The first 23 words of The Lord’s Prayer are directed to God, His holiness, and worthiness to be worshiped. This beginning focuses us on the Person of God and keeps us there until we begin to understand His greatness and humble ourselves before Him. It points us toward God-consciousness, putting God on the throne, and dethroning our self-centered desire to control and get things done by God. The next 30-plus words are petitions, and the next 13 return to the throne of God to gaze on His glory.
The pattern is gaze at Him and glance at our legitimate life needs and problems and then bring them to His throne and leave them there, gazing steadfastly at Him. The Lord’s Prayer is about living by a higher agenda when we ask for the Kingdom agenda, not our own. We will experience cleanness of soul that only forgiveness brings. Through the Lord’s prayer, we ask for victory and confidence in Jesus’ protective shield against the adversary. We will hunger to see more of the kingdom, power, and glory of God revealed in reality, not just as theology.
Meditate on the relationships that God pictures here. Present yourself to Him in all of these roles. Let God expand this outline for you and your individual concerns.
Our Father in heaven: Reflect on His person, intimacy with Him in our family relationship.
Hallowed be Your name: Bow before Him in reverence for Him and His name.
Your will be done: Submit to His plans, obeying His will.
Your kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven: Stand in awe of His kingdom authority, His purpose.
Give us this day our daily bread: Trust His provision, in total dependence on Him for even your next breath.
Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors: Receive His pardon and cleansing from sin, as you forgive others.
Lead us not into temptation: Claim His protection and strength over temptation and sin.
Deliver us from the evil one: Take your stand in His ultimate victory in spiritual warfare.
Yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory. Amen: Be amazed at His power and sovereign, glorious rule.
God is inviting you to renew your heart in Him and join Him in who He is for you in this prayer. With a full heart, thank God for ministering to you deeply in your inner being and inviting you deeper into the wonder of knowing Him better and loving Him more through this classic prayer.
© 2000 Sylvia Gunter. Taken from “Personally Praying the Lord’s Prayer”, Prayer Essentials for Living in His Presence, Vol 2, page 31, and “Praying The Lord’s Prayer For Missionaries,” Vol. 2. p. 190-191. Available from www.thefathersbusiness.com