Something that keeps coming to mind lately… the wording of what is generally considered the ‘Lord’s Prayer’ – the fact it is not, I will mention later. No, I will explain now.
What is generally considered as the Lord’s Prayer, and I grew up saying every day in school – (wow, that dates me doesn’t it ), is actually the ‘model prayer’. Jesus didn’t pray it. He responded to a request from one of His disciples…
One day in a place where Jesus had just finished praying, one of His disciples requested, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.” Luke 11: 1
Now, this scripture does not say what Jesus had been praying. It says when He finished praying… Nor does the scripture say that He had been praying near them. Most of the accounts say something along the lines of Jesus praying privately.
But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed. Luke 5: 16’
Having used almost two hundred words to say little – please forgive me. I will continue...
This prayer that most of us know as the 'Lord's Prayer' is actually a model prayer.
Why talk about this Lord’s model prayer?
Well, it has been occurring to me more and more that in this ‘self’ society. Self-actualizing, self-sufficient, self-esteem, self-help, self-discipline, self-improvement… self-centered.
This started off – this self-awareness, to help us improve, but from this old lady’s point of view it soon developed into the ‘me’ generation.
Selected lines… (not an instruction <smile>)
- Our Father who art in Heaven. OUR Father – not my Father.
- Give US this day OUR daily bread. – not give me this day my daily bread.
- And forgive US our sins (trespasses, debts) as WE forgive OUR…
(you see the point, I know.)
- Lead US not into temptation… not me
- Deliver US from evil (or the evil one)
As I am sure you noticed it is totally opposite to self-focus.
And these thoughts lead me to looking at the life of Christ.
When did He ever say,
“I am not in the mood,” or "I am tired, leave me alone for a bit” – or “I need some ME time,” I could not find any such examples.
He did need time alone. He rose early and went off to pray…
Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. Mark 1: 35
When He rose from His prayers, He went back to teach, to heal, and to face the criticism He invariably attracted.
Sometimes I feel very lonely.
(I miss my best friend, my human best friend, my late husband.)
But when I think of how lonely Jesus must have been, well, I am glad I am never as lonely, misunderstood and rejected as He was.
In school I muttered those words of the prayer obediently, not understanding – now I can see they are a framework for bringing before God, in prayer, my brothers and sisters in Christ.
I wonder if any of you remember the ‘thing’ that went around the Internet a few years back about the ‘special needs children’ who were in a race. One fell, the others came back and helped the one who had fallen… so they could all cross the finish line together.
This YouTube video is a modern version of it
Yes. I think so.
We are not in a competition against others.
It is not ‘me’ against everyone else.
We are family, we don’t always like what the other members of the family are doing… but that’s family life.
Remember - it is OUR Father in heaven!
P.S. While you are here... I invite you to look around, read some of the other blogs... explore the other pages in the website.