Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.
We all have various relationships-those which we inherited, those which we chose, those which were chosen for us, or simply those which just happened by chance. I dare to say, we all probably have one or two which we might still fantasize over because the connection never blossomed the way we hoped. But oh, the joy that comes from those precious relationships we hold near and dear. And how do they become the side of the coin where we say “Heads-I win”? Time-Conversations-Togetherness-Listening-Etc… What are your thoughts?
The Lord’s Prayer was given to us by Jesus as a roadmap to building the best relationship we could ever have-a connection with God. Our Savior did not set out for this to be a recited prayer as we know it today. In Matthew chapter 6, we find the building blocks to establishing a strong connection. It is His directives for us to carry out when seeking the most fulfilling relationship we could ever have – a personal connection with God.
Jesus wanted us to know how to start a quality relationship. As with anyone, it begins with sturdy framework. The LORD shows us over and over that relationships incorporate things like a desire to love unconditionally, to give of one’s self, and to be committed regardless of what comes. Jesus conveyed the elements of this foundation through the main concepts we find in the Lord’s Prayer.
Jesus tells us -like every conversation we have- we must recognize who we are in conversation with. When we call 1-800-heaven let us remember we are talking with the Creator of the universe who cares for each one of us. This is no ordinary person. This is GOD! But in all relationships, we need to really know who we are connecting with and that takes dedication.
Relationships require intimacy and genuine care for each other (even the junk which comes with it-good days & bad). Remember, not everyone wants to get into the nitty gritty depth so they will only want a surface level connection. However, unlike some of our earthly relationships, God wants to be intimately involved in every part of our life. He cares for each one of us. He truly listens to us. Yes, even in our ranting and raging moments or when we are caught up in sin, God hears us, sees us, and loves us. That’s why Jesus advices us to pray for God’s plans will be worked out in our life (“your will be done”), and to bring even the most mundane matters of everyday living into our conversation with Him (“give us today our daily bread”).
Next, we want our relationships to be free of any barriers or miscommunication. Same with our LORD. That is why Jesus directs us to look at our sin. This three letter word is a roadblock between us and God and between us and others. Our Father wants us to have a heart willing to confess and repent our sins (“forgive us our debts”) and to forgive those who have wronged us (“as we also have forgiven our debtors”). In Matthew 6:14-15, the Bible highlights the significance of forgiveness and how important it is to extend mercy to those who have hurt us.
Finally, God wants us to live free from the painful consequences of sinful choices. We pray “lead us not into temptation” because we need His strength and assistance to keep us from temptation. Is it nice to know He has our back and promises to never leave us nor forsake us. God cares about us and wants us to live in community with one another. We are all His children and He is our ultimate Father. Yes, He wants us to live as one big happy family.
There is great value in relationships and may I dare to say abundant knowledge in all: precious or a struggle. Listen, our Lord didn’t intend for us to walk this pathway alone. That is why He is always with us and is open to hear what we have to say. But He wants us to live in relationship with others.
So take a moment and think about all the relationships in your life. How does God want your half of all relationships to look?
Let us be encouraged to embrace God’s method and be devoted for a lifetime to extend mercy, forgiveness, understanding, gentleness, kindness, hope, encouragement, joy, and most of all love to every relationship we have been gifted. May we be encouraged to not only make our time on earth matter, but chose for our lives to be a radiant beam of outstanding love so those after us will be encouraged to do the same.