THE LORD'S PRAYER
Interpretation by Sallie Stewart
The Lord's Prayer, as you know, was given by Jesus to His followers when they asked Him to teach them to pray. How often are we guilty of saying the words by memory, but not really understanding their meaning. May I share with you my understanding of this beautiful prayer, as just one of His followers?
OUR FATHER –
Some many times I said those words, unaware that until I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Saviour, I had no right to call God my Father, for I was not yet His child, but only His creation. To quote the Bible, Galatians 3: 26 – – "In Christ Jesus, you are all sons of God, through faith" and John 14: 6 – – "Jesus said, I am the way, and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father but by me." and John 10: 30 – – "I and my Father are one."
OUR FATHER WHO ART IN HEAVEN –
Where is heaven? Some blissful place far away out there? I look forward to the day when I will be with Jesus, where there will be no problems of any kind, but in the meantime, I am experiencing heaven on earth, for as the hymn goes, "Blessed Assurance, Jesus is Mine, O what a foretaste of Glory divine". and in John 14: 1-3, "Believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house there are many rooms; if it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And when I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also." I know I am going to be with Him, because God never breaks a promise. This knowledge of salvation indeed brings heaven on earth for me.
HALLOWED BE THY NAME –
This means the name of God is not to be profaned, not only in speaking, but in our way of living. A tremendous author, Glen Clark, states "Our Father has left us promises which are meant to care for us until we can see Him one day, face to face. If we would hallow, with the same surety and certainty, the name of God as we honor our great financiers, our Rockefellers, our Fords, and our Morgans, and if we trusted God's promises with the same surety and certainty that we respect the names and checks of men, there would be no dream impossible of fulfillment." Galatians 4: 7 – – "Since we are His sons, everything He has belongs to us, for that is the way God planned." Isn't that wonderful? For all things belong to God. Yes, when we do not honor Him, we are insulting Him. We are to hallow and respect the name of God, who made the promises, not as His name is hallowed and respected in the conventional Sabbath worship of earth, but hallowed as it is in heaven.
THY KINGDOM COME –
Dear friends, every time we say this, we are praying for the end of the world as we know it, and the coming of His Kingdom. We have all spoiled this beautiful world he made for us, but soon Jesus will come again and set up His Kingdom – Mark 13: 32-33 – – "But of that day or that hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Take heed, watch, for you do not know when the time will come." Are you ready this morning? He could come this very moment.
THY WILL BE DONE ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN –
God wants to give us the very best of everything – joy, peace, health, wealth, love. All these things become ours when we become His children through Christ. I have learned that the only things I do not possess are the things I do not confess. While praying, instead of complaining about the things I do not have in my life, I now praise Him and thank Him in great expectation. Proverbs 12: 25 – – "Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down, but a good work makes him glad."
GIVE US THIS DAY OUR DAILY BREAD –
I rejoice at this petition, for He already has given us our daily bread. He has given us Jesus, who, according to John 6: 35 is the Bread of Life. Again, He is there for the asking. All I need to do is to claim it by reading His word and praying daily. My body can go without food for awhile without any ill effects, but I need to feed my soul every day, or I'm heading for trouble.
AND FORGIVE US OUR TRESPASSES AS WE FORGIVE THOSE WHO TRESPASS AGAINST US –
You know, we should really do some serious thinking before we say this part of the prayer, for it really means if I have not forgiven someone, I am praying that God will do likewise to me. Mark 11: 25-26 – – "And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive your trespasses.
AND LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION, BUT DELIVER US FROM EVIL, –
In the beautiful book entitled "Time Out, Ladies" by Dale Evans Rogers, I quote. "I think it is reasonable to think that Christ means here, Protect us from yielding to temptation. God allows us to be tempted as a test of our strength in refusing to yield to the temptation. And only God can give us the strength to keep from yielding." Yes, He gives us the strength, but we must do the turning away. Too often we lay the blame on Him for our failures.
FOR THINE IS THE KINGDOM –
What a great God! Everything belongs to Him. "He's got the whole world in His hands." How true that song is!
THE POWER AND THE GLORY –
If you ever doubt God's power, look around you at the stars, nature, miracles, transformed lives, answered prayers. Are you so busy doubting, that you don't have time to look? Take the time while you have it. Tomorrow may be too late! I am nothing without my Jesus. I give Him all the glory for the meaning in my life since I began to walk hand in hand with Him. Praise God!