10 January 2023 Anno Domini, the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide (reprint from September 2021)
AND when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. 6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. 7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. 8 Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him. 9 After this manner therefore pray ye:
OUR Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. 10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
Have we lately considered the immense joy of having a Father upon whom to call for every need who remains steadfast and unmovable in spite of time and circumstance? He is the Father of the family of God whom we all share as our own most loving and beneficent Father. The Lord’s prayer is both a corporate prayer and an intensely personal prayer at the same time. Though we may have many brothers and sister who seek His face together, yet, He comes to us individually and personally with our petitions.
- Our Father-This is a corporate prayer because it does not begin ‘My Father,’ but ‘Our Father.’ He is our progenitor and Creator. This is like a letter addressed to our Father. What is His address?
- Who art in Heaven! That is His address. But he is able to be at our very side always without leave.
- Hallowed be thy Name. Your name is Holy and we should reverence you and not ourselves.
- Thy Kingdom come, thy Will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.We should hope for the soon appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, and , even if He delays His coming, we should work that His Will be done here on earth as well as in Heaven – not only in the world at large, but within our own hearts.
- Give us this day, our daily bread.We should ask of Him no more than our necessity for the day. As He told us: “Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” Matthew 6:34. The modern approach in worship would have us believe that we can demand from God all things and that He is obligated to provide. BIG ERROR! He is Sovereign and will provide according to HIS Will – not ours! He knows our needs better than we know.
- And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. Each and every day we should seek forgiveness for our sins of commission and omission. But if we expect OUR sins to be forgiven, we must forgive offenses committed against us.”For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Gospel of St. Matthew 6:14 &15.
- How many of us are seeking forgiveness without result because we forgive not others?
- And lead us not into temptation….We are all alike subject to the woos of the world, we are tempted of the evil one daily in our lives. But if we follow in the steps of Jesus, He will lead us away from the paths of temptation.
- But deliver us from evil…When we do encounter evil, please, dear Lord, deliver us from its grasp. When we do fall into the depths of the sea of sin, kindly reach your nail-scarred hand down to grasp our failing arm of flesh and lift us from our despair and ruin.
- For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. It is your kingdom, not ours. You are the Sovereign Ruler, not we. We often attempt to usurp your power when we are puffed up with pride. We boast of our gifts (and think they are our own goodness), we praise men of great fame more than the Heavenly Power, we worship oftentimes to attract attention more to ourselves rather than in giving all glory to God to whom it belongs. We fail of humility and piety. Our worship should be directed toward the Glory of God alone and none to man or creature.
And the simple Amen at the closing is appropriate…so be it, dear Lord. Our simple supplication is not phony or long-winded, but succinct and humble in its appeal to the Power on High.
To me, this is the essence of the Lord’s Prayer.