The Lord’s Prayer (Mathew 6:9-13) is a profound pattern for prayer that Jesus taught His followers. It is hard to exhaust its riches and its capacity to edify the people of God. Jesus not only teaches the primacy of God in our lives but He seriously takes into account our full humanity.
NO MERE ANIMAL
The first petitions of the Lord’s Prayer expand our vision of our earth and of ourselves. It breaks through our inveterate tendencies to live small lives in which we become all too comfortable to live according to physical pleasures and desires.” Hallowing God’s name”,”praying for God’s kingdom and will to be realized on earth as it is in heaven”, remind us that we are more than mere physical creatures. We are also spiritual beings who have been given the great privilege and capacity to relate to Almighty God, the source of everything good. We are called to love Him and worship Him and be vice-regents through which His kingly purposes are realized on this earth.
God desires to bring His shalom and goodness to bear in our neighborhoods, workplaces, and in our culture through you and I. It is Christians who know God and who are in a covenant relationship with Him through the crucified and risen Lord Jesus. We profess to know God, and we are called to make Him known to those who don’t know God. This isn’t an arrogant assertion as Jesus Himself declared regarding His followers “You are the light of the world” (Mathew 5:14a).
NO MERE ANGEL
We truly are spiritual beings. But we are also physical beings. Our spirituality and physicality are both part of our essential humanity. After focussing on God and our need to worship (“hallow”) Him, Jesus turns to our need for daily bread in the Lord’s Prayer (Mathew 6:11). We are not angels who do not have a physical body or physical needs. We are embodied souls and spirits. We are not in a physical body by accident. God relates to us as fully-bodied selves. He created our bodies and He redeems our bodies. Our hope is to be resurrected in bodies that will not be subject to evil, disease or death (Revelation 21:1-4). We will see Jesus face to face(1John 3:2,3).
In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus acknowledges our full humanity as spiritual and material beings. The LORD’s desire for you and I is to fully participate both in God and in this world. Christian spirituality is an earthy faith. This is our Father’s world and He is reclaiming it for His glory through Jesus Christ, the Redeemer. The resurrected Jesus is the firstfruits of the new creation and He is in the process of making everything new (2Corinthians 5:17, Revelation 21:5). Those who have been regenerated by the Holy Spirit, through the crucified and risen Christ, have the great privilege and responsibility to be agents and channels of this new creation, of this new life. In Jesus, He has given all we need to flourish spiritually and materially. This is the Good News of Jesus.