"The Lord's Prayer," is a non-threatening meeting place for people of all religious beliefs. It is not unusual to see, or be in, a group of people of various faiths reciting Jesus' prayer. Often these people, both cold and warm on religion, will hold hands in a prayer circle while speaking the prayer.
Isn't this interesting? Religious discussions can become so testy that they are banned in many work places. Yet, this simple prayer brings harmony instead of dissension, agreement instead of debate. This portion of Jesus' "Sermon On The Mount" is found in Matthew 6:6-13 (KJV).
"And when you pray, do not heap up endless and empty phrases as heathens do; for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Pray like this:
"Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed is thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen."
Too often we ignore Jesus' warning about endless and empty phrases. Missing the truth about this prayer, we repeat it thoughtlessly as if the words alone are magic and will somehow please God. Believing that his hearing us say these words pleases him, we think, "Surely I am religious because I pray in public."
If you think this prayer motivates God, you miss the relationship God offers you. He doesn't need to hear the prayer because he created it. We need to hear what God is saying to us from it. Next let's examine the words and find the promises God gave us in this comfortable and familiar prayer. It is our statement of faith, our creed, our treasure of truth.
< H T >