Praying the Lord’s Prayer

Scriptures : Romans 14:17, 1 Corinthians 4:20

“For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 14:17)

“For the kingdom of God is not in word but in power.” (1 Corinthians 4:20)

If we want to experience the kingdom of heaven in our lives, then we should always pray the Lord’s prayer. However, when we pray the Lord’s prayer, we should not do it as a quick recitation but as the expression of our heart. We should pause from time to time to feel every word that we say and allow the Holy Spirit to reveal the truths hidden in the Lord’s prayer to us.

Our experience of the kingdom of heaven through the Lord’s prayer depends on the revelation we have received from it. In the beginning, we may receive no or just a little revelation when we pray the Lord’s prayer. So, we don’t experience the kingdom of heaven much. But as we keep on praying the Lord’s prayer consistently, we shall begin to receive more revelations from it. As a result, the experience of the kingdom of heaven in our lives will increase.

As believers, we should pray the Lord’s prayer as often as possible, individually and together as a church. As we do that, the kingdom of God will become real inside us and in the midst of us.

The Lord’s Prayer

Scriptures: Mat 6:9-13

“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.”

The Lord’s prayer begins with the expression of worship, “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name”. What does it mean? God in heaven who created us is our Father. We are not only created by Him, but born of Him as well. We are His children. The apostle John wrote, “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!” (1 John 3:1). It is because of His love that we come into existence in this world and it is because of His love that we who were once sinners become His children. There is no other god who loves us so much. There is no other god like the Father in heaven. Therefore, we should hallow, that is, honor greatly, His name.

The Lord Jesus said, “The hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.” (John 4:23) True worship is worship in spirit and truth. When we worship God, we acknowledge Him both as our Creator and our Father. Worshiping God as our Creator produces godly fear in us whereas worshiping God as our Father produces divine love in us. Therefore, when we have become true worshipers, we will have the fear of God and the love of God in our  lives. We will keep His words and do His commandments because we love Him. The Lord Jesus said, “He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me.” (John 14:21)

The Lord’s prayer continues with the expression, “Your kingdom come”. What does it mean? God the Father rules and reigns in His kingdom in heaven, but He wants to extend His kingdom to the earth. He wants to rule and reign over us on this earth, but He will not force us. He will only come and bring His kingdom into our lives if we really want it. It is like when all the tribes of Israel came to David at Hebron and told him that they wanted him to be their king (2 Sam. 5:1-3) So, we can choose whether we still want to rule in our own lives or we want God to rule in our lives. Therefore, “Your kingdom come” is the expression of our desire to have God rule and reign in our lives as our king.

The apostle Paul wrote, “The kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”

(Rom. 14:17) The kingdom of God is not about the matter of eating and drinking, like what food we can eat or cannot eat, or what drink we can drink or cannot drink, or how we can have food and drink in our lives, but it is about righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. The first thing about the kingdom of God is righteousness. What does it mean? The kingdom of God is about what is right to God. Therefore, if we want to experience the kingdom of God, we should always seek first what is right to God.  The Lord Jesus said, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” (Mat 6:33) When we live and walk according to what is right to God, then we shall have peace and joy that come from the Holy Spirit in our lives.

The expression “Your kingdom come” is followed by ‘Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven”. What does it mean? The will of God can only be done in the kingdom of God. The will of God is always done in heaven because the kingdom of God is in heaven. However, the will of God will not be done on earth before the kingdom of God comes to the earth. Therefore, by saying “Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven”, we want the kingdom of God to come into our lives so that the will of God can be done in our lives. When we always seek what is right to God and we have peace and joy from the Holy Spirit in our lives, then God will always work in us both to will and to do for His good pleasures.

The expressions “Your kingdom come” and ‘Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” in the Lord’s prayer teach us that prayer primarily is not a means of bringing our earthly concerns to heaven, but a means of bringing heavenly concerns to earth. What are these heavenly concerns? The kingdom of God and the will of God. The kingdom of God in heaven comes to the earth and the will of God in heaven is done on the earth. The Lord Jesus, when He was praying in the garden of Gethsemane before He was arrested and then later crucified, said, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.” (Mat 26:39) Even though the Lord Jesus had His own will as a man, in His prayer He sought what was right to God and put the will of God above His own will.

After the expression of worship, submission to God’s authority and surrender to God’s will, the Lord’s prayer continues with a request for daily need, “Give us this day our daily bread”. What does it mean? We should trust God daily for our needs. We should not worry about tomorrow, but should learn to live day by day; depending on God to meet our needs every day. The Lord Jesus said, “Therefore, do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’  For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” (Mat. 6:31-32,34)

The expression “Give us this day our daily bread” in the Lord’s prayer teaches us to be content in whatever state we are. What does it mean to be content? We always give thanks with such things as we have, free from worry as well as greediness. When we have little and suffer need, we are not worried. When we have much and abound, we are not greedy. The apostle Paul wrote, “I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Phil 2:11-13)

The Lord’s prayer continues, “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” What does it mean? The apostle John wrote, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. But, if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our  sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:8-9) In our walk with God, we all stumble in many things (Jms 3:2). Therefore, we should always humble ourselves and not delay to ask forgiveness from God whenever we fall into sin. It is written, “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” (Jms 4:6)

Besides always being immediate to ask forgiveness from God, we should also be quick to forgive those who sin against us. God has forgiven us when we first believe in the Lord Jesus and He always forgives  us whenever we fall into sin. Therefore, we should always forgive others. The apostle Paul wrote, “bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.” (Col. 3:13) God forgives unconditionally, sincerely and completely. So must we.

The expression “Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors” in the Lord’s prayer shows us that forgiveness is necessary to maintain our communion with God. It is not only the forgiveness that we receive from God, but also the forgiveness that we give to others as well. The Lord Jesus Himself said, “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” (Mat. 6:14-15) If we do not forgive, we disconnect ourselves from God and we fall into the hands of the enemy.

“Do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one” is the next expression in the Lord’s prayer. Does this mean that God leads us into temptation? No, because God does not tempt anyone (Jms. 1:13). This expression is actually the expression of watchfulness. The Lord Jesus said, “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Mat. 26:41) We should ask God to help us be watchful so that we do not yield to the weaknesses of our flesh, but follow the desires of our spirit.

The expression “Do not lead us into temptation” in the Lord’s prayer teaches us to depend on God when we deal with temptation. Temptation does not begin from the outside, but from the inside. The apostle James wrote, “Each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.” (Jms. 1:14) Therefore, we must be watchful not to be drawn away by our own desires. We should always put our own desires under control and even crucified. The apostle Paul wrote, “And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” (Gal. 5:24) and “But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.” (Rom 13:14)

The Lord’s prayer is the prayer of deliverance from the evil one who comes only to steal, to kill and to destroy. “Deliver us from the evil one”. He comes to steal whatever God has given to us. He comes to separate us from God so that he can kill us.  He comes to tempt us to sin so that he can destroy our lives. The apostle Peter wrote, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” (1 Pet. 5:8) When we always watch and pray, the devil will have no place in our lives (Eph. 4:27). He cannot devour us.

The Lord’s prayer ends with the expression “For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.” It is an acknowledgment that everything belongs to God. The kingdom belongs to God. The power belongs to God. The glory belongs to God. Forever. The Lord’s prayer begins with God and ends with God. The apostle Paul wrote, “For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.” (Rom. 11:36)

The Kingdom Prayer

The Lord Jesus taught many principles of prayer, like asking, seeking and knocking (Mat. 7:7); believing what is asked has been received (Mrk. 11:24); having a humble heart when coming to God (Luk. 18;14), etc. However, He only taught one prayer.

“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.”

The prayer that the Lord Jesus taught is commonly called the Lord’s prayer. This prayer was taught when He preached about the kingdom of heaven (Mat. 6:9-13). This prayer was also taught when His disciples asked Him to teach them about prayer (Luk. 11:2-4).

Why is the Lord’s prayer the only prayer that the Lord Jesus taught? Because the Lord’s prayer is the kingdom prayer. What does it mean? The Lord Jesus came to this earth to bring the kingdom of heaven. The Lord’s prayer is the prayer that will give the experience of the kingdom of heaven in a real way.

One of the things the Lord Jesus taught about prayer is not to use vain repetitions like the heathen do. They think that their prayers will be heard by God for their many words (Mat. 6:7). The Lord’s prayer is a short prayer.  Nevertheless, it is a complete prayer. Everything that is needed to be prayed for to experience the kingdom of heaven is mentioned in it. The Lord’s prayer is a complete prayer because God, ourselves and the evil one are all mentioned in it. The divine order of prayer is also found in it. The prayer begins with worship and submission to God. Then, it is followed by a request about daily needs and forgiveness. Towards the end, it is about being watchful of temptation and the evil one. The prayer ends with giving glory to God. The Lord’s prayer is not the prayer from the human mind, but it is the prayer from the mind of God.

✨ Vietnamese brothers and sisters

Following The Lord As Our Shepherd

Scriptures: Psalms 23:1-6

The Lord  is  my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever.

We enter into relationship with God when we acknowledge Jesus as our Savior and confess Him as our Lord. Then, God will take us on a spiritual journey into His own house. In this journey the same Jesus who has become our Savior and Lord will lead us as our Shepherd. We are His sheep. Everything that we will need on this journey has been provided. Therefore we can say like the Psalmist, “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.” (Psa. 23:1)

Our spiritual journey to the house God  is not a short journey, but a very long one. Before we go on this long journey, we must have enough rest. Otherwise, we will be exhausted or even faint on the way and we will not make it our destination. Therefore, the Lord Jesus as our Shepherd gives us rest first to restore our soul as the preparation for our journey. “He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul;” (Psa. 23:2-3)

The paths of our spiritual journey that will take us to the house of the Lord are the paths of righteousness. The Lord Jesus our Shepherd is also the Lord our righteousness. Therefore, as our Shepherd He will lead in these paths of righteousness for the sake of His name. To be able to walk in the paths of righteousness our soul must be restored and our heart must be at rest. Otherwise, we will keep falling into sin. A restored soul is a soul filled with peace, a soul that has been healed from wounds and has been free from demonic bondages. “He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.” (Psa. 23:3)

As the sheep need their shepherd to lead them to walk in the path, likewise we need the Lord Jesus to lead us to walk in the paths of righteousness. The sheep follow their shepherd by hearing his voice. In the same way, we follow the Lord Jesus by hearing His voice from the Holy Scripture. The Lord Jesus Himself said, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” (John 10:27) Hence, to walk in the paths of righteousness we must always hear God’s words. The most practical way to hear God’s words is to speak the written word of God to ourselves.

In the paths of righteousness there is the valley of the shadow of death. The shadow of death is the situation that covers us with darkness and brings fear of death. If we have not learned to follow the Lord Jesus in the paths of righteousness, we will fear evil when we walk through this valley of the shadow of death. We will be afraid of death. But, if we have learned to follow the Lord Jesus in the paths of righteousness, we will fear no evil. We will not be afraid of death. We know that our Shepherd the Lord Jesus are always with us to protect us from evil. “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me;” (Psa. 23:4)

The Lord Jesus as our Shepherd carries His rod and His staff as He leads us through the valley of the shadow of death in the paths of righteousness. The rod in His hand is to keep us from the evil ones who will come as ravenous wolves while the staff in His hand is to bring us back to the paths of righteousness when we begin to go astray. Therefore, we should take comfort in His complete protection. “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.” (Psa. 23:4)

After we have experienced great comfort in our Shepherd’s complete protection when we walk though the valley of the shadow of death, we will no longer be afraid of the evil ones. We know that our enemies will not be able to hurt us or harm us, therefore, we can rejoice in their presence. The Lord Jesus said, “Nothing shall by any means hurt you.” (Luk 10:19) We can still enjoy our meals even when our enemies are present with us. “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;” (Psa. 23:5)

When we are no longer afraid of our enemies we will have the fulness of the Holy Spirit in our lives. We will be filled with life inside and clothed with power outside. Like the shepherd will anoint his sheep’s head so that no bug can touch it, the Lord Jesus our Shepherd will anoint us with the Holy Spirit so that no evil can touch us. Therefore, we can be joyful and enjoy ourselves in the presence of our enemies. “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over.” (Psa. 23:5)

When the Holy Spirit in our lives is full, even runs over, then we will become like a magnet of the things of God. Our lives will automatically repel evil things and attract good things. We do not have to go after God’s blessings anymore because His blessings will go after us. We do not have to seek for God’s goodness and mercy anymore because His goodness and mercy will always follow us. “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life;” (Psa. 23:6)

We are all like sheep going astray and are lost. The Lord Jesus is the Good Shepherd who has left His own house to find us and bring us back to where we are supposed to be, the house of the Lord. When we  always have the fullness of the Holy Spirit in our lives we will finally arrive at our destination in our spiritual journey. We will be in the house of the Lord and dwell there forever. “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” (Psa. 23:6)

You Are Chosen

“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide.”
John 15:16

By the grace of God, He called, chose and used us. Our God is perfect and holy. Indeed, whoever God has chosen to work together with Him should also be holy. But we know that nobody is holy. By the grace of God and because of His love for His creation, He gave His only begotten son Jesus to die on the cross and paid for our debt of sin.

Jesus is saying to us, “I have cleansed you from all unrighteousness. I have now chosen you and will use you so that you can be fruitful in life. I am having you as part of my team and as we venture out together, we can all be fruitful.”

We are fruitful not because we speak or behave well, but because God has called and selected us, and because He has anointed us with His Holy Spirit. Don’t we ever feel surprised that those who have received the anointing can use simple language to explain difficult subjects!

Today, God calls you to walk with Him and to receive peace from Him and to share our new-found life with others. God is leading us towards living a purposeful life and to bring about a change in other peoples’ lives.

God never reneges on His promise and He is able to do as He has mentioned. Let us
continue to trust in Him for He never fails.

✨ Thai Sister