Friday in the Fifth Week of Ordinary Time

Matthew 6:7-15

The Lord’s Prayer

Yes, we read this passage yesterday, but I didn’t have room to address it – and address it we must.  This is the prayer the Lord gave us.  It is not meant to be the only prayer we should ever pray, but it certainly provides the model for what our prayers should include and an excellent form we may adopt. There are some who say that it should be called, “The Disciples’ Prayer,” since he gave it to us as a model.  But most people choose to call it after the One who gave it.  It makes no difference.

Jesus begins by reminding his disciples that prayer is directed to the Father, and not to others for show.  Such is rank hypocrisy.  (Now this obviously does not include corporate prayer in church as we all need to hear, but private prayer.)  He also reminds them that prayer is not heaping up empty phrases; nor does length matter.  The Lord’s Prayer is amazing for its brevity.

So what does matter?  Please note that the first half of the prayer is taken up with matters of God’s kingdom; not our troubles.  It begins by acknowledging God as Father, and not just Father, but “our” Father.  When I pray this prayer, I am reminded that I pray as a member of the body of Christ the world over.  God is not my possession; I am His possession, and so are many others.  And who are they?  Well, if God is our Father, then they are my sisters and brothers.  (Please realize that we are talking about believers, not everyone in the world.  We may be related to unbelievers by creation, but not by redemption, which is all the difference in the world.)  And the very idea that the Maker of heaven and earth allows us to call Him “Father” is mind-boggling.  “Hallowed be your name,” is a call for us to hold God’s name (which is a way of saying “Himself”) as holy among ourselves; to sanctify His name, to fear Him as we are told to do countless times in Scripture, to understand that He is God and we are not.  “Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven,” should be the foremost petition on every Christian’s lips – not my health, not my needs, not even my family – but God and His kingdom of righteousness and peace.  Man cannot bring it; it is beyond us, sinful as we are.  When we have tried (communists, utopians all), we end up robbing and killing people.  This will only happen when His Son returns on the clouds of glory (Matthew 26:64; Mark 14:62; Luke 21:27).  Until then, we work as if he were coming today – making the most of every hour, sanctifying our lives, ministering to others.  Meanwhile, we pray with passion, “Amen. Come, Lord Jesus” (Revelation 22:20).

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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