He said to them, “When you pray, say:
“ ‘Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation’ ” (2-4)
At its heart prayer is speaking with God our Father. By calling God Father we begin with the intimacy or connected relationship. God is not some distant ‘being’ or ‘entity’ we hope will give us a hearing because of something we have done or some offering we bring Him. No, God listens because He is our Father. As our Father we have a family connection and we can enter His presence anytime because we are family.
Not only is God Father, He is Majestic and King. He deserves all honor and glory because of who He is. None is like Him in splendor. The awe we have for Him will usher us into our prayer and will set the tone for our speaking with Him. He is family but He is also King.
We are invited to ask for what we need… our daily bread. God is not a free ATM who gives us everything and anything we desire in the moment. What kind of Father would He be if He spoiled us rotten?! However, God will give us what we need when we need it… daily bread. By giving us what we need in the present God invites us to always be present with Him. If He gave us everything we needed forever we would never need to return to Him. We have a loving dependence upon and with God our Father.
One of His great gifts and a gift He can adjudicate because He is King is our forgiveness, our pardon, our release from the burden guilt lays on our backs. This is one of our great needs… forgiveness, pardon, release. God our Father and King lavishes this upon us for the asking.
God our Father will lead us in life and away from pitfalls if we ask Him. Remember He loves to be present with us. He also loves to guide us when He is with us, but He will not force His way, so He invites us to ask and He will lead us away from temptation.
There we have it… prayer in its essence…
Praise be to You… hallowed be your name, your kingdom come…
Give me that which I need today, food, shelter, work, companionship… Give us each day our daily bread.
Forgive my sins and lead me in right living and on a path that avoids sin… Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation. Amen.