There is a reason that the Lord’s Prayer is the most well-known prayer of all time world-wide. It is an important part of the foundation of our Christian faith, an anchor and refuge. We use it to begin prayers, end prayers, and sometimes as the only prayer when all our other words fail us. It could be said that we take it for granted or that it becomes a “rote prayer” meaning the words are said without remembering the meaning behind them.
The Prayer Ministry Team would like to help all of us return to thinking about the words as we pray them. Over the next several months, members of the team will be sharing different sections of The Lord’s Prayer and what it means to them. Last month we looked at the first two sentences of the Lord’s prayer:
“Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come; thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
This month we will look at the third and fourth sentences:
“Give use this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses as wee forgive those who trespass against us.”
Jesus Himself gave us the words of the Lord’s prayer, which is found in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke (Matthew 6:9-13; Luke 11:1-4). One of Jesus’ disciples asked the Lord to teach the disciples how to pray, then Jesus prayed in a way that perfectly summarizes what Christians believe and how Christians should live.
The Lord’s prayer, also known as the Our Father or Pater Noster, contains seven petitions. The number seven often connotes completion or perfection in Scriptures, and the Lord’s prayer is just that – a complete and perfect summary of divine teachings.
Give us this day our daily breed. Just as good food nourishes the body, the Good News nourishes the soul. The Bible instructs that “man cannot live on bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Deuteronomy 8:3)
In this appeal, we pray for spiritual sustenance so that we can have fortitude to go out into the world and spread His message through our words and actions. We are all God’s disciples. This nourishment comes from the Word of God and from communion with Christ, who is the “bread of life” that comes down from Heaven so that “whoever feeds on this bread will live forever” (John 6:48-58)
And forgive us our trespass as we forgive those who trespass against us.
This section of the Lord’s prayer may be the toughest to pray and follow. However, this request contains much wisdom. While anyone can ask to receive forgiveness, reflecting on the way we forgive others can lead us into patience and grace that can be transformative. For times when forgiving someone proves especially difficult, the Bible teaches us that a good time to extend forgiveness is during prayer, when our minds and hearts are united with God (Mark 11:25).
By choosing to replace resentment with forgiveness, we reflect God’s love and mercy in our actions. This, in turn, enables us to walk more confidently toward God, who wants our every step to be closer to Him.
Submitted by Mandy Campbell
Be sure to check out this article in our full November 2022 newsletter - Click Here!