Our Father which art in heaven. Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. (Luke 11)
I’ve prayed this prayer all my life. I didn’t note a translation above, because I didn’t copy it out of a particular translation of the Bible. These are the words that from the time I was a young child, were written on my heart.
It’s been like a companion for as long as I can remember. I have prayed these words. I have contemplated these words. These words are woven through my history with God and my future with God.
I remember praying them for so long, because I was supposed to. I also remember the day that I realized what I was praying and I began to pray them in faith, not by rote any longer, but to my God as communion with Him.
Last night something struck me about these words. It was funny to me, that after all these years I hadn’t really noticed or paid attention to one thing in particular about this prayer. It is written in the first person plural. It is a prayer given to us by our Father which art in heaven and even when it is prayed by a single person, it is not just a prayer between God and a man. It is a prayer between God and His people.
It’s not just about me when I pray it. It’s not just about you when you pray it. It’s about us. Even when I pray it by myself, I am reminded that I am a part of something bigger than me. I am a part of the Body of Christ and as I pray this prayer I am praying for myself and the rest of this Body.
It’s been prayed for thousands of years. It’s been prayed by millions of people. It’s been prayed in a multitude of languages. It’s been prayed across denominational lines. And each time across ages, across nations, across denominations that this prayer is prayed, we are all praying and acknowledging, that no matter what our differences are, we have One Father… Our Father which art in heaven. Hallowed be His Name!
There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, whois above all, and through all, and in you all. (Ephesians 4:4-6, KJV)
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another. (John 13:34-35, NKJV)