We all have a debt problem. We were born with it. No matter how good we are, nothing that we can ever do could pay off the debt that we have incurred. Praise God, there is a remedy and we can be totally and eternally debt free! When John the Baptist saw Jesus he declared, ‘Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.’ So our debt is dealt with. And it’s so good that the forgiveness of our debt doesn’t rely upon whether or not other people chose to forgive us. However, we do have to choose to forgive. Failing to do so has too great a cost.
Look at Matthew 6:14-15, in The Message version:
“In prayer there is a connection between what God does and what you do. You can’t get forgiveness from God, for instance, without also forgiving others. If you refuse to do your part, you cut yourself off from God’s part.”
As St Augustine said, ‘With an unforgiving heart we are actually asking God not to forgive us.’
Let’s keep short records with others; forgive as we have been forgiven.
This part of Jesus’ prayer is not just a personal reminder that everything we have comes from Jehovah Jireh, our Providing Father. It has greater social significance than that.
In Jesus’ time, there were two kinds of beggar and they treated them differently. Those who were part of the community would be given a week’s worth of food. But the poorest of the poor were the itinerant beggars who belonged to no community, had no-one and had nothing. They were only given a day’s worth of food.
Jesus prays the beggar’s prayer, for a day’s worth of bread.
When we pray this, identify with Jesus – “Foxes have dens to live in, and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place even to lay his head.” (Luke 9:58)
And when we pray this, pray for the poor and the refugee.
Many kingdoms and empires have come and gone, even in my lifetime. The proud and the mighty are often humbled, given time. That could apply to us today, because we all want to be the king or queen of our own lives. In reality, there are only two kingdoms, two domains where there are clear rulers – one is the kingdom of darkness, the devil’s domain; the other is the Kingdom of Light, the Kingdom of God. We are all born into one, but need to get into the other.
Jesus’ purpose on earth was to proclaim, preach about and demonstrate what the Kingdom of God is. We see him do miracles, healings, even resurrections. He declared, ‘The Kingdom of God is among you; the Kingdom of God is at hand.’ He also brought a message of repentance and hope. It’s what Jesus was born for, and what we are also born again for. To see His Kingdom come in the earth, in our workplaces, neighbourhoods towns, I believe God is calling us back to go deeper with this prayer. Ask yourself these questions:
What do I get up for in the morning?
Is there a desire in me to see God’s Kingdom come?
Am I ready to join the Holy Spirit in what He is doing today?
What difference does the Kingdom of God make? What does it look like ? (Consider what Jesus did in his life, and also righteousness, justice, peace and joy)
I pray that we become outposts of His Kingdom in these times, so that others can know the effect of his Kingdom through our lives.
The word “hallowed” means to be holy, distinguished from and higher than all others. Sacred. Most special, therefore most honoured. The word ‘be’ does not signify that the Father’s name IS hallowed. His name is His character and His will, and where these have authority, He is hallowed.
The whole of history is moving towards the point where God will be acknowledged as holy, sacred, the authority over creation. Psalm 46 speaks prophetically of this: ‘ I will be exalted (hallowed) over the nations, I will be exalted (hallowed) over the earth’. So when we pray it, we are asking for something that is a dead cert to happen. And by praying it, we give ourselves to be the ones who hallow His name in how we live and interact with the world. It’s not about telling people not to blaspheme; it’s about revealing the character of His name in and through our conduct in the world.
So, at the start of a new day, let’s stop and align ourselves with this purpose. Hallow him in private worship and praise, hallow Him in your words and actions; pray that He will be hallowed in your workplace today, in our city, our nation and even in places we have never been to. Ultimately, this means people turning to Christ.
Our ultimate desire, if we want to pray like Jesus, has to be that Father is hallowed.
The disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray. They could see that how Jesus interacted with God was unique and where His power came from. The first thing Jesus demonstrates is that they can address God as he does – as ‘Abba’. Dad. Jesus opened the way for the disciples and for us today to come to the almighty creator God, and call him Father.
The writer to the Romans tells us, ‘… you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.”‘(Romans 8:15, NLT). Knowing this and experiencing this is key to our prayer life and to our productivity. Being rightly related to the Father is all about the adoption which He lovingly initiates through Jesus, and not conceited with our worthiness to be his sons and daughters.
Today, I pray that you will enjoy being His child, and accept the fact that He loves you and will not let you go. Also accept the fact that, as His child here on earth whilst He is in heaven, you are especially chosen to bear the family name and be part of the family business. Dare to call Him Father, for that is who He is.