Praying the Lord’s Prayer is praying for abundance. Spiritual abundance. The abundance we need to seek is not of this world but the abundance that flows from the throne of God. Jesus showed us how to pray for abundance when he gave us the Lord’s Prayer. The abundance Jesus gives us is the abundance of joy and peace, love for others and an abundance of forgiveness. His kingdom is not of this world and it’s riches.
Let’s take a look at the first phrase of the Lord’s Prayer; “Our Father”. When we have a good relationship with a father we have good communication with him. When Jesus said, ‘Our Father’, he was inviting us to communicate with our Father in heaven. Jesus came to this earth to save mankind, to give us eternal life. A life more abundant. When Jesus said, Our Father, He was not only bringing himself before the throne of God, but reminding God of the people on this earth he had come to save. This is an example to us when we pray to bring with us the names of those we are interceding for. Living a life more abundant means we have good, open communication with our Father in heaven and we love others enough to intercede on their behalf.
“Who art in heaven”. Jesus father was in heaven. Can you imagine how much he must have missed his father? How much he desired his presence? Prayer was the only way he could communicate with his father. In John 18, Jesus told Pilate, “My kingdom is not of this earth”. His kingdom, his home, was in heaven…so is our home in heaven, so is our father in heaven. If our home is truly in heaven and not on this earth than why do we think we need to stockpile this worlds goods? Jesus said in Matthew 6:19-21; “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth…But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven…For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Notice that last phrase, “For where you treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Usually we would think of it as the other way around; Where are heart is, there will our treasure be. Picture owning a big pile of gold. What are you likely to do? You would probably worry about it. How can you keep it safe? Your heart and your thoughts are with your money. On the other hand if you seek first the kingdom of God you will be more concerned about what God wants you to do with the money he gave you. Matthew 6:33 tells us to “seek for the kingdom of God”. I picture God giving us a treasure map and #1 on the treasure map is to find the kingdom of God because that is where the treasure he has for us is hidden. Abundance does not flow from a pile of gold hidden away in our basement. Abundance flows from seeking the heart of God and His will for us.
“Hallowed be Thy name”. Every child in a good relationship with their father believes their father has the powers of Superman. They believe their dad is the best and can leap tall buildings in a single bound. After Jesus greeted his father he told him how wonderful he was, how great he was, how thankful he was that he was his father. He praised his father. When we accept the eternal life Jesus gives us, when we accept a more abundant life, we will praise God too! We won’t be able to help ourselves because an abundant life automatically pours out positivity and praise.
“Thy kingdom come”. We are soldiers in Gods army. We are to bring God’s kingdom to this world by witnessing to others for him in any way he asks us to. Essentially we are to seek first the kingdom of God. (Matt. 6:33) Jesus certainly sought first the kingdom of his father. He knew his kingdom was not of this earth, he didn’t need to seek the approval of the people here, he only needed to seek the approval of his father in heaven. When we seek first the approval of our father in heaven we will be walking the path he created for us. When we are walking on the path he created for us we do not need to worry because God will provide everything we need. What abundance! No worries. Instead we have peace and joy and are excited to share the abundance of peace and joy God has given us with others
“Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven”. The angels in heaven do God’s will instantly with hearts full of love for him. If we seek first the kingdom of God a natural outcome of that is obeying the father with a heart full of love for him. When we have a heart full of love for our father in heaven we will automatically have an abundance of love for our fellow-man. Think how different your life would be if you loved everyone like God does. How eagerly you would rush to do his will. God’s love would flow out of your heart into the empty, hurting, hearts of others and joy would abound.
(To be continued)