Here we are: the final week in our series on the Lord’s Prayer. We made it! We hope it was both encouraging and inspiring…and most importantly, that it leads and compels us to PRAY more. Every thing must come to an end, even Jesus’ teaching on prayer. Some might say that it ends with a splash.
Think about what we’ve been reminded about? Some very important essentials: (show the prayer)
- God is Father…He is Holy
- We can pray for his ways, his kingdom, to be present right where we are…and we can live in a way that expresses this…
- God is our provider…each and every day
- God forgives…and invites us to extend that forgiveness to others
- God leads & delivers us…away from temptation and away from evil
After Jesus says all the things we read in this prayer…we are then presented with 3 words: Kingdom, Power, Glory. It reads like this in the NKJV, For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen. This is essentially a closing statement, a clincher, the final word…it’s a Doxology – a Benediction – an AMEN.
It’s worth noting that not all bible translations agree on including this section in the prayer. There is however, enough evidence, both form the first century and the last four centuries to justify its use. The reason being is that these words summarize so well what Jesus is trying to say. They solidify the rest of the prayer. What’s also important to notice is the beginning and ending of this prayer are so closely knit by telling us who God is. Jesus begins with Father and ends with King; he begins with Holy and ends with Powerful.
Is it possible that Jesus is trying to helps us deal with our false view of power and guide us back to the one who is truly powerful? We can probably agree that we put too much value on power and before we know it start abusing it for our own gain.
Lincoln said this “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”
Jesus, with this one statement, centres and balances our perspective – God gives life, God provides, God forgives, God delivers, God leads.
How do we fight against our desire for a false view of power? A few suggestions might be to pray, rest (sabbath), worship, gathering (community), love and serve others, be generous, be light, etc.
Don’t fight the power struggle alone, let Jesus’ invitation to prayer bring us to a place of humility, reminding us of who God is and what he does.
After 6 weeks in The Lord’s Prayer what are some must have take-a-ways?
This prayer is a model, not a formula. Jesus says, ‘pray like this’. Prayer is about relationship, not results.
Prayer is never selfish, but always selfless. We never read the word me in this prayer. Instead we read Our Father, give us, forgive us, forgive others, lead us, deliver us. Prayer really is a community thing. No matter if you’re praying alone in your home or your car or your seat at church, you are praying with the community of people who you follow Jesus with.
Lastly, if there’s only one thing you take away, let it be this, PRAY! Just pray!
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small(er) group discussion: (VIDEO RECAP)
What are some feelings or thoughts you may have about The Lord’s Prayer? Inviting? Challenging? Helpful? Thankful?
Jesus ends with 3 words: Kingdom, Power, Glory. Any thoughts on this? Why?
Does our culture struggle with power? Do we tend to want more of it than we should have? (Lincoln’s quote)
– Where do you see this in others? Where do you see this in you?
– What leads to this?
– What can help us stay away from this?
Some earlier and more recent theologians say that this last statement in the Lord’s prayer summarizes and/or solidifies the whole prayer? How so? How does it connect to the first phrase of the prayer(Our Father, Holy is your name)?
Two take homes from the prayer:
1) Did you notice the lack of a certain word, ‘me’? What we read instead is Our Father, Forgive us, Deliver us. What do you make of that?
2) Can we all agree that this prayer should, at least, if nothing else, encourage and challenge us to pray more?