God is, first and foremost, about relationship. There has never been a time when God was alone, nor has He ever done anything alone. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.” (John 1:1-3 NKJV).
As I’ve stated in the past, God could not be love (1 John 4:8) unless He was able to express it within Himself in relationship, apart from His creation. This is the eternal reality within the Trinitarian Godhead: Father, Son, and Spirit.
24 “Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. (John 17:24 NKJV)
Relationship is at the heart of the model prayer we will look at in a moment.
In part twelve, we looked at how Jesus deals with our hypocrisy and what motivates us to look good to others. We must decide if we’re going to follow after Christ or the praises of man. Jesus continues with this theme on how to pray, which about relationship with God in secret that produces the fruit of Kingdom righteousness in our public lives.
When we look at what’s been dubbed “The Lord’s Prayer,” we find that prayer is primarily about relationship and trust. Here are some basic insights on this prayer outline (Matt.6:9-13):
9 In this manner, therefore, pray:
Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Notice first that we are to pray in this manner. It’s not a prayer to be chanted verbatim, as if the words themselves had some magical power.
Next, notice that it starts with identity and intimacy. He’s not just some distant Deity in heaven. He is personal; He’s our Father. We have the same relationship with the Father that Jesus has because we’ve been placed in Him.
This is likened to the intimacy between a loved child and a good father. God gave us His Spirit of adoption, so we respond in the most intimate term of endearment possible… Abba Father! (Gal.4:4-6).
Finally, while He’s intimate He’s also hallowed, which means He’s worthy to be worshiped and revered above all others. This is a posture of humility and honor.
10 Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
This is the purpose of prayer, to bring “on earth as it is in heaven.” We are carriers of God’s Kingdom, with His mandate to bring His kingdom will upon the earth. God’s will is heaven’s will. If it’s not done in heaven, it’s not God’s will. For instance, is there sickness and disease in heaven? No. So we pray “as it is in heaven.” A good book for further study is Bill Johnson’s “When Heaven Invades Earth.” I highly recommend it.
11 Give us this day our daily bread.
This speaks of trust. Who is my provider? Do I believe that God will take care of me? It doesn’t mean we don’t work or try to provide for our families. It means we acknowledge that these things come from God and that our resources aren’t limited by our circumstances. Another good book I would recommend is by my friend, Mark Hendrickson, “Supernatural Provision: When God Guides, He Provides.”
12 And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
Jesus deals with our graceless self-will with the issue of forgiveness. When we refuse to forgive, we set ourselves up as judge, making ourselves God, usurping His rightful place as a just judge and His authority as a wise king. It’s also for our benefit to forgive. As it’s been said, holding on to unforgiveness is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.
13 And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
There is no evil or darkness in heaven, nor with God. And we also know that God doesn’t tempt us; we are led astray by our own carnal desires (James 1:13-14). So, again, this is a posture of humility, acknowledging that we cannot live the abundant life in Christ we were meant to live apart from His empowering grace (Titus 2:11-12).
Jesus’ prayer outline ends with worship. We acknowledge that this Kingdom is God’s possession, which means that He alone can give it to us, and He alone is worthy of our worship.