Day 7: Matthew 6:1-18
The Lord’s Prayer is the prayer Jesus taught his disciples, and it is both simple and comprehensive because it has every element a prayer should contain. It reminds us that God is the father of all people and therefore we, as God’s children, are automatically related to one another as well. It is not possible to have a relationship with God that excludes others. Addressed as father, the image at best is one of God’s closeness toward us. The three first petitions ask that we might live as people who in turn put our trust in God and seek to live by God’s values toward our brothers and sisters. These are the values exemplified by Jesus—love, joy, justice, compassion, mercy, and forgiveness. It asks that we might live as God intends us to live, human beings loved by God who in turn try to love others made in God’s image. The second part of the prayer asks God for the things we need to live out the commitment we have made in the first part. Bread stands for everything that sustains us so that we can live by God’s values. We ask for an appreciation of the depth of God’s forgiveness so that we in turn might forgive others, and for God’s help at those critical moments when we might be tempted to live simply for ourselves and ignore the world and its needs. It is a prayer that God’s priorities for humanity might become ours.
Do you find it easy to address God as father? Which part of the Lord’s Prayer do you find the most difficult to live out?
Prayer Lord God, enable us to not only pray the words of Jesus but also to live them out as his followers. Amen.
The Most Rev. Barry MorganArchbishop of WalesCardiff, Wales
Crafton, Barbara Cawthorne. A Journey With Matthew: The 50 Day Bible Challenge . Forward Movement. Kindle Edition.