TEACH US TO PRAY Week 4 Printable version
Luke 11:1 Now Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray…”
Matthew 6:9-13 (Luke 11:2-4) Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
Week 1 we focused on God. Week 2 we focused on God’s sovereign reign and rule—His Kingdom. Week 3 we focused on our needs for the glory of God.
“Heaven comes first, since the first half of the prayer is about heavenly things: our father in heaven; his kingdom, name, and will. … Earth comes second, since the second half is about earthy things: fresh bread, monetary debts, trials and temptations.” Tertullian
The transitional line of the prayer “on earth as it is in heaven” is better translated “as in heaven, so also on earth.” Rendering it in this way restores how the prayer pivots from what is above and what is below. Armed with this fresh translation, notice that what Jesus instructs his disciples to pray in the Lord’s Prayer is deceptively simple. He says, essentially: “What’s in heaven, Father, bring about on earth.” Jesus enjoins them (and us!) to ask that God swing all that is in heaven onto the earth, folding the divine onto the everyday, mapping what is “thine” onto the humble, messy business of what we otherwise pretend to be “ours.” Nathan Johnson
Eternal Lord and Father, the heavens declare your glory, the earth your riches. Your presence is greater than I can comprehend, yet you revealed yourself to the world through your Son, Jesus Christ and dwell in me through your Holy Spirit. I know you are the author and finisher of faith, that the whole work of redemption is yours alone, that every good work or thought found in me is the effect of your power and grace and that your sole motive in working in me to will and to do is for your good pleasure—for your glory alone. I thank you for the riches to me in Jesus, for the unclouded revelation of Him in your Word, where I hold His Person, character, grace, glory, humiliation, sufferings, death and resurrection. I come to you in the all prevailing name of Jesus, with nothing of my own to plead, no works, not worthiness, no promises. Impress deeply upon me a sense of your omnipresence, that you are about my path, my ways, my lying down, and my end. Help me to pray in faith and so find your will, by leaning hard on your rich free mercy, by believing you will give what you have promised. Strengthen me to pray with conviction, that whatever I receive is your gift, so that I may pray until my prayer is answered according to your will. Your will conquers all. There is no comfort in anything apart from enjoying you and being engaged in your service. I am well pleased with your will, whatever it is or should be in all respects. Knowing you are in control of all, that you are good, right, just and loving, my prayer turns wholly into praise, and all I can do is to adore and bless you. Let your love draw me close to you, reveal my sin to me that I may confess and turn from it. Show me those things that keep me from you. May you be all that my heart desires. Help me to know continually that there can be no true happiness, no fulfilling of your purpose for me, apart from a life lived in and for Christ Jesus.