St Leonards Church
Prayer & Reflection
The Lord's Prayer - a simple yet profound prayer
‘Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us.'
One of the most famous prayers in the world is the one we know as 'The Lord's Prayer'. Jesus gave it to the world when someone asked him, "Lord, teach us to pray". And he started it by saying, “When you pray, say: “‘Father'". Prayer is first and foremost about relationship. We don't know God if we don't spend time getting to know the God whom Jesus called 'Father'; and not just any father but the one who wants what's best for us.
Then we pray 'hallowed be your name', which is a way of saying, 'your name is holy' - we place our trust in the one who shows us what is right and pure and wholesome, that is what is 'holy'. God's name describes his nature - the name helps us know who God is.
Next comes 'your kingdom come'. God created this world to sustain us and where we can enjoy all the beauty and resources it has to offer, so we can live fulfilled and joyful lives. However we know our world is not like that for everyone, so when we pray 'your kingdom come' we are asking for God's hopes to become our hopes. God created this world so all people can enjoy all it has to offer, but humanity has gone its own way. In Jesus, God is showing us the Way all can be well. We see that now in part and one day it will be brought to completion. The more we pray, the more God seems to make our lives well.
When we realise all is not well with the world, we are asked to pray 'Forgive us our sins'. Sin is simply those things which damage our relationship with God, with other people, with our own sense of self and with our planet. God always forgives and restores us and so we are asked to 'forgive everyone who sins against us'. We need forgiveness for all that we do which diminishes and destroys relationships. Jesus is asking us to pray for relationships to be right again: to restore, to mend, to build up, to forgive.
But before we do that, which can be hard, we are asked to pray, "Give us each day our daily bread." Just enough for today, to do what God requires of us. During the month of September, we look forward to harvest time, when we remember God has given us all we need to live life in all its fulness. God does provide, we just need to ask.
The Lord's Prayer is that prayer which invites us to get to know God; to recognise the Jesus way as the best way to live life; to forgive and set right all that is wrong and to ask God to provide for our daily needs.
A simple and yet profound prayer, seeking what is good, right, pure and life enhancing for all people. I’ll say 'Amen' to that.
Rev’d Mark Anderson