Prince of Peace: From the Cradle to the Crown and Beyond
Sermon on the Mount:
The Lord’s Prayer, Part 3
In Part 2 (Tues., Apr. 4th, Lent, Day 35) we reiterated that The Lord’s Prayer (part of the Sermon on the Mount) stemmed from the request of one of His disciples, after observing Jesus praying, “Master, teach us to pray just as John taught his disciples,” (11:1, MSG). Furthermore, we determined that we needed to understand how culture affected the Jewish people’s understanding of Jesus’ teachings. Therefore we briefly explored the close Rabbi-disciple and discovered the intense desire of disciples to imitate their Master in every aspect of their lives (e.g., even adopting the manner in which their Rabbi observed the Sabbath and other traditions, and personal preferences). Thus, it was perfectly natural that the disciples desired to pray in the same manner as Jesus. Finally, I posed the possibility that Jesus provided a template for prayer versus a rote prayer (Mt. 6:7-8).
When I was a Cadet in training to be a Salvation Army Officer (pastor) I noticed that many people expected us all to have musical talent, great interpersonal and leadership skills, and ‘wisdom beyond our years’ when it came to understanding and teaching or preaching the Scriptures. This expectation was even more intense for those of us assigned to the Evangelical Team for our summer appointment. One of the requests was that we conduct a Saturday workshop on The Lord’s Prayer. Well, one of the things that Cadets quickly learn is that if there is a void: fill it! There were five of us on the team, and each of us was responsible for amplifying the content of our assigned verses. Looking back, that may have been the catalyst for considering The Lord’s Prayer as a template; but if that is the case, then what is the outline that Jesus provided?
In verse 9 Jesus did not say, “Repeat after Me.” He said, “ After this manner therefore pray ye, (KJV); “This, then, is how you should pray,” (NIV); or, “So when you pray, you should pray like this,”(NCV). OK, so if we, His disciples, desire to pray like Jesus did, then we can assume that the hours He spent in prayer were not recitations. What, then, should our prayers consist of when we speak to our Father?
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
-addressing and acknowledging God and the relationship we have with Him with a spirit of awe and adoration
Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
-use us to demonstrate, via our lives, Kingdom-living here in the world
Give us this day our daily bread.
-give us the essentials that we need to stay alive
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
-give us a forgiving spirit towards others, even as You freely forgive us
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil:
-The Message captures this line so well: “Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil,” (vs. 12).
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
-recognize and praise the One whom owns everything, is omnipotent (all-powerful), and give Him glory
–synonyms for “glory”: magnificence, splendor, beauty, grandeur, wonder, brilliance, fame, credit
(Mt. 6: 9-13)
Blessings & Peace
Elizabeth Hogan Hayduk
Former Salvation Army Officer (pastor)