Sunday, May 28, 2006

The Lord's Prayer

I've started reading Scot McKnight's The Jesus Creed. Chapter 2 is on the Lord's Prayer. McKnight says, "we learn at least four things when we permit the Lord's Prayer to mentor our prayer life" (19).

1. We learn to approach God as Abba.
2. We learn waht God really wants.
God's love plan is for his glorious Name to be honored and his will to become concrete reality on earth. In pondering God's name, Kingdom, and will, we are prompted (daily) to yearn for what God yearns for.
3. We learn to think of others.
4. We learn what everyone needs.
Our concern is with God's breaking into history to make this world right for all of us. And that means praying for others so that they will have adequate provisions, spiritual purity, and moral stability.

McKnight points out that Jesus knew the dangers of prayer becoming nothing more than ritual. The Lord's Prayer can often become this. He says, "Jesus knows that his liturgical prayer will provide a framework for prayer, some hooks on which his disciples can hang their own praises and requests, their own complaints and queries" (18).

The following is a paraphrase of this passage by Dallas Willard (The Divine Conspiracy, p.269).

Dear Father always near us,
may your name be treasured and loved,
may your rule be completed in us -
may your will be done here on earth
in just the way it is done in heaven.
Give us today the things we need today,
and forgive us our sins and impositions on you
as we are forgiving all who in any way offend us.
Please don't put us through trials,
but deliver us from everything bad.
Because you are the one in charge,
and you have all the power,
and the glory too is all yours - forever -
which is just the way we want it!

1 comment:

zionred said...

Why do you think Jesus prayed at all? Just as an example to us? Since He is God, wasn't He just praying to Himself?