#WCW – Word Crush Wednesday: Reading On Earth as it is in Heaven
9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. 10 Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.11 Give us this day our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. – Matthew 6:9-13
So many of my prayers begin with Lord I, Lord Me, or Lord My–Lord, I need you to intervene in this situation, Lord me and my family need, and, Lord my life this or that. Selfish? I’d like to believe none of the prayers I beseech the throne for are filled with the desire for outrageous necessities over needs for survival. However, after careful review, I can concede a few of them embody the former. No, I don’t pander the Master for houses and cars, but I do ask for an occational occupational door or two be opened by favor. If some of you were to be honest right now, you’d find a few I’s, Me’s, and My’s in your prayers as well. No judgement.
Recently, I’ve begun reading
On Earth As It Is In Heaven by W. W. Wiersbe. It’s a unique approach to understanding the importance of praying The Lord’s Prayer. I pray this prayer with my children every night as a bedtime prayer. It’s easy to learn, quick to recite, and pretty much embodies all the simple necessaries we need to pray to God. While reading this unique read, I came across a passage that kinda stood my logic of this prayer up in a corner.
We must examine our own praying in light of the characteristics of the Lord’s Prayer. To begin with, the plural pronouns in the prayer (our, we, and us) indicate that the Lord’s Prayer is a family prayer. We may pray in solitude, but we never really pray alone, for as the people of God we belong to each other and we affect each other. It isn’t wrong to pray about our personal needs. The scriptures record many personal prayers where I, My, and Me predominate, including David’s psalms and the prayers of Jesus and Paul. The plural pronouns in the Lord’s Prayer remind us that we belong to a great family of faith and we must never ask anything for ourselves that would adversely affect our Christian brothers and sisters in the church at large.
From a youth, I’ve always recited this prayer from a personal perspective–give me this day your daily bread, forgive me my debts, lead my not into temptation. I’ve honestly and innocently never given much weight to the our, we, and us. I just assumed the Lord was making a point. But going back and beginning to study the prayer with this clear perception, opens my heart up to a whole new level of depth to the meaning behind why the Lord asks us to pray this way. Are we inclusively submitting requests to the King for ourselves while praying for us? Does the forgiveness for us began with an I or a we?
I look forward to pressing further into this study. I’m enjoying every moral of this. In the meantime, my goal is to continue sincerely praying for “us”.