By Pastor Jacob Hanneman
Trinity Lutheran Church
“This, then, is how you should pray: “‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, 10 your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us today our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’ (Matthew 6:9-13)
What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving? Are you thankful for your health? Are you thankful for your job? Are you thankful for your family and friends? We have many reasons to give thanks today and every day. God has done many wonderful things for us. Most notably he has given us his Son, Jesus Christ.
Jesus, through his perfect life, death, and resurrection, won for us eternal life in heaven. What a great and amazing gift! Certainly our eternal hope is enough for us to have because our spiritual life is so important as far as our eternal life is concerned.
We can see how important our spiritual welfare is over our physical life in the prayer above. You might refer to it as the “Lord’s Prayer.” When you look over this prayer you will notice how amazing this prayer is.
First of all when we address God we address him as our Father. Only our true Father in heaven really cares about his dear children.
The prayer as laid for us in our text is broken down into seven petitions. Six of which have to deal with our spiritual welfare and only one that has to do with our physical needs.
First we pray that we keep our Lord’s name holy. God certainly remains holy even if we don’t pray for it, but we are praying that we as his children not fail to keep his name holy as we live our lives of thanksgiving to our Father.
Second we pray that God’s kingdom comes. God’s kingdom comes when people are brought to faith by hearing the word of God. We are therefore asking God to bring people into his holy kingdom through the preaching of his Word.
Thirdly we pray that God’s Will, will be done on earth as it is in heaven. It is the will of our enemy that we will fall, therefore we ask for God’s will to be done.
Jumping to number five we pray that God would forgive us as we forgive others. All of us know how hard it is to forgive someone for repeated offensives. Here not only are we asking God to forgive us for our many offensives but that he would give us the love of sinners to forgive those who sin against us.
In the sixth we ask the Lord not to lead us into temptation. We are not saying that it is the Lord who leads us into temptation, but the Lord allows his people to be tempted. We are asking that the Lord give us the strength to resist temptation. Only by the power of God can we resist the devil and his schemes.
Finally we pray that he will deliver us from evil. Here we ask the Lord in plain words to defeat the devil, the world, and our sinful flesh, and bring us to heaven.
The “Lord’s Prayer,” really hits all the important aspects of our spiritual lives. However, Jesus gave us one petition that focuses on our physical welfare. The fourth petition: Give us this day our daily bread. In this petition we have much to be thankful for.
This one petition tells us something about our God that we sometimes overlook. Not only has your God taken care of the important things like our salvation, but he also takes care of the “little” things like our life here on earth. He didn’t have to give us anything to help us for our earthly lives because he had done everything, but yet he does because he loves you.
The Lord’s Prayer covers a lot of important things to ask our Father in heaven. Surely everything we ask for in this prayer or any prayer isn’t dependent on our praying for our loving Father will provide for us everything we ask. But, we pray non-the-less because our Savior has commanded us to pray to him and loves hearing from us.
Don’t allow yourself to mindlessly speak the Lord’s Prayer. Think about what you are praying for our God to do. Our Lord has every reason to be given thanks by us on this day of thanks and every day after that. He has given you heaven, he has given you salvation, and he forgave all of your sins. He also gives you your daily bread. For everything God has done for us, we end our prayer saying, “For thine is the Kingdom, and the Power, and the Glory, Forever and ever. Amen.
Happy that this prayer is my prayer, just like you!
Pastor Jacob Hanneman
Published November 27, 2013