We’ve been looking at Mark 6. This is all part of the sermon on the mount and as I mentioned before, it’s a good idea to read the whole thing for context of each part. However the parts have value even pulled out of the sermon. We’ve looked at two things that I think have a great deal for us to consider today. We looked at acting to be seen by others and then looked at the idea that where we put our treasure (money, time, energy, thoughts and effort) will dictate where our heart ends up.
Today I want to look at what is commonly called the Lord’s Prayer or the Our Father. Now let me just say off the bat there that many people have way more and better things to say than I do and I’ll be leaning heavily on some of them. However, I thought I would offer some thoughts.
First here it is
‘Our Father, who is 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 also have forgiven our debtors.
And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil.’
I’m going to focus on just a couple of parts of this. Again, whole books have been written here.
The first thing that I want to note is that this is not a prayer for me. This is a prayer for us – the body of Christ. It truly is a corporate prayer, even if you pray it alone. It is all about us not me. It starts out with Our Father. It doesn’t start with Father. It doesn’t start with My Father.
This matters. It sets the stage for the rest of the prayer. All of the rest of the prayer is then not about me. It’s not about God’s will being done just for me. It’s not about the Kingdom just for me. It’s not about God giving me what I need or forgiving just me or delivering just me from evil. It has the whole church in mind. This changes the whole outlook of the prayer when we pray it.
We are in a personal relationship with God but we are not only in that. We are supposed to be a part of the body of Christ. We are in this together far more than we realize. Therefore we need to be concerned about much more than our own needs, sins and temptations. We need to be concerned with the needs, sins, and temptations of our brothers and sisters. All of them.
This also means that what I do impacts more than me. Me advancing the Kingdom affects more than me. My sin affects more than me. There is no private sin. All sin is communal in one way or another. On the flip side if I forgive, if I avoid temptation, that also is communal. It affects others.
How we live our life impacts others. Sometimes we don’t see it. But when we take care of our part it impacts how we interact with others. The more I’m focused on God, the more I’m living in the Kingdom, working to advance it, counting on God for my life, living in forgiveness and avoiding sin, the more I’m free to impact others. It’s just a natural outpouring.
This is why we have to realize that the first battle, and most important battle, that we fight is the one within. Everything comes out of that.
Here is the second thought. I find it interesting that He tells us to pray for His Kingdom to come, His will to be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Now this may seem sort of obvious. But isn’t God’s will going to be done regardless? Isn’t His Kingdom coming no matter what? Well . . . Yes. . . and no.
First we live in the now and not yet. The war is won, but it’s not over. We live in a battle. There is still sin in this world. There is a lot of things going on that are not of the Kingdom still. The war is won so to speak. It’s going to end well for Jesus and His people. But it doesn’t just happen right now day in and day out. Jesus doesn’t say pray for the sun to rise tomorrow. You know why? Because it will, until it doesn’t. But for right now, for whatever reason He is telling us to pray for the advancement of His Kingdom and will.
In addition to this is He is asking us to be a part of it. In praying for it we grow in our desire for His Kingdom, desires and will. He doesn’t need us to do it. But he chooses to do it through us. Really, in a sense, we are praying to be able to bring His Kingdom here. To do His will in our lives. To live it out here on earth as in Heaven. Yes we’re asking Him to move. But we are also praying to be aligned with His movement. To be a part of it. That His Kingdom will come and His will be done through us.