Submitted by: Jerry Williams.
First Petition: “Hallowed be thy Name”
This means that, while God’s name is indeed holy in itself, we pray it may be holy among us also.
God’s name is hallowed when the Word of God is proclaimed in truth and purity and when we lead a holy life according to it. We are to honor God’s name by living obediently under God’s authority and Jesus’ lordship. We do this by being aware of His presence constantly, in every aspect of our lives.
When we begin to see the true holiness of God, His purity reveals our impurity, for we all fall short of the glory of God.
Second Petition: “Thy kingdom come”
This means that, while God’s kingdom comes even without our prayer, we pray it may come to us also and to come quickly. God’s kingdom does come to us when our Father gives us His Holy Spirit so that we believe and proclaim His holy Word and lead a godly life.
The kingdom of God is a society upon earth where God’s will is done as perfectly as it is in Heaven. It was announced in the covenant with Abraham (Mat.8:11), is present in Jesus’ reign in believers’ hearts (Luke17:21) and will be complete when all evil is destroyed and God establishes the new Heaven and earth (rev.21:1). To be in the kingdom today is to obey the will of God by submitting our wills, our hearts and our lives to Him. When each of us makes his or her personal submission, then the kingdom comes.
Third Petition: “Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven”
God’s will is done perfectly in Heaven—nothing hinders it: not the devil, not the world and not us. Here we express our willingness to submit to His rule whatever the cost.We are asking God to fulfill His plans in and through us. This request demands our action—our saying “YES” to God.
Fourth Petition: Give us this day our daily bread.”
We pray that God gives us everything belonging to the support and needs of our bodies such as food, drink, clothing, shoes, home, money, a good spouse and children, good friends and neighbors, good government, good weather, peace, health, discipline and honor.
God wants us to know that all these blessings and more come from Him as gracious gifts and that we should receive them with thanksgiving.
We are to pray “daily” and “this day” because we should be satisfied with what we receive each day and not worry about the future.
On a spiritual level, we pray for the bread of the Lord’s Supper, the food of God’s Word and for Jesus, Himself. (“I am the Bread of life.” John 6:33)
Editor’s note: This is the second installment of a 3 part series. Look for the next installment in the Mar. issue.