Our world appears to thrive and profit from our fear —
fear of those different from us,
fear of insignificance and isolation,
fear that our secret shames might come to light.
Could there be another way to live?
Is it possible to fear less?
Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”
Jesus told them, “When you pray, say:
‘Father, uphold the holiness of your name. Bring in your kingdom. Give us the bread we need for today. Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who has wronged us. And don’t lead us into temptation.’”
Jesus’s disciples noticed his commitment to prayer and wanted more instruction (and probably wanted to keep up with John’s disciples too). Jesus honored their request with an example prayer for us to follow.
Jesus begins with prayer about God. Sometimes we hurry to ask things from God and skip past this part of prayer. Jesus teaches that we can approach God as Father, even as we pray for God to preserve God’s unique reputation as Lord. We can enjoy the same intimacy with God that Jesus knew. We also ask that God’s rule of peace and justice be extended across creation.
Then our prayer may turn to our own needs. Jesus teaches us to pray for our bodies and our spirits and for needs present, past, and future. We ask for daily bread — not all that we want, but all that we need. Then we ask forgiveness for past wrongs and protection from future temptation. A heavenly Parent who hears us relieves our fears — fears of loneliness, lack, and shame.
Father, uphold the holiness of your name.
Bring in your kingdom.
Give me the bread I need for today.
Forgive me my sins,
and help me forgive everyone who has wronged me.
And don’t lead me into temptation.
May you go to face the day free from fear, rooted and established in the love of Christ and empowered by the Creator’s good gift of the Holy Spirit.
May love and truth meet in your thoughts, words, and actions this day.