THE LORD'S PRAYER LIKE YOU'VE NEVER HEARD IT
If you've got even the remotest background in Christianity, then you definitely know and can recite The Lord's Prayer. In high school, I recited it at every morning assembly, making it merely the routine prayer we said as we gathered to start the day.
High School was many years ago and even today, the lord's prayer is nothing more than words we repeat without giving much thought to what they really represent. Recently, I came across the lord's prayer like I've never heard it before and now when I hear it or recite it myself, the significance and weight of the words I'm saying hit differently.
There are many theological views on the lord's prayer, some of which describe it as an 'old testament way of praying that bears no real importance or significance today' while others debate whether Christ actually taught this prayer to the disciples. None of these theologies are the basis for today's post, rather the focus I hope to bring is on what the interpretation of this prayer is as I have come to learn and understand it; which simply is to pray the mind of Christ.
Beginning the prayer by identifying God as 'Our Father' is not by accident because recognizing the Fatherhood of God means we can relate to Him as His children. He is our Source, our Sustainer and Protector (much like an earthly father). We are to be fully dependent on Him as the ultimate source, have no fear about anything because He sustains us and during our moments of struggle, pain and failure, He always protects us. Following this recognition of the Fatherhood of God, we must honor and reverence Him (Hallowed Be Your Name) because He is also Sovereign and King Of All.
The Father's Intention or Will is that the Kingdom of God come first in our lives so that whenever others encounter us, they feel like they have also encountered The Father. This means that the Kingdom Of God starts with me in that there is a way I ought to represent God to those around that makes them desire to love Him for themselves. This representation is reflected in the peace, joy, favor, grace, prosperity etc that I carry. Doing this is meant to show that "His Will Be Done On Earth As It Is In Heaven, in other words, earth should model the kingdom of heaven because of us.
Our Daily Bread denotes the Living Bread Of Life aka Jesus whom we should seek to have/experience/model everyday (and not just the physical bread we eat). Feeding both our physical bodies and spiritual man is what this line of the Lord's Prayer means. Our spiritual man being fed daily allows us show forgiveness towards our fellow men the way we want God to forgive us also because man fails us in the same way we fail God.