“Our father who art in Heaven.” Many of us can recite the Lord’s Prayer seamlessly. It’s as basic to Christians as 2+2=4. However, after a while it becomes more something said on autopilot rather than a true prayer with meaning. There’s a difference between knowing something and understanding it. One can know words, learn them, recite them, but unless they understand what those words mean, both individually and within the context of each other, they’re not actually saying anything.
Since realizing this, I have meditated on this prayer several times. While I would like to go in depth and unpack the Lord’s Prayer fully, this would be the length of an essay, and I assume you don’t have an hour and a half. However, it’s important that we are conscious of what we pray and how it reflects on us. Through this prayer, God asks us, as much as we ask of Him, to forgive others and ourselves, take care of our needs, focus on others, and be conscious of our temptations and the evils we may do. Although, when Jesus said “pray like this,” I don’t think He meant for us to pray these words exactly; rather, He asks us to keep it simple and keep in mind what God wants from us. Yes, God knows what’s in our hearts, but so must we be conscious of what we ask of Him from the bottom of our hearts.
“For if you forgive others their trespasses, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” (Matthew 6:14-15 ESV)
When Jesus taught this prayer to His disciples, he asked them to be conscious and be kind. Thus we should too. When we pray, let us be aware of what we say and be certain that it comes from love and kindness. Amen.
“Pray like this:Our Father in heaven,may your name be kept holy.May your Kingdom come soon.May your will be done on earth,as it is in heaven.Give us today the food we need,and forgive us our sins,as we have forgiven those who sin against us.And don’t let us yield to temptation,but rescue us from the evil one.“Matthew 6:9-13 NLT