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.
Jesus’ disciples asked him to “teach us to pray.” This most famous of prayers is the result. It is simple yet revolutionary. The prayer Jesus taught finds its fulfillment in Christ and in our union with him, making this “Lord’s Prayer” our prayer.
Our father – This may be the most radical phrase in all the prayer. Jesus’ identity as the eternal Son now shared with all in Christ. OUR father. Not THE father. He’s our Abba. Our papa. Our dad. We are his little children, sitting on his lap, pouring out our hearts to his.
in heaven – Our dad rules the cosmos. He looks down from the heavens and sees everything (Psalm 33:13-15). Nothing escapes his gaze. Nothing avoids his attention. He knows the details of his children’s lives and rules over them all in grace.
hallowed be your name – Yes, he’s our dad, but he’s also the object of our worship. He is holy. Glorious. Special. On Mount Sinai, when God declared his hallowed name to Moses, it was a preview of his gospel work in Christ – his mercy and his justice meeting at the cross. The name of God, his character, is made known to us in the cross of Christ.
Your kingdom come – Our Dad in heaven is building a glorious city home FOR us that he will bring TO us by his mercy and grace. We do not build God’s kingdom. We do not establish God’s rule on earth. We simply receive it. We do not “go to heaven.” Heaven comes to us. God is “heavenizing” earth through the reign of Christ in our hearts. A work that will one day be complete as Jesus returns to earth bringing the fullness of his kingdom to us.
your will be done – Jesus prayed this same prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane. Not my will but yours be done. The will of God is the exaltation of his son Jesus, first on the cross, then on his throne, now in our lives (Rom. 12:1-2). May God have his way on earth as in heaven, may Christ be exalted here as he is there. May Christ be exalted in and through us.
Give us this day our daily bread – Our dad in the heavens, the ruler of the cosmos, the kingdom bringer, cares about our everyday simple needs. He is interested in the big and the small. As wilderness people, we need God’s daily manna. Not tomorrow’s bread, or today’s cake. We need Christ, the bread of life, to satisfy our every longing.
and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors – Dads don’t lend, they give. Dads don’t hold grudges, they forgive quickly and easily. Therefore, we go boldly to the throne of grace for this is the great glory of our life in Christ – full forgiveness of every sin debt owed to God. And because, in Christ, we are fully free from all debt to God, and we have (past tense and ongoing) forgiven our debtors. No grudges. No record of offenses. And no regrets.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil – As Christ was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, we too are led by the Spirit of Christ into the wilderness of life’s temptations. But in Christ there is always the way of escape (1 Cor. 10:13). He our daily bread of love and faithfulness satisfies every hunger and thirst we have for righteousness. In him, we have been delivered from the Evil One. Satan is defeated and desperate, and we are victorious conquerors in Christ.
“To live is Christ” means going to God as our dad, the good and glorious father who provides, pardons, and protects his children along every step of the Way.
Do you pray? How do you pray?
You in Christ
How might your identity in Christ change how you go to God?
Christ in you
Which part of the Lord’s Prayer do you see Christ living out through you today?
Playlist: The Lord’s Prayer.
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