Our culture knows the Lord’s Prayer from movies, locker rooms, hospitals, masses, worship services, funerals, and turbulent flights. It’s a cultural default prayer that we use when we want to pray but we don’t have the words to pray conversationally.
We often forget that the Lord’s Prayer reveals a powerful outline and a radical message about prayer that we tend to forget. Most Christians pray for God to work. But prayer is God working on you.
I pray because I can’t help myself. I pray because I’m helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time- waking and sleeping. It doesn’t change God- it changes me.
That’s what the Lord’s Prayer does. It is intended to help us refocus our priorities around the movement of God.
James, the brother of Jesus, tells us, “You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.” If you want to stop praying wrongly, follow the outline and revolutionary model we call the Lord’s Prayer.
Here are its 8 movements.
Movement 1: “Hallowed be thy name”
God is the focus of our prayer. It changes us because we have perspective. You are not God. His name is set apart from all the other names. In an OMG world we have forgotten how holy God’s name is.
God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations.
Most live their lives promoting their own name and tribe. The Christ-follower promotes God’s name because she realizes that it is the only name worth promoting.
“Humility is nothing but the disappearance of self in the vision that God is all.”
― Andrew Murray, Humility
Lord may I disappear for Thy glory!
Moment 2: “Thy Kingdom Come”
It’s not “take me to the Kingdom.” It is bring the kingdom to me. So many of our hymns and songs focus on that glad morning sweet by and by when we all get to heaven on some bright and cloudless day when this life is over.
Jesus’ focus in the model prayer is for us to pray for the Kingdom to come to earth, not believers to enter heaven. Everyday our prayer and focus should be, “How could I make this world more like the Kingdom.”
Honestly, many of us forget what the Kingdom is like because we have been so focused on surviving the world and getting to Heaven.
Remember, the Kingdom is love, forgiveness, understanding, mercy, justice, compassion, and peace.
Movement 3: Your will be done.
Jesus invites our prayers to be immersed in absolute surrender to His will. It’s a surrender of your will to His.
“Doing the will of God leaves me no time for disputing about His plans.”
― George MacDonald
Our greatest prayer should be “Thy will be done.” It’s not a cop-out prayer. It’s a transformational prayer, giving God free access to every side ally of you life. We pray for the intention of God.
And beware, lest you be seen on the wrong side of God’s divine intention.
The repentant thief who died with Jesus on Calvary was far more perfect than the holy ones who had Him nailed to the cross.
Movement 4: Give us this day our daily bread.
The focus is the present. It’s not on tomorrow’s provision or need. How often have I missed the feast of today while stockpiling fortification for tomorrow.
Movement 5: Forgive us our trespassers as we forgive our trespassers.
Life is all about reconciliation. It’s the true communion of our daily walk. We walk in freedom which ultimately allows us to forgive. Love and forgiveness hold hands throughout eternity. Do we think we can succeed in the journey with bitterness tagging along with us?
“In the evening of life we shall be judged on love.” Madeleine L’Engle
Movement 6: Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.
From the moment we begin our journey, we are enrolled in spiritual rehab. It’s where we live. Jesus leads the program and our quest is deliverance. Everyone you know is in recovery from something. And if they think they are fully recovered they are a recovering Pharisee.
Movement 7: For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever and ever.
We surrender to Him. It’s His kingdom not ours. It’s His power not ours. It’s His glory, not ours. This is a leveraging of every single shred of accomplishment, notoriety, achievement, account, and glory over to Him. It transfers the ownership of everything from our house, to our head, to our heel to the Kingdom of God.
Movement 8: Amen “So let it be.”
Growing up, I thought “Amen” was Hebrew for “open your eyes. Prayer is over.” Seriously though, Amen is not a cue, a cheer, or a religious way of approving a statement. Amen is dynamic. It links us to God. It’s a covenant stamp between God and man. It’s saying, everything that I just talked to You about I am willing to live, claim, and represent today.
The Lord’s Prayer is a reminder that
The Journey isn’t about
- Being impressive
- Being happy all the time
- Getting as much stuff as you need in order to feel safe.
- Hanging out with the right crowd.
- Knowing all the right answers.
- Filling out all the check boxes.
It is about being a fully devoted in every aspect of life to the One who gives us everything we need.