| | Re: Understanding the 'Our Father' - Dr. Scott Hahn
For centuries the holy realities of the Lord's prayer have been obscured by traditions of religious unbelief, as though ritualistically repeating this prayer would provide access to Heaven when the supplicant died. The deception was that somehow all Jesus was speaking of was off in eternity, as though this prayer was disbarred from affecting conditions on earth.
"Thy Kingdom come! Thy will be done!"
This prayer is a faith-decree that God's will, through our living union with Christ, should be accomplished today on earth. Where is the room for compromise in those words? Jesus is saying that, with miraculous power, abounding joy, and unwavering mercy, God's will is destined to be fulfilled on earth just "as it is in Heaven"!
We already know it is the "Father's good pleasure" to give us His Kingdom (Luke 12:32 NKJV). Jesus is not instructing us to beg for a blessing or two; He is commanding us to call for God's Kingdom to rule on earth, in our very lives and circumstances.
This is a prayer of authority. The Son of God wants us to pray like we were created to bring Heaven to earth. Our prayer simply aligns us with what is already God's great pleasure to give us.
This is the prayer of those fully committed to the vision of God! It embodies the expanse of what Jesus came to establish. We must learn to pray with unsheathed spiritual authority, with heroic faith, and with the fire of divine possibilities burning in our souls.
"Thy Kingdom come" arises from within the inner spirit of the redeemed.
Even now, lightning-like power is filling the backbones of the redeemed. Believers stand upright before the Most High. In their mouths are the words taught them by the Son of God Himself: "Thy Kingdom come! Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven!"
Matthew 6:9 - Pray, therefore, like this: Our Father Who is in heaven, hallowed (kept holy) be Your name.
Hallowed means respected or revered. This is an expression of praise. Praise and worship are the primary activities of heaven. And so it is to be for the believer here on earth. The more we live as citizens of heaven, the more heaven's activities infect our lifestyles. Worship is our number one priority. Everything else we do is to be affected by our devotion to this call.
Psalm 22:3 - But you are holy, enthroned in the praises of Israel.
God responds with a literal invasion of heaven to earth through the worship of the believer. God responds to the praises of His people as mentioned in Isaiah 42:13 --"He shall go forth like a mighty man; he shall stir up his zeal like a man of war. He shall cry out, Yes, shout aloud; he shall prevail against his enemies."
Matthew 6:10 - Your Kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
This is the primary focus for all prayer -- If it exists in heaven, it is to be "loosed" on earth. It's the praying Christian who "looses" heaven's expression here. When the believer prays according to the revealed will of God, faith is specific and focused. Faith grabs hold of that reality. Enduring faith doesn't let go. Such an invasion causes the circumstances here to line up with heaven.
If it is not free to exist in heaven, it must be "bound" here -- Through prayer, we are to exercise the authority given to us. Everything that happens here is supposed to be a shadow of heaven. In turn, every revelation that God gives us of Heaven is to equip us with a prayer focus.
Matthew 16:19 - I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven. (NAS)
The phrase "shall have been" implies that we can only bind or loose here what has already been bound or loosed there -- heaven is our model.
Matthew 6:11 - Give us this day our daily bread.
Is anyone starving in heaven? Heaven sets the standard for a Christian's material world -- enough to satisfy the desires born of God and enough "for every good work." Our legal basis for provision comes from the heavenly model given to us in Christ Jesus: "And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus."Corinthians to what? His riches. Where?
In glory. Heaven's resources are to affect us here and now.
2 Corinthians 9:8 - "And God is able to make all grace (every favor and earthly blessing) come to you in abundance, so that you may always and under all circumstances and whatever the need, be self-sufficient - possessing enough to require no aid or support and furnished in abundance for every good work and charitable donation."
Matthew 6:12 - And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
Is there any unforgiveness in heaven? Heaven provides the model for our relationships here on earth. "And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. Therefore be imitators of God as dear children" (Ephesians 4:32 & 5:1). These verses make it quite clear that our model is Jesus Christ........the One ascended to the right hand of the Father.......the One whose kingdom we seek. Once again this prayer illustrates a practical way to pray for heaven's reality to bring an effect on planet earth.
Matthew 6:13 - And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.
There is no temptation or sin in heaven. This prayer does not imply that God wants to tempt us. We know from James 1:13 that it is impossible for God to entice us to sin. This kind of praying is important because it requires us to face our need for grace. It helps us to align our heart with heaven -- one of absolute dependency on God. The phrase "deliver us from evil", as it is traditionally rendered, actually means, "deliver us from the evil one." A heart modeled after heaven has great success in spiritual warfare. Jesus was able to say, "satan has nothing in me." The believer is to be completely free from all satanic influence and attachments. That is the cry voiced in this prayer.
James 4:7 - So be subject to God. Resist the devil (stand firm against him), and he will flee from you.
Matthew 6:13 - For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.
The kingdom of God is His possession, which is why He alone can give it to us. When we declare that reality we move into declarations of praise! The Lord's prayer has two main objectives:
(1) Minister to God out of an intimate personal relationship; and
(2) bring the reality of His rulership (The Kingdom) to earth.