The Lord’s Prayer Reflects our Spiritual Reality
Often when we pray, our focus is on physical needs, a family member recovering from an illness, or an upcoming surgery. Jesus teaches us also to pray for our spiritual needs. In the Lord’s prayer, Jesus recognizes our fallen nature. God knows that we cannot reach His standards of holiness on our own. We are sinners that continue to sin. That is why Jesus taught His disciples to ask for forgiveness daily.
The Lord’s prayer teaches us to admit that we are sinners continually rebelling against God while simultaneously making way for us to be in a relationship with God. The prayer states that if we repent, then God will forgive us. Then the prayer goes further to add a condition if we forgive those that have sinned against us. God’s command is to extend the same mercy to others we would have God give us. Jesus was so serious about this that He told His disciples that if they did not forgive others, He would not pardon them. Forgiveness is not an option. This is a principle that all Christians must follow.
Matthew 6:12-13 “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”
Mark 11:25 “And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”
The Lord’s prayer concedes our need for God. We cannot make it through this sin-laden world without Jesus. We have a wicked otherworldly opponent. Therefore, we need to ask God to keep us from falling into the devil’s trap of sinful living. We also need to ask for protection continually.
John 17:15 “My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.”
I John 1:8-10 “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar, and his word is not in us.”
When we study this prayer, we see essential truths conveyed in this short passage of scripture. Examining this prayer helps us to use it the way Jesus intended. It is not meant to be recited word for word but rather as a model showing us how to pray. We must start our prayers by praising God and looking to Him for all our needs. We can trust Him with our needs, desires, and secrets. The Lord’s prayer highlights our desperate reliance on God in every area of our lives, and we should rely on Him in our daily walk.
Today’s prayer: Father God, help us to repent and ask for forgiveness daily, being mindful that we need to forgive others who have treated us poorly and sinned against us. Lord, make that a strong desire in our hearts to extend mercy to others as we want to receive it.