invading the sanctity of God and those created in His image. How and when did I do this. God show me and teach me. Forgive me.

As we forgive. Am I a forgiving person? Am I a "get even" person? No doubt; by nature I am a "get even" person. Have I a new nature? Here is the test. Do I have the Grace of God? Saving and regenerating Grace that empowers one to be like Jesus in forgiveness? Can I say that I am "saved" if I am not saved from meanness?

Those who trespass against us. Since all are trespassers, I might suffer a trespass at any moment. My closest loved ones, fellow church members, business associates, friends, total strangers, enemies. What am I going to do? It looks like forgiveness is the answer. Saving Grace is the supply.

And lead us not into temptation. Dear LORD, be my Leader. Today, I do not know exactly what to do to avoid trespassing in forbidden areas and injuring my loved ones, friends and mankind. Please give me directions, confidence and moral energy.

But deliver us from evil. Your creation is good. Your Gospel is good. Your Book is Good. Your Church is good. Your music is good; so much is good. But, evil is everywhere bringing tears, pain, heartbreak, sadness, separation. I do not want to be a conduit for evil. Deliver us from evil.

Help all of us to do no harm. (The King James translation is correct. The definite article (the) is in the Greek, but it simply means as the KJV rightly renders [the] evil that is in this world on every hand, everywhere, that I may, at any time participate in, or be injured by the participation of others.

Additional Random notes addressing the major misunderstands attached to The Lord's Prayer.

It is correct to call it "The Lord's Prayer," although some will ignorantly haggle over whether it is the prayer that the Lord Himself prayed constantly.

It is definitely the prayer Jesus instructed us to pray "daily." Correctly: "The Lord's Prayer"

Hyper-dispensationalists say that it is for Jews to pray at a future date. This is heresy.

Some, who misunderstand, say that it is Law, not Grace. They say to ask for forgiveness "as we forgive" is to ask to go to Eternal Hell. Theirs is the false doctrine; this is true religion and undefiled.

Most Christians (by far, most), including all Methodists, understand that if the Grace of God does not touch our hearts making this Christian life and love possible, then belief is in vain.

God does offer the Grace to forgive. Yes, it is Saving Grace. Without it there is Eternal Hell. This is the plain meaning of this clause in the prayer. How convenient (and weird) to give it to the yet unborn Jews of a future age. We can continue in sin that Grace may abound. God Forbid. Impossible.

"Lead us not into temptation" is a poetic way of saying, "I will follow you in the path of righteousness and I am depending humbly on Your presence to lead and guide. The simplest Christian understands this instinctively, but haggler's will haggle. KJV onlyists have a problem: most want to insert the definite article "the" before "evil" and "one" afterwards, while claiming the KJV is perfect in every word.

"Daily bread." This means everything that is necessary for life. All is from God. His gifts. Food, air, water, life processes, cognition, appetite, hope, ambition. We are just blobs of nothing without God's constant, moment by moment sustenance. Again the Hyper-folk have found all kinds of ways to attack this simple supplication. But it breathes humility, faith and grace. What arrogance to tell God that you don't pray this petition because you have a pantry more than sufficient for "this day" and many days.

In no sense can this prayer be termed a "vain repetition." "This Day" is the Lord's designation.

Everything can be relegated to meaninglessness in our lives. The hymns, the Scriptures, everything. Let each individual care for his own soul with sincerity and refrain from making decisions about the carelessness and vain prayers of others. Hearts must be guarded daily.

How do we guard against losing the meaning? Decide not to lose the meaning. It is a decision. Then pray this prayer with vigor and strong earnestness; or whisper it with tears and repentance. Just decide for yourself to be real with your God; He knows.

"Our Father..." "Give us...," "Lead us..." This is intended for public congregational worship. It will not injure the unsaved visitor to learn how we pray, or how we sing. Tell them that Salvation comes with Grace and Power to love, trust, and forgive.

This is not a prayer for the institution of a righteous government, for one country or for the whole world. This is the Kingdom of Truth, Righteousness, Peace, Joy and Rest in the Holy Spirit. The Kingdom is the great number who have been regenerated and worship God in Spirit and Truth, treat all ground as holy land and know no difference between the secular and the sacred. To them all of their lives is sacred. Christ is their King. Belief that this includes a future political empire is not heresy, but a much debated concept among Christians.