Short Prayer for the Day: The Lord’s Prayer is a String of Prayers for Strength

file8741295012770One of the puzzling things about the Lord’s Prayer is that it is rarely understood, by those who use it.  Jesus gave it to his disciples as a short prayer for the day that would teach them about the what is involved with talking to God.  It doesn’t seem from the context that he assumed they would understand everything immediately, but that as they prayed this short prayer, they would learn what made a simple prayer for the day authentic and true to His teachings.  Below is each line of the prayer with a paraphrase.  When you linger with this prayer, saying to God, and pondering it’s meaning, you may just discover what have discovered.  That is, this short prayer is actually a string of short prayers for strength by inviting the power of God’s Kingdom into our own weaknesses.

Our Father

Newsflash:  The God of Israel is a loving father, THE loving Father, from which all other loving fathers are derived.

Who dwells in Heaven

You Father, Yahweh, has Your own Kingdom as Your primary realm

May your name be kept Holy

These new revelations of the Messiah Jesus do not change the nature of who You are, as God, our Father, as expressed in Your name, Yahweh.  We know that our tendency is to re-create You in our own image so that we may be comfortable with our own belief system.  Protect your Name, the knowledge of who you are, and prevent us, or anyone, from distorting the true and pure knowledge of God, however mysterious it may seem to us.

May your Kingdom come,

The world we live in is chaotic, and laced with an insidious principle of sin, decay, and death.  Our only hope is that Your primary realm, Your palace, would grow to break in on our existence, more and more, so that we actually dwell constantly in Your Kingdom, Your palace, Your primary realm of activity.

May Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven

All the marks of stubborn sin, decay, and disease, along with the tenacity of evil in us, push us toward the realm of death. Make our lives here such that they reflect what you want in the same way that your primary realm, Your Kingdom, always reflects what you want. May your desires overtake and replace the web of evil desires that we constantly find ourselves in.

Give us this day,

Each day of life is a gift that rolls off your hand into ours.  Open our eyes to see this and be thankful.

Our daily bread,

We are mortal and needy.  We depend on basic things to live and to function.  Please provide these things according to what we need.  Help us to be clear about the simplicity of this request.

And forgive us our debts

We have wronged the people you have created in your image—the very beings that you formed to reflect your glory.  Not only have we wronged your precious creations, but we continue to discover new ways to wrong people.  So many times we have disobeyed you and chosen our will over yours.  We are not only caught in a spider web of sin and lies, but we help spin the web for ourselves and others.

As we forgive our debtors

Because of You, we have boarded the train of forgiveness.  Giving and receiving forgiveness is the only way of life for anyone on that train.  We get the fact that there is no forgiveness for those who wish to be exempt from giving it.  May the forgiveness you grant us continue to result in our forgiving individuals and groups who deal hurts, both great and small, into our lives.

And don’t lead us into overwhelming temptation…

And don’t bring us into enormous conflicts with the power and enticements of evil.  Don’t put us to the test of any kind, least of all the ultimate trial of martyrdom, because the sin principle in us is so crafty and we are prone to deceive ourselves.

But rescue us from evil.

In fact, protect us from ourselves—the evil within—as well as dark forces that strive to peel us away from our hope in You.


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