Bible Reading: Matthew 6:9-13
9 “Pray then like this:
“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
10 Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread,
12 and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.” (Matthew 6:9-13)
It is easy to recite these words in our mouths. Yet, if we ponder upon the meaning of what we petition, we must understand that we are praying for a whole life surrender to God.
“Our Father in heaven”. We are God’s children; He is our Father. Yet, He is sovereign and almighty. He abides in heaven. If we address Him as Father, are we ready to respect Him as one? Are we willing to humbly rest in His guidance, His embrace, His rebuke?
“hallowed be your name”. Are we ready to put God in the highest position of honour in our lives? Would He be set apart as holy in our lives? Will He be the most excellent and glorious treasure in our hearts? Moreover, will we surrender our lives to further the cause of God’s glory? Will we live each day so that God’s name can be put in the highest place of honour all around us?
“Your kingdom come”. Are we ready to give our lives to further Christ’s Kingship in our lives and the world around us? Are we willing to make Christ ruler over every corner of our hearts and every hidden desire? Are we willing to bow down to Him as King? Then, are we ready to live a life for the gospel and the gospel alone? Are we willing to make labouring for lost souls our daily work for the rest of our lives?
“Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven”. This implies we are praying, “not my will be done, but Your will be done”. Are we ready to surrender our will at God’s feet? Are we prepared to deny ourselves and our worldly desires, letting God’s desires rule and invade our hearts?
“Give us this day our daily bread”. Are we ready to trust God with all our needs? This means we ought not to worry about what we will eat or drink tomorrow. This means we ought not to worry if we will have sufficient funds to survive in the future. This means our eyes must be fixed on God and His Kingdom, walking in faith that He will provide for His children. This also means that we are willing to surrender our material wants. It means that we must be content with what is sufficient — a simple life without luxury. Are we willing?
“Forgive us our debts, as we have forgiven our debtors”. Are we willing to be forgiven? Are we willing to repent of our hidden sins? Are we willing to repent when we fall? Is our relationship with God the most important thing in our lives? When we have received God’s abundant grace, will we be willing to forgive others?
“Lead us not into temptation”. Are our eyes fixed on something more worthwhile than worldly pleasures, namely holiness? Are we ready to refuse to look at temptation and to run away as far away from it as possible? Are we willing to walk the other way to the path of temptation? This means rejecting to go to that party, running away from friends who tempt us to sin, cutting off all our hobbies and seemingly harmless ‘fun’ that could become opportune moments for our enemy to strike.
“deliver us from evil”. What must we be delivered from evil to? Are we willing to be delivered unto holiness? Are you willing to be set apart for God and God alone? Are we ready to depart from the evil ways of the world we so love? Are we prepared to seek a higher joy and contentment in faith and self-denial?
Reconsider where you stand. Following Jesus is no easy task.
Lord, we give ourselves to You once again. Straighten our paths, and may we be able to really mean the words when we pray the Lord’s prayer as You have taught us. Have mercy on us and draw us closer to You. That is all that we ask. In Jesus’ name, amen.