“And He said to them, ‘When you pray, say: Father, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread, and forgive us our sins, for we ourselves also forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation.’”—Luke 11:2-4 (ESV)
Like many boys, my dad taught me how to ride a bike when I was young. I started with a tricycle, graduated to a bike with training wheels, and eventually to a real “big boy” bike. One of the earliest lessons my dad taught me about riding a bike was to look where I wanted to go. If I wanted to turn right, I needed to look to the right. If I wanted to turn left, I needed to look to the left. I quickly learned that whichever direction my head and eyes were pointing, the rest of my body (and bike) would follow.
In the same way, Jesus gives a similar instruction for our own lives through what we call the Lord’s Prayer. His disciples asked Him to teach them how to pray, and He responded with a short but profound prayer. The prayer that Jesus taught them was a Kingdom-of-God-centered prayer. It revolved around God’s desires for the world and for their lives, rather than just a list of things they wanted. They were instructed to focus on God’s holiness and majesty, and pray for His will to be done in the world. The only part of the prayer that was directed toward them was for God’s provision and forgiveness. In this prayer, Jesus essentially teaches: “Pray in the direction you want your life to go.”
If we are only praying for ourselves, our lives will only be about us. We will be so focused on our wants, needs, desires, inconveniences, etc. that we will miss out on what God has for us. More than that, we will probably be sorely disappointed when God doesn’t answer our self-focused prayers. However, when we are praying for God’s Kingdom to come and for His will to be done in our lives, our perspective will be much different. We will be looking at the world through a Kingdom lens, we will see opportunities to be involved in God’s Kingdom here and now, and our lives will be directed accordingly.
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The Choice of Trust I absolutely love referring to the Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary as many of Noah Webster's original word definitions contain references to the King James Bible itself; this was all before it was diluted into our contemporary dictionaries. Literally this is the definition found in that dictionary: TRUST , noun 1. Confidence; a reliance or resting of the mind on the integrity, veracity, justice, friendship or other sound principle of another person. He that "putteth his trust in the Lord shall be safe." Proverbs 29:25 KJV 2. He or that which is the ground of confidence. ..."O Lord God: thou art my trust from my youth. Psalms 71:5 KJV Trust is a confident expectation. Trust, like faith, is not a feeling. It is a choice. I love that “he that putteth his TRUST in the Lord shall be safe” part of the definition above. Safe? Hmmm? In this world we simply cannot put our trust into imperfect humans. There is only One that cannot fail or forsake us.
“Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” Luke 2:49 NIV https://bible.com/bible/111/luk.2.49.NIV He said to them, “When you pray, say: “ ‘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. And lead us not into temptation. ’ ” Luke 11:2-4 NIV https://bible.com/bible/111/luk.11.2-4.NIV