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Our Father…

Jesus prayed a lot when on earth. His disciples did not pray but were curious about prayer. They weren’t God possessed because they weren’t prayer possessed. Are you? Are your children? How do you communicate the value of prayer to your younger or older children, because I believe it might be your greatest legacy!

I know that when our children grow up they have their own values and habits. They may not respond too well to our prodding about prayer or anything else that relates to our faith, but is that the legacy you want to leave? If not, it may be time to take a risk and merely talk about it. I am sure they are familiar with what Jesus taught His disciples when they asked about prayer: the Our Father. Do not miss that the only reason the disciples asked about it was the power that prayer had in Jesus.

I am writing a few blogs about this one prayer: what it meant and how Jesus wanted His disciples to respond. I am going to use some material from E. Stanley Jones as a cheat sheet to my response to this important prayer.

The prayer is divided into two parts: the God side and the human side. You might want to see the God side in the “Our Father” and “thy name” and “thy kingdom” and “thy will” and the human side in the “Give us” and “forgive us” and “lead us” and “deliver us”. It makes sense that we would first get in tune with God and then the result would be our human behavior through and with God. When in tune with God the result will take care of itself. Thus if you align with the first part of the Lord’s Prayer, the second part comes naturally.

The qualifying word to the Father in the prayer is “Our”. This is very important because had it said “my” father it would have changed Christianity from a we-centered faith to an I-centered faith. Thus the words “Our Father” are quite important. We shift the emphasis from me to the Father and to my brothers and sisters. It is a renunciation of self.

In the first Beatitude (Matt. 5:3) Jesus says the same thing, “Blessed are the poor in spirit {the renounced in spirit), for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” In “Our” we find that we are called to self-surrender to the “Father” and to “Our.” “Our” stretches beyond family, class, gender, race, color, religion; it reaches out to everybody, everywhere.

Without “Our” the prayer would then read, “Give me, forgive me, lead me, deliver me.” Not very attractive! Two worlds are revealed in those two works, “Our Father”; the Fatherhood of God and the Family-hood of humanity. Nice!

 

 

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joe-sturnioloBy Joe Sturniolo
Christian Family Legacy and Wealth Planning
Joe believes that stronger families are the vehicle God uses to bring about significant impact for His Kingdom.

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