Matthew 6:7 – When you are praying, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard because of their many words. (NRSV)
Our church is a liturgical church, which means that our congregation follows an outlined service in a Book of Worship. We always say the "Lord's Prayer" at one point or another, and it seems that on this one particular Sunday, the words of the Lord's Prayer were being repeated very quickly by the congregation. We all say words by rote without thinking and without digesting every word or line. Do we really think about the words that Jesus taught His disciples in the Lord's Prayer, passed on to us?
When I arrived home that Sunday, I opened my Bible to the Book of Matthew, Chapter 6 and started reading at verse 9 and really thought about what Jesus' words meant to me:
Our Father who art in heaven:
Do I respect and honour Him in all things?
Hallowed be Thy Name:
Do I do or speak certain things that will bring disrespect and dishonour to His Name?
Thy Kingdom come:
The kingdom of God is within me and will come when I follow and obey Christ.
Thy will be done:
Do I follow my own self-interests, or do I obey and step out in faith as the Holy Spirit leads?
On earth as it is in heaven:
Do I sit back and do nothing to bring about God's will right now?
Give us this day our daily bread:
Do I acknowledge that everything I have is from God?
And forgive us our trespasses:
Do I live as a forgiven servant of Christ or am I carrying many burdens unnecessarily?
As we forgive those who trespass against us:
Do I hold grudges when someone hurts my ego? I have to remember where I have been and what I have become in Christ.
Lead us not into temptation:
Do I really believe that God is alive today, tomorrow and forever?
And deliver us from evil:
Do I believe that God is able?
For Thine is the kingdom, the power, the glory for ever and ever. Amen.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, help us to meditate on every word that You speak to us through Your holy word, the Bible, a gift from You to us. Reveal, by Your Holy Spirit, Your will for us. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.