“8…for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. 9 Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, 10 Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread, 12 and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” Mt 6, 8-13
God wants you to come to him with all boldness and confidence, just like dear children ask their dear fathers. God wants you to speak to him. He knows what you need. And he knows you need it from him. Unfortunately, quite often, you do not know what you need.
But if you do not know what you need, you would ask yourself: “How can I ask for something, that I do not know I need?” Or you could go directly to God and talk to him: “My Lord and my God, I am a sinner. I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in you. The devil, the world and my flesh keep on deceiving me. How can I trust myself to ask you something? My heart wants unclean things. It does not always look towards you. If I would follow my heart in prayer, then I would not come to you. I would remain here with myself in my sin. My Lord, help me, how should I pray?”
The Lord responds in mercy as he comes and gives himself. He comes and he gives his own Word; God’s Word. He gives us the Lord’s Prayer. He gives us God’s Word, so that we can use it as a prayer and talk to God. Christ comes and he says: “You do not need to follow your heart. Follow me, and the prayer that I give you.”
Christ gives you the perfect prayer. He gives seven short petitions that summarize everything that you could ever need. He gives seven petitions that allow you to meditate on the following facts, while you are talking to God: All, that you ask for in these petitions, God has promised to give you and he keeps his promises. This is all that you could ever need. You are abundantly blessed. He gives you seven petitions that are God’s Word. He gives you seven petitions, that the Holy Spirit himself uses to shape and grow your faith in the most beautiful way. He comes and pulls you away from your sinful self and takes you through Christ to your Father in heaven. He gives you seven petitions with which he pulls you away from your sinful self and opens your eyes, that you can see the needs of your church and of your neighbour. He gives you seven petitions that show you how you can serve them.
These are seven petitions with which to speak to your Father in heaven. These are seven petitions through which the Holy Spirit himself comes to you. These are seven petitions with which it is made clear once again: The Lord is risen indeed! He lives and reigns in eternity!
Christ comes to you and says: Pray then like this because in so doing you receive everything you need. Amen.
Jesus Christ, I have not managed to ever pray the “Our Father” perfectly. I keep on getting distracted and I keep on looking away from you. Forgive me, Lord, and strengthen me. Let me realise, that in this prayer you have given me, I receive everything I need. Give me the strength to never stop praying. This I pray in your name. Amen.
Our Father… Amen.