“Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed by Thy name. Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil; For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen” (Matthew 6:9-13)
There are five aspects of this prayer that I wish to consider. They are relationships, giving blessing, seeking influence, petitioning and seeking protection.
In relationships: How did Jesus say we should begin our prayer? “Our Father.” For those who think all religions are part and parcel of the same, you may reconsider when you know that calling God your Father is blasphemy to Islam. The concept of “Our Father” teaches us that God has adopted us as His children and wants us to know He loves us intimately as His little children. “For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, (“Islam” translated means “submit”) but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out ‘Abba! Father!’” (Romans 8:15)
In giving blessing: “Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name.” Instead of being preoccupied with yourself, Jesus encourages you to take the awesome privilege bestowed upon you and use it to the fullest. You have been given the awesome power to bless God Almighty, who is in heaven! Hallowed be Thy name! Bless God! God inhabits the blessing of His people. There was a moment last Friday at the football game when Lee County “blessed God” with one voice.
In seeking influence: “Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” He will answer that prayer. He always chooses the human element in advancing His Kingdom.
In petitioning: “And forgive us our debts as we also have forgiven our debtors.” The seeking of grace in terms of forgiveness of sins and the extension thereof are found in the prayer Jesus taught. Are we as active in forgiving others as we are in seeking a pass for our own trespasses?
In seeking protection: “and do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” Why? “For Thine is the Kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.”
Prayer was not silenced in Lee County; it was multiplied. Christians took the opportunity to say the Lord’s Prayer during the moment of silence at the football game Friday night.
Some made sure that others knew they were praying and encouraged others to join them. Others simply joined in the best way they could. Let’s face it. Not everyone has the Lord’s prayer in their heart from memory anymore.
It used to be said in schools along with the pledge of allegiance to the flag. Let’s continue to take the awesome power given to us to bless God by coming to the football game if for no other reason than to pray “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven,” with other Christians.
All those opposed are free to observe a moment of silence.