In this manner, therefore, pray:
Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
The prayer is a magnificent prayer. It begins with a relational exhortation. When we pray, we should address God as Father. In Jesus day this was truly a revolutionary thought. It was a new and refreshing insight into the nature of our relationship with God our father. It is revealed as a father and child relationship which encourages us to believe God as a good father that provides for us, protects, and looks after us. This relationship brings teaching as well as gentle guidance.
Jesus said it right when he said Holy is Your name. This is a clear insight into our need of reverence of God as our Father. It is powerful when we use the words ‘our father’. In this matter we can take His word as an absolute truth. We can rest in it, we can trust in it, and we can be at peace with it.
Jesus goes on to say Thy kingdom come thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. If I am catching this right, I would conclude that God wants us to understand that it is His desire that His will in heaven is done on earth. The implications of that are huge. We pray bring your kingdom to earth Lord. May your will be done here as it is always done in heaven.
I do not believe the Lord’s Prayer is a passive prayer, but one in which we agree with what Jesus has said about the will of the Father on earth. We need to take responsibility to what we have heard and believe. The whole matter of a believer’s responsibility is to agree with what God says.
The question is, in light of this prayer, When it comes to His will, does God allow what we allow? If we are responsible to His word and we are here on earth, how accountable are we to what God says about us and our relationship with Him. I think this is the point He is making in this prayer. You and I are responsible to what we allow. We are God’s agents in the earth and we have been given a ministry of reconciliation. When we pray Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven, we must accept that it is not just a nice thing said, but we are in the middle of a cosmic battle of His will being done on earth.
People often do not pray because they think that nothing is going to happen. Their prayers are addressed to God in moments of desperation. Yet when Jesus talks about prayer, the emphasis is not on the need of the individual; but the character of God and His relationship to us. When that relationship is understood correctly, we become proactive. We are not just passive spectators to what is happening around us. We become a people of courage, full of hope, desiring to bring change into our world through prayer and agreement to His word.
In conclusion, we need to be very sensitive with each other; forgiving and being forgiven. We are aware of the evil that is in the earth, but we are also aware of the power of God’s word to deliver us from temptation and evil. The highest order of the believer is to give glory to God. If you choose to do that, you will live your life differently. You will not live it as a victim, but as one who is proactively living a life that is bringing glory to God.