The Extraordinary Gift of the Lord’s Prayer
“This, then, is how you should pray: “ ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” Matthew 6:9-10, 12-13 NIV
In recent months at Dinner Church, Debby has taught and led us in praying the Lord’s Prayer. We have placed bookmarks with the Lord’s Prayer on all the tables. At first, we had only a few who would pray the prayer out loud. We now have a majority of our guests pray out loud together. Few could recite the Lord’s Prayer at first, but now more are catching on and remembering the words.
Our reason for praying the Lord’s Prayer is simply that it is what Jesus taught us to pray. And when we pray, it is powerfully life-changing and world-transforming.
My mother taught me the Lord’s Prayer when I was around six years old, so I’ve had it memorized for a long time. I’ve repeated it countless times on Sundays in church. But I confess that in the past I often mumbled through the Lord’s Prayer, oblivious to its power and wonder.
When I came to know Jesus Christ as my Savior, I found that, far from being a hollow ritual, the prayer is a most remarkable gift given to us by Jesus. It’s a stunning opportunity to enter in with our Savior in bringing the world-changing movement of God’s Kingdom. It galvanizes us to take action and directs us to live radically different from the world.
Jesus packs so much meaning into so few words. This prayer contains in a nutshell almost everything that Jesus taught, preached, and lived out in his life, death, and resurrection. The challenge is to live in this prayer and not merely recite the words. As we let the words sink into our hearts, we will not only pray them, we will live them out in our daily life.
As our society faces some of its greatest challenges with the breakdown of the family, rising crime, drug usage, economic downturn, and uncertainty of the future, we need the Lord’s Prayer more than ever. Debby and I have committed ourselves to praying the Lord’s Prayer each morning and evening. It’s more than a ritual reserved for Sunday church. It’s our strength each day to face the challenges of the world and to live boldly our faith in Jesus Christ.
Many of those who come to CCDC are struggling with tremendous burdens. We seek to alleviate their burdens with the help we can give to assist them. Our hope is that we are living out the Lord’s Prayer and bringing to others a measure of God’s redeeming Kingdom on earth as it is in Heaven, and overall that we are hallowing the name of our Father in Heaven who may be honored and glorified in all we do.
We appreciate your willingness to help support us in our efforts to reach out to the Near Eastside community with the power of Christ’s love and help extend God’s Kingdom to those we serve.
May God’s Peace be with you,
Pastor Jim and Debby Riley