We are like sentient characters in a great book of life and just as in the allegory from the previous post, our Creator would very much like to communicate with us and intervene in our stories, and does so when we ask.
So, how do we purposely ask? Jesus told those whom he had chosen to spread the message he brought into the world the way to ask. Now-a-days, we call it prayer.
WHAT IS PRAYER ANYWAY? Simply put, most of the time when the word is used in the New Testament it simply means to ask, petition, or entreat. Sometime the word “pray” makes me think of books I’ve read or movies I’ve watched where people spoke an older version of English and said such things as, “I pray ye, Sir, canst thou spare me a penny?” In other words, “I’m asking, could you give me a penny?” Our modern word, pray, comes from an Old French term which comes from Latin, but the word used in the New Testament comes from Greek and while the English and French variations imply begging, the Greek means to ask and sometimes it means to worship which means to honor, adore, and appreciate. It is my understanding that praying means to ask with an appreciative, expectant attitude, not a begging attitude. That means you don’t have to crawl up the steps of an elaborate church on your hands and knees, weeping, flogging yourself and begging God to have mercy on you, a dirty, rotten sinner. Prayer simply means to respectfully ask with appreciation and gratitude as if the answer is already given.
AND HERE’S MY personal view of the way Jesus taught his followers to ask for things.
OUR FATHER— The Greek word Jesus used here “pat-ayr” translates as “parent or father parent.” In Jewish tradition at that time the role of a father was to protect, to provide, and to love as is evidenced in stories such as the one where Joseph’s father lamented the perceived loss of his son so deeply that he never got over it. It was expected that a father not only claim his children but actively love them in words and in actions.
Notice that Jesus didn’t just say, “my Father.” He said OUR Father, OUR parent, OUR source, OUR provider.” Why is this such a big deal? Because Jesus wanted us to know that his father and OUR father are the same Father, so by his saying OUR, he let us each know that we can confidently say MY. So, OUR Creator, is also our parent, because like an author who could give life to his/her characters, Creator loves us, appreciates us, cherishes us and is truly a Father to us.
WHICH ART IN HEAVEN, The Greek word for Heaven here, according to Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance, is Ouranos which implies rising, above, a habitation, happiness, eternity—i.e., a higher plane or a place of eternal happiness. Old timers around here used to call it Glory. I remember an old song, “Just over in the Glory Land.” Heaven is as good a term as any, but we could say, “Our Father, you exist in a higher realm, outside the confinements of this “book of life,” and when the covers are closed, you still exist. You can intervene anywhere and at any point. There are no limitations in your reality.”
HALLOWED BE THY NAME—sacred, pure and blameless is your onoma (Greek), which means character, authority. In other words, you (Father) are sacred, pure, blameless. There is no ill-will toward me, toward any of us. We are, I am, loved without measure and due to nothing I (nor anyone else) have or have not done.
THY KINGDOM COME. THY WILL BE DONE ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN.
Let your kingdom come in me. Let your peace, which is incomprehensible to those who don’t believe you exist in a reality beyond all that we can imagine, guide my heart, my every step. I want to do things in the way that you say is best for me. I want your directions to be sovereign in my life. I want to walk the perfect pathway that you have laid out for me and trust that you know where all the pieces to my life’s puzzles go and that you know how to help me write the next chapter in my life story. I want to see my journey as you see it. I want your help in writing my story, because you are the author and editor of all that I believe, and I know that you know what is best for me.
GIVE US OUR DAILY BREAD
There is no limit in the higher reality. There is no lack. There is only abundance in every area. Whatever I need, it’s already there. So, I petition you, “Give me what I need today,” and I thank you for it. My heart is full of excitement that you will do exceedingly, abundantly above all that I ask or think according to the power, the same power that created the universe, formed the world, that works within me. I will not worry over tomorrow because you are already there.
AND FORGIVE US OUR DEBTS, AS WE FORGIVE OUR DEBTORS
Debt implies owing. Somewhere Paul said that we owe no one anything except love. Forgiveness implies not holding a wrong done to you against someone. Jesus never said to pray to “Forgive and forget,” only forgive. So, I pray, “Overlook my faults and I overlook the faults of others.” And I also pray, “Let me see through spirit eyes and look at others the way you look at them.”
AND LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION
Help me not to get distracted from the right path. Guide me away from things, people and circumstances that would divert me and keep me from the values that you have placed inside me: peace, joy, love, hope, faith, creativity, great relationships, kindness, gratefulness, appreciation, mercy, gentleness, health, satisfaction, and abundance in every area of my life. Keep my eyes focused on my purpose and my feet on the path that is right and best for my life. Help me to constantly be aware of the bigger picture.
BUT DELIVER US FROM EVIL
Set me free and steer me clear of everything in my life that brings degeneracy to me, that would hurt me, influence me to go in a direction that is not best for me, steals my wealth, hurts my family, works to stunt my spiritual growth, harms my physical body, emotional state, or mind, from anything that would hinder me, bring calamity upon me, grieve me, or divert me from the best path for my life. (Evil in this passage indicated illness, calamity, degeneracy—hurt: also, I Chronicles 4:10 Jabez prayed something very similar.)
FOR THINE IS THE KINGDOM— AND THE POWER—AND THE GLORY—FOREVER—AMEN,
Your way is the best way, the only true way, and the only enduring way. Your reality is the only one that is reality to me, and all that is, exits because of your will, your intent, your imagination, your purpose. Let me have joy in this world and in the world to come. I thank you for eternity. Let these all these things come to be.