Christ’s Prayer, Part II (180-181/365)

In my own journey of learning more of Christ and His finished work and how it’s all so infused into my own life, I’ve heard quite a number of sermons that have taken on the Lord’s Prayer. The one common major point that I remember among all these people who I recall I listened to – Charles Stanley of inTouch Ministries, and Miles MacPherson of The Rock Church San Diego to name a few – is that the words of Christ were a sort of pattern to follow when the time came that we would be doing our own prayer.

Now that I mention it I do remember my own Dad sharing the template he heard from his own time listening to Pastors about prayer. Let me try to draw it from memory – you start off with praise, then follow with your supplications (your requests, as in ‘give us this day our daily bread’), then supplications (‘forgive us our sins…’), then your concerns (‘lead us not into temptation’), and then finally end it how you started, with praise again.

I intended to do my own writing on the Lord’s Prayer with some of me thinking that I wouldn’t necessarily follow the same points as I used to, what with how much we’ve been transformed by the renewing of my mind since more than a decade ago. I thought I wouldn’t be following a template either, but apparently, it couldn’t be avoided.

For, see, we came up with the following thoughts yesterday:

So far this Lord’s Prayer has us proclaiming that which IS – ‘Our Father in Heaven, Hallowed be thy Name’

The Creator of the Universe, who is our God, is not only our God, but He is a Father to us – He is OUR Father. Father to all races, all genders, all wealth classes, all nations… Yet He does not override the place of our earthly Fathers, for He is our Father, not only in this reality, but in eternity beyond time, and infinity beyond space. He is our Father in Heaven, a sure Father even for those of us who have not known their earthly fathers; He is OUR Father, and Father for those who have not had the best relationships with their own earthly fathers.

And while we recognize His power and glory, we celebrate first and foremost how His name – yes, even just His name – is hallowed, as in holy and set apart. Like I said yesterday, when we say that His name is hallowed, we are doing two things: We are recognizing our place as His creation, and we are recognizing His foremost authority, His infinite superiority over us as our Creator.

I say that this is us proclaiming what IS, because Christ chose these particular words, even before He continued down the line of His ministry of reconciliation, even before He was nailed to the cross – He taught His disciples of how God is our Father in Heaven, whose name is already hallowed in itself; It was already true before His death, resurrection and ascension.

This Lord’s Prayer has us proclaiming that which WAS – ‘Thy Kingdom come’ – That is, one way of us seeing Christ’s finished ministry of reconciliation is by looking at the Kingdom of Heaven being established here on earth. By the death of the Lamb of God, earth was ‘raised’ to heaven, and by the resurrection and ascension of the King of Kings, heaven (by way of the Holy Spirit) was ‘poured down’ to earth – this is a very vast perspective of what exactly was signified by the veil of the Holy of Holies being torn from top to bottom.

The Lord’s Prayer also has us proclaiming that which WILL BE – ‘Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven’ – We’ve established that God’s will, from one simplified perspective, is relationship. As Father, Son, and Holy Spirit celebrated their union, we were created. Sin separated us from this union, but through Christ and all He has done, we have been reconciled and reunited with the Trinity. Christ paid a great price for this to be firmly established in the heavenlies. Our reality now, as reconciled children of the Most High, is an inseparable union with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, not for us to experience in the future or at the end of our finite bodies (whichever comes first), but to celebrate and enjoy even now, within the confines of time, as it is true beyond time.

Once we asked, ‘Give us this day our daily bread’, but I submitted that in our celebration of the new reality we are in and enjoying, we proclaim that God has done more than give us our daily ration of manna, but in Christ, He has given us the bread of life, Christ’s body which has been given to us, that as we believe we may starve, but we will never grow hungry. We face the prospect of overflowing provision or severe lack in this world with peace and power, knowing that our entire beings have been satisfied with the Bread of Life – that is, Christ Himself.

What a recap. Anyway, that’s where I more or less left off yesterday. We have Christ as our bread, and just as in the celebration of what some religions would call Holy Communion, we drink wine, remembering the blood of Jesus Christ which was shed – with this in mind, if we acknowledge that God has given us our Bread of Life in Christ, so as we remember His blood, we acknowledge that our sins have been forgiven.

To ask for daily bread is still considerable, but what follows, at least the way I think about it currently, is non-negotiable; for we no longer would ask God to forgive our sins. His kingdom has come, after all; and another perspective of the salvation we have in Christ is that our sins have been absolutely forgiven – in fact, as I like to keep on saying, sin has been separated from us, as the east is forever separated from the west.

It’s at around this point that I’d like to mention that apparently, some folks (especially those who would have their congregations say the Lord’s Prayer verbatim) still subscribe to the obsolete thought that we forgive so that we would be forgiven. For see, if we say, ‘forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us’ we are essentially asking God to forgive us because we have forgiven others.

No, today, in light of what Christ has done for us, we thank God; we are able to forgive because through Christ,  we ourselves have had sin separated from us, now and forever.

So we proclaim, Father, let Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven… We celebrate the fulfillment of Your will through Christ, who is for us the Bread of Life, and the forgiveness of our sins.

I feel as if I’m in over my head. If you’re reading this and you’ve reached this point, well, thank you. If you think there’s anything off with what I’m sharing, please, please let me know.

Right now I’m thinking… can we take it even further? I mean, can we take the next lines of the Lord’s Prayer and keep proclaiming it as part of the will of God done here on earth as it is in heaven?

For see, because our entire beings have been fully and supernaturally satisfied by Christ, who is our Bread of Life, have we not also been led away from temptation in the process?

And see, because we have been totally separated from sin and because now we have been made righteous, does this not also mean that we have been delivered from evil?

Putting this into consideration brings us into yet another perspective as to just how precious Christ’s finished work is for us. I’ve never necessarily imagined that the implications of Christ’s body being offered to us, as we would remember it in Holy Communion, would also include us being led away from temptation.

I mean, I suppose it makes sense. The fleeting pleasures of this world may not necessarily have the same death-grip over our minds and bodies as before, because our entire beings have been satisfied by the body of Christ offered up for us. I’ll be honest, this isn’t something I have fully integrated to my way of moving and being as of right now… but it is something worth considering. I feel as if it gives new meaning to something we used to say in Eucharistic Prayers, which does have its basis in the New Testament:

“Halleluyah! Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us!

Therefore let us keep the feast! Halleluyah!”

Now see, to not only call Christ the Lamb of God, but to call Him our literal Passover – I mean, it challenges me to see the sheer impact of Christ’s body, and it challenges me to continue to go down the road of appreciating Christ as our Bread of Life. Indeed, bless the Lord, and forget not His benefits.

It’s the same thing when we remember His blood poured out for us, through the same Communion feast.

We’ve already established that by the blood of Christ, not only have we been forgiven of sin, but we have been disassociated to it – we have been separated from sin, now and forever. On that note I believe we can say that we have been delivered from prime evil (shades of Diablo lore right there); we have been delivered from total separation from God, and all its effects – that is, death (or entropy, as I personally prefer), and fear.

Now this I’m inclined to say I’ve integrated into me – or it at least sounds more familiar to me than going deeper in appreciating how Christ offered His body, and how we are led from temptation in the process. As of late, I’ve taken to living – and REALLY living, knowing that NOTHING can ever separate us from the love of God, and as such, even if our physical bodies die, we would not perish, because we have Christ as our Righteousness and Life. I therefore have been set free of the fear that dictates that God could send my body and soul to Sheol because of anything and everything. I have been brought into the sheer confidence that through Christ, God is with me 100% of the time, all the time.

Nothing separates us from the love of God through Jesus Christ. On the same token, everything reminds us of the everlasting love of God, because of Christ.

We have been delivered from evil, because we have been reconciled to Life, and Life everlasting.

In all that we’ve discussed regarding the words of the Lord’s Prayer so far, I believe we have been given even more perspectives encouraging us to appreciate Christ and what He has accomplished through His birth, death, resurrection and ascension. We’ve been given new insights as to what it means to have Christ as our Salvation.

With all this read and said, I believe it is just timely that indeed, we would wrap it all up in sheer awe and praise, proclaiming God’s power beyond power, and God’s glory beyond glory. It is literally shouted out, no matter how you approach it:

“For thine is the Kingdom, the Power, and the Glory, forever and ever.”

“For the kingdom, the Power, and the Glory are Yours, now and forever.”

Praise God, whose name is hallowed.

Praise God, who alone is worthy of the Kingdom, the Power, and the Glory.

His goodness and greatness is seen through His will, which was accomplished fully and absolutely by no less than His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ.

Through Christ’s body, we receive satisfaction beyond pleasure as this reality would define, and we receive comfort beyond the worst afflictions this reality would give. We have found satisfaction through Christ, and we find life nowhere else, not even in the most hypnotizing of temptations.

Through Christ’s blood, we have been set free of the hard master that is sin. We have been completely separated from the chains of iniquity, whose wages are death. Through Christ’s blood we celebrate our freedom from sin, and therefore, our freedom from death, entropy and oblivion. Our bodies may expire, but our entire beings are safe and secure through the blood of Christ, which not only separated us from sin, but united us with righteousness unto eternal life. We have found deliverance through Christ.

We have beheld the holiness, the power, and the glory of God, through Christ more than through anyone or anything else.

Again, bless the Lord, o my soul, and forget not His benefits.

Friend, I am fully aware that I have said a lot hinging on speculation here… and it may not necessarily be as theologically sound as I would like, but I feel as if I should finish the actual build of the structure before embellishing on the smaller details. With that said, if you have anything at all to share by way of feedback, please let me know.

As always, God bless you. Let’s have a good weekend ahead.

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