A fresh take on the Lord's Prayer
I can appreciate a fresh take on the Lord's Prayer, especially one that makes sense of Jesus' words and leads me into a place of humble connection with God. The following is adapted from Jack Hayford's book Glory on Your House. A friend recommended the book to me while I was on vacation. This post lays out a way we can pray the Lord's Prayer every day (or multiple times a day) in such a way that we re-establish a right relationship with God.
Imagine a royal throne, gilded and magnificent but sitting empty. There is a great and mighty king who by all appearances should be sitting on the throne. However, he has generously given to one of his subjects the sovereign right to sit on the throne. This suits the subject, because she lusts for the throne. The king is wise and benevolent. His subject tends toward selfishness. The throne sits open. Who will sit in it? Who will rule?
This drama gets played out every moment of every day in our lives. The following is a way to pray so that we invite God, the wise and benevolent king, to sit on the throne and rule. Even though we lust for the throne, things go best when God rules.
Pray the following familiar words:
1. "Our Father in heaven"... Acknowledge God as the wise and benevolent king, and thank him that we have a relationship with him. (Without that relationship, none of what follows can happen.)
2. "Hallowed be your name"... Praise God for who he is and what he does. He is great, and he is good! This is the praise that opens our hearts to allow God to take the throne of our lives. As Psalm 22:3 says, "God is enthroned on the praises of his people."
3. "Your kingdom come"... Invite him to be enthroned in your life and your house. Picture the Father taking his seat on the throne. Bow before him. Picture a ceremony with pomp in which the great and sovereign king takes his rightful place!
4. "Your will be done"... Bow in full submission to the one who is now on the throne. As Hayford says, "I exercise my sovereign right to self-rule and surrender it to you. Come rule here... and now." That means God will rule over "all the matters of my life, my dwelling, my relationships, my business, and my influence." We are praying here for God to be present in our lives, for his power to be exercised, and for his peace to come about.
5. "On earth as it is in heaven"... God's throne is not just in heaven. It is now in your house!