We have recited it in private and also prayed it publicly in unison with others; we have even sung it in reverence on select Sunday mornings. It's been a familiar prayer at somber cultural events.
What was in Jesus' heart when He gave His disciples the words to "The Lord's Prayer?"
Remember, they had asked Him, "Lord, teach us to pray" (Luke 11:1). Contrary to its most typical uses, the Lord did not give His disciples a prayer just to help them "cope".
What He gave them was almost militant in nature; it was vibrant, not passive.
For many centuries the holy realities of this prayer have been obscured by traditions of religious unbelief; its potential was relocated strictly to eternity, and thus disbarred from affecting conditions on earth. In recent years, its truth is again filling the words of this heavenly anthem: Thy Kingdom come! Thy will be done!
This prayer is Heaven's Pledge of Allegiance. It is a decree that God's will, through our living union with Christ, should be accomplished today on earth.
Where is the room for compromise in those words? Jesus is saying that, with miraculous power, abounding joy and unwavering mercy, God's will is destined to be fulfilled on earth, just "as it is in Heaven!"
We call this The Lord's Prayer, yet more appropriately, it might be called:
The Disciple's Prayer, or
The Kingdom Prayer
For it is something Jesus gave to ignite fire in the hearts of His followers. Indeed, this prayer is revolutionary. It is the kind of prayer a spiritual extremist would pray. It is not a weak, pleading prayer. Yes, there is a time for pleading with God, but this is prophetic prayer. There is not a "please" anywhere in it. Jesus taught His disciples to pray with power, not merely pleading.
We already know it is the "Father's good pleasure" to give us His Kingdom (Luke 12:32). Jesus is not instructing us to beg for a blessing or two; He is commanding us to call for God's Kingdom to rule on earth.
This is a prayer of AUTHORITY. The Son of God wants us to pray like we were created to bring Heaven to earth.
Our prayer simply aligns us with what is already God's great plesure to give us.
Of course, it is vital we embrace repentance for both our sins and the sins of our forefathers. It is also necessary that we repent of a life that is void of advancing God's vision.
The Lord's Prayer is the prayer of those fully committed to the vision of God!
Christ told faltering, fumbling, often sinful disciples to pray like they were mature, victorious warriors. He didn't say this prayer should be prayed only when they had become perfect. No. He was saying this is how we should pray right now, even while we are imperfect. Yes, we humble ourselves; yes, we confess our sins. Yet, we must learn to pray with:
Unsheathed spiritual authority,
With Heroic faith, and
With the fire of divine possibilities burning in our souls.
I AM IN A PLACE OF PERPETUAL FLOW OF THE LIFE OF HEAVEN THROUGH MINUTE-BY-MINUTE COMMUNION WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT.
I SHARE GOD'S VISION FOR BRINGING HEAVEN TO EARTH NOW.
I ABHOR ANYTHING CONTRARY TO HEAVEN.
I AM BRINGING HEAVEN TO EARTH.