Ok, before you decide to skip this because you’ve got this prayer well memorized – let me interject some thoughts to interrupt the rote, mundane familiarity. Consider:
- This prayer starts with “our Father in heaven”: wholly other to us, but Jesus uses the “Father” metaphor to give us some kind of familiar context to latch onto, a beginning point (don’t let it trip you up if the father you grew up with fell way short of a “good dad” or if he was simply absent in your life)
- the next 3 “requests” have everything to do with emphasizing God in our lives through: reverence to His Name, obedience to His Kingship and surrender to His will. How often is our prayer life initiated with these 3 priorities? Hmmmmmmm
- the next 4 “requests” ask for God’s participation in our daily living: give me what I need for today, help me to be forgiving in my relationships, keep me away from temptation & protect me from the evil one.
Could I impose upon you to try an experiment for a week? Would you consider making the 1st three God requests every morning when you wake up? After this, on the way to work or school, would you then submit to God the 4 petitions that are more self focused?
I’ve been trying this & have been pleasantly suprised – at present, I can’t find more words to bring more clarity to the experience. its just been good!!