Monday: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name, …..for the kingdom, the power and the glory are Yours, now and forever. Amen
This week is a special week: You have probably heard of Christmas and Easter being really big celebrations for Christians but another festival, called Pentecost is also a really important festival when we remember how the first church started – it is a bit like the birthday of the church. Consequently, this year, our Archbishops in the Church of England; Archbishop Justin and Archbishop John are encouraging all Christians to be praying over this week in particular – so thousands and thousands of people will be doing this putting on events and you can be part of this too. They have called these events and activities ‘Thy Kingdom come’. – this is a phrase from a famous prayer that Jesus taught his friends – sometimes called the Lord’s prayer.
When Jesus was asked how to pray he gave his friends a special prayer. This prayer was not just a great prayer to pray: It didn’t just give them the words to say to God; but it also helped them and us to understand more about how to pray. In other words it teaches us how to pray. All this week we are going to be looking at how this prayer teaches us about praying to God and there will also be an opportunity to learn this fantastic prayer this week so that you can pray it for yourself.
When we write a letter, the beginning and ending usually gives clues about who we might be writing too – whether it is formal letter (e.g to an important person, or formal situation: it might start ‘Dear sir’ or ‘Dear Mr Routledge and end ‘Yours faithfully or Sincerely etc) … or a friendly letter, email or text (e.g. to a family member of friend: starting ‘Hi Dad’, or ‘Hi Chris’ and ‘lots of love’ or ‘best wishes’ or ‘Give my love to’ at the end).
Prayer is a bit like a letter or conversation: It is simply talking to God. The Lord’s prayer starts with:
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name,
…..for the kingdom, the power and the glory are Yours, now and forever. Amen
So just in those first and last lines we can learn a lot about prayer and who we are speaking to. It is clear we are talking to someone who is VERY special and important indeed: someone who created everything and who is very powerful; who is unique and special – that’s what hallowed be your name means. So this is someone who can really do something about the things we talk to Him about- he has the power and authority to change things. However, it also says that he is ‘Our Father’ – in fact the word that is used in the Bible, in the original language, is much more like ‘daddy’: its the sort of name that you give to someone you really love and know. So Jesus here teaches us to speak to the great, all powerful God of the universe as intimately and lovingly as we might talk to our parents. You might like to think about the combination of intimacy and power as you pray the Lord’s Prayer today:
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours
now and for ever.