It's probably one of the world's most well known prayers. Amazing in its simplicity and length and profound in every. single. word. Nicole and Sharon unpack this prayer and talk about the value of prayer itself. What a privilege it is to be able to talk to God. Join us for today's episode and walk away refreshed. That's our goal and prayer for you, friend. And share your thoughts in the comments afterward. We love hearing from you!
Speaker 1 (00:02):
Welcome friend. It’s time to hit pause on your busy day and enjoy the Sweet Selah Moments podcast. Let’s ponder God’s Word together and find the encouragement we need to work well and rest well. The Sweet Selah Moments podcast is brought to you by Word Radio and Sweet Selah Ministries.
Welcome to episode 20 of the Sweet Selah moments podcast. Today’s episode is called Pray Like Jesus, the Lord’s Prayer. Oh, Sharon. I love prayer. It is such an amazing gift. I have been talking to God since I can remember. There have been times when I have not read my Bible and my relationship with God has been an afterthought, sadly, as I have drifted and come back to him. But prayer has always been that constant in my life. I have never stopped praying, especially now as a mother, I cling to that verse, ‘pray without ceasing’ in first Thessalonians five 17. And I do, they range from long intentional prayers to written prayers in my journal to quick cries for help throughout the day. But I am always talking to Jesus. I have so many words and he’s never sick of hearing from me. It’s just the best. Sharon, how about you? When did you first learn to pray and how is it going with your prayer life?
I’m just laughing because we are so alike. Ray always says I use up all my words at school and when I come home, I don’t have a lot to say, but that’s okay because you obviously haven’t used up all your words yet. And you’re right, no matter how many words we have, God will listen to every single one and delight in hearing from us. So, you know, I think one of the richest gifts of growing up in a Christian home is the gift of feeling that freedom to come to God in prayer. It’s just such a wonderful blessing. There’s some downsides to growing up in Christian home. You can take the gospel message for granted. You can not feel humbled because you had this wicked life and then came to Christ and you can, you can be too blase. So I’m not saying that everything about growing up Christianly is great, but I think if you grow up from childhood on knowing there’s a God that loves you, then the ability to run to him often comes very sweetly and easily.
And so I’m grateful. I’m grateful God chose to place me in the home of Christian parents that from day one had me praying. And when I was a teenager would come into my room at night and they’d pray individually with me before I went to sleep. Prayer has been the warp and woof of my life. It’s just been woven right into the fabric and I am so, so grateful. You know, I think it’s fascinating, Nicole, that the Disciples who had been with Jesus for awhile then in Luke chapter 11 said, ‘Lord teach us to pray’ because they grew up in Jewish homes where there was some form of prayer, but I think they saw Jesus pray and they wanted to do it like him. So right after they say that Luke records the same Lord’s Prayer that we’re going to be reading today in Matthew. Jesus prayed often. He was always talking to his Father. He got up before dawn after some long days, and then just a short night because he was desperate to meet with God in prayer. Before he was crucified, Jesus prayed and prayed and prayed and prayed until he sweat drops of blood, praying asking God for a way out or a way to endure what was coming. Jesus prayed. So when he gives us a blueprint for prayer, we need to sit up and take note. And he surely gave us that blueprint. So, but before we read the passage, let’s talk about the Lord’s Prayer itself. Because when he was asked how to pray that’s what he gave to the disciples. When did you learn the Lord’s Prayer? And do you ever pray it?
I feel like that’s a staple in Sunday school if you grew up in a Christian home. So yeah, I learned that pretty young, I think, in our churches and do I ever pray it? You know, I do. Not until – we would pray it as a congregation together at one of our other churches too. But personally I have found myself praying it more often just to kind of, like reset and make sure that my prayers are honoring to God and kind of going through all the things. Okay. So thank him first and then we’re going to get into it, but yeah, I do use it as a good blueprint. It’s a great template.
It is a good reset. Yeah. I like that. I really like that. Well, my mom was British. My dad met her in England and brought her to America where she knew no one except my dad. A sweet British girl and she didn’t drive for the longest time in America. She just didn’t, she didn’t want her license. And she was used to walking everywhere. So, so was I, because she had four kids and she would grocery shop every two or three days at the time. And so she pulled a wagon behind her. She’d have a stroller for my little baby brother and we would walk a mile to the local IGA and we’d shop and then walk home again. And I remember learning the Lord’s Prayer on one of those walks.
Oh, how cute!
Isn’t that neat? There was this like wall, a stone wall we’d walk on together and balance. And we would say the Lord’s Prayer while we were walking along a wall. So, you know, the Deuteronomy 6 thing?
Wow. I was just going to say! She did it.
Literally while we were walking, we were learning Psalm 23 and Psalm 121.
And the Lord’s Prayer. So it was definitely a part of my childhood. I probably also prayed it in church, but I remember it first being taught by my mama.
Oh, that’s really neat.
I really loved that. So, well, our passage of scripture and our precious Sweet Selah moment with God today is found in Matthew 6, 7 through 15. So let’s alternate verses and Nicole, why don’t you start?
All right, I’ll start with verse seven. When you pray, don’t babble on and on as the Gentiles, do. They think their prayers are answered merely by repeating their words again and again,
Don’t be like them for your father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him.
Pray like this, our Father in heaven, may your name be kept Holy.
May your kingdom come soon. May your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today the food we need.
And forgive us our sins. As we have forgiven those who sin against us
And don’t let us yield to temptation, but rescue us from the evil one.
That’s where it ends in Matthew, but not all manuscripts have that ending. Some later ones add for yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen. And that’s what we’re used to saying at the end, whether it was originally in the prayer or not. I think it’s a really sweet way to end.
I like that. So our last two verses, verses 14 and 15, which you just read totally relate to today and what we’re going to be talking about too. So, let’s see, ‘If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you, but if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.
Yeah. Those last two verses are kind of sobering, Nicole. If you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins. Yikes. We’re going to get to that part, but let’s start at the beginning and work our way through.
Okay. We start with, in verse seven, how not to pray. Nicole, Jesus says we shouldn’t babble on and on. What does that mean? I mean, we are the women with words and lots of them. Does that mean our prayers have to be super short?
Oh no, thank goodness. I always have something to talk to God about. I think what the verse is trying to say is that, um, if we repeat something so often it’s almost like, to make sure God does it our way. It almost becomes like a ritual to make sure it happens. So that’s not really, I don’t think what he wants from us.
Exactly. Exactly. I think when he’s referring to what pagans did, like saying, ‘please let it rain today. Please let it rain today. Please let it rain, let it rain today.’ You know, kind of a chant. By my many words and my persistence in saying the same thing over and over again, I will make it happen. And that’s the antithesis of prayer, which is asking God to make something happen that we have no control over.
And we certainly don’t have control over when it rains. So I think sometimes also the babbling can be frenzy, emotion, just trying to rev up some something huge so that God, quote, has to respond.
Right, it’s on our own strength at that point, like you said, it’s the opposite of prayer.
Exactly. So that is not the right way to do it.
But I find it so interesting in verse eight, Jesus says, don’t be like them for your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him. So, you know, don’t be like these people that are babbling on and on, give me rain, give me rain, give me rain. God knows what you need. But then in verse nine, right after he tells us that God already knows he says, ‘pray like this’. So this is fascinating. God knows before we ask, it’s not like we are informing him of something. You know, when I say, Oh father, God, please help my trip to Alaska to go well. God knows I want my trip to Alaska to go well. But yet, he says pray anyway. And then he shows us how. So, has this ever puzzled you, Nicole? Why do we pray when God already knows before we ask?
It’s so funny that you should ask this. I’ve been wrestling with this lately. I actually asked God this question in my prayer journal a couple of weeks ago and you know, kind of being like a little protagonist. Like, okay, God, you know, I understand this prayer, but why pray if we know you know what we’re going to say? And God has been showing me that it’s about the relationship with him. The coming to him for my needs and not trying to do it on my own. Its like how I know my girls need something and I’ll sometimes have it ready for them, but I won’t be like an overbearing mom and push it on them myself. I’ll wait for them to come to me, to ask for help on their own.
Oh, what a good example. And we’re supposed to be God’s kids. So it’s a perfect example. When they ask, when your girls ask, when they’re actually ready for that help, that’s when you give it to them.
Right. And they receive it better cause they’ve asked and they’re ready to receive it. Same with us. We go to God, we’re asking, I think we’re more open to receive it. And then we just would receive it better, you know?
Yeah. I like that. I think when we ask, God knows, we will note who did help us too. You know, if we’re just rolling along on our own, we’re not going to necessarily say, wow, God did that for me, it just kind of happened.
Right. Well, that was nice.
But when we specifically ask for something and then it shows up.
We give him the glory.
We give him the glory for it. Not that he doesn’t give us everything all the time anyways, everything we have is from him, but we just give him the glory.
That’s true. I like that.
Hmmm, well, let’s get started. Jesus starts this prayer by calling God, our Father. You know, I love that it’s ‘our’ and not ‘my’ here because we are part of one huge family. He is my Daddy, but he’s also our, collectively, all Christian’s Father. It’s really sweet.
Yeah. I love that. It makes it more intimate too, to call him Father, you know. It’s just like you said, we’re his kids. We can come to him. And I love that part too. That we’re not alone. There are Christian brothers and sisters all over the world.
They’re part of his larger family and he is our father. I just love that part.
It’s beautiful. And when we say it communally, it reminds us that we’re all kids together. When we say our Father. So we remind ourselves that we’re praying to this big Father of all who we turn to. Who’s in heaven. Who’s huge. Who’s Holy, it’s a sweet way to start. What do you like about ‘Our father who art in heaven holy be your name’?
Well, the ‘our Father’ makes it so personal. We just get to go to this massive God with our struggles. It’s just amazing. And he’s such a powerful and Holy God and I can call him Father.
So we start with kind of acknowledging who he is. And we’ve got both the father part, which is the intimate part and the holy part, which is the awe part and both need to be there.
Right. So we come with a good attitude, with the right perspective.
Yes. There’s a reverence and yet there’s a closeness. It’s just so perfect, Oh my goodness.
It’s a good start.
Okay. The next phrase, why don’t you read the next phrase for us?
Okay, ‘May your kingdom come soon. May your will be done on earth as it is in heaven’.
May your kingdom come soon? Huh. And I really want that these days.
I should say, I think I’m saying that a lot more recently than ever before. My heart’s cry.
Yes, where we’ll have a righteous leader. Jesus, who knows what is best for us. I mean, we need to long for this and the next one, I’m like, do I always long for his will to be done on earth as it is in heaven, because that means my will does not get done. It’s a great part of this prayer. I want your will. I want the will that you have in heaven that has worked things out so perfectly that there aren’t disputes and arguments and bitterness and nastiness. I want that will, here on earth. So.
That’s so good.
Yeah. It’s really changed my prayers a bit. I share my needs, but I always end with your will be done. How about you?
Yeah, I think it, I think if we say your will be done, it takes the pressure off of it. Not to feel like I have to pray the right way to make it happen because God knows it all. And he knows what is ultimately best. I can pray and rest in whatever decision he chooses.
Yeah. Even though it’s hard to give up my will sometimes.
For one year I chose as my verse, cause I always choose a verse for the year to focus on, I chose the Lord’s Prayer and it was just a couple of years ago when I started Sweet Selah Ministries actually. And I found that as I was trying to put together this nonprofit and all the different things that had to go into it, your will be done was a constant happy prayer. Cause really this is for him.
So your will be done in this. Your will be done in that. And I found that I became more genuine and really wanting it because I saw how poorly my will worked out.
(Laughing) Maybe he knows better.
Yeah, he knew what was going to happen in the future. You know everybody’s motives, you know what is going to hurt me ultimately and what is going to help me? Why in the world would I choose my will over yours when you see the whole picture?
So your will be done is a wonderful prayer. It is not a cop out. I know some people say, if you pray, ‘your will be done’, that means you’re not trusting you can do it in faith. Yes I am. I know full well that if God wants to heal someone, he can heal them, but I want his will and it might be their time to die.
You know, so I like it. In conclusion. So, okay. This next one is so short and sweet. ‘Give us today the food we need’ or ‘Give us this day, our daily bread’, is the more familiar way to look at it. So asking for what we need, what does that encompass? I mean, talk to me about that.
I think it’s not just food. Definitely not just food. I think, I know as a mom of four girls that my daily prayer, isn’t always about food. It’s more like my daily portion, my daily allotment of grace for my kids and you know, give me mercy God for my sins. But my daily strength for today, that’s what I usually ask him for. That’s my daily prayer.
That’s your daily prayer. I love that. And I love the daily part. Cause going back to manna, which we talked about a few weeks ago, manna was daily except on Sundays.
But you couldn’t pick up manna for the week. You had to pick up manna every day. And I think the dailyness in this is a real strong hint that we ought to be praying daily.
We need to come to him for strength for the day. Like you said, grace for the day, what our needs are for that day and not get so worried about tomorrow and you know, what we need 10 years from now.
Right. Well, I think that’s where anxiety comes in. We worry about tomorrow or the next week and God gives us what we need for today. He doesn’t give us strength for tomorrow.
So it’s terrifying to think about it. My little girls, actually, they always ask these deep questions at bedtime. But my six year old was talking about dying and how afraid she was of dying. And it just broke my heart. And then God gave me these words. I said, sweetheart, you’re afraid of dying because it’s not your time to die. Like when it’s our time, God’s going to be there and walk through that final, scary thing with us. So honey, go to sleep. You’re good.
You’re good. That’s a good point, you’re not near dying if you’re afraid.
Just go to sleep! But it really was like, he gives us what we need when we need it.
That’s so beautiful. He does. So that dailyness, I think is almost as important as the bread part, you know, our needs. And he certainly can give us and does give us so much more than we need. I mean, I eat a whole lot more than bread. Right? Bread and water can sustain you for quite the little while and we get so much more.
Yes we do.
But we can always come to him and ask him for our needs.
And now we’re at this hard part about forgiving. It says ‘And forgive us, our sins as we have forgiven those who sin against us’. And then those last two verses at the end its like, Jesus goes back to the section and says, and it’s interesting that he has to emphasize this part. I think it’s because it’s a really hard part. And I don’t like that He emphasizes it because it’s hard to ignore.
But here it is. ‘If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins’.
Oh, Oh Nicole.
That’s a shudder moment.
That’s a really, really, really hard thing. Because if you’ve suffered trauma at the hands of someone who’s been abusive, I don’t think forgiveness happens rapidly. I think there’s and I think God understands that, but what, what is forgiveness?
Is it saying it’s okay that you did that awful thing to me?
No. It is not, not ever. I think that’s why we have a hard time forgiving. We think that if I say I forgive you, it’s like, it’s okay that you did it. No, it is not. Evil is never okay. It is never okay. We never have to say what you did was good. It was not good. In fact, the very fact that they need forgiveness says they did something wrong. So we get twisted in our thinking about forgiveness. And we think we’re, we’re sort of saying it was okay. What it is really saying, if you look at the word in Greek, is aphiemi, we’re letting go of our desire to pound their face in.
That’s really what it is. I am letting go of this. God, God, isn’t. God is the judge. And God is also merciful. And God sees the whole story. He sees your story and your heart and what’s going to happen next in your life. I don’t. That ‘Thy will be done’ thing. I forgive. I aphiemi. I release you from my bitterness and my rage. And I entrust you to the God that knows better than me. So ‘a letting go thing’ is a lot easier than thinking that it’s okay that you hurt me. It was releasing that burden of carrying something that you shouldn’t have to carry. Right? And that is only going to make you bitter.
Right. It never, it never hurts the other person to not forgive them. It only hurts us.
Always hurts. Us, always hurts us. And it stirs that awful thing they did up again. Every time we don’t forgive, it digs that circuit in our brain deeper, that’s going to remember it. I mean we make ourselves suffer more because every time we think about it, it goes deeper. And then it’s easier to think about it again and get angry again. So we can work ourselves into this horrible place of bitterness and unhappiness and rage and depression simply because we won’t aphiemi, release it. So again, God’s words and God’s commands are for our good.
The releasing of the desire to do justice on our own and to hurt someone is good for us. Go figure.
He knows what is best for us. He cares about us.
Oh my goodness. So how do we do it though? I mean we release it. We say release it. I’ll tell you one of my ways. And maybe you can share one of yours. If you have a way that helps you forgive. But I have found when it’s been a hard one for me, when someone has really deeply wounded me and I’m trying to think of the name of somebody that I don’t know at all, because I don’t know a Beatrice. And if your name is Beatrice, I don’t mean you.
It’s not you Beatrice. (Laughing)
It’s not you Beatrice. But I will say out loud when that anger comes back and the revenge comes back and the desire for them to feel the hurt, I felt cause that’s a lot of what it is for me. You hurt me. And I want you to know how much you hurt me. So I want you hurt, which is a nasty little attitude. It really is. So anyways, what I’ll do to fight it is, out loud, if I’m alone, it’s weird if you’re with other people, I will say, I forgive you Beatrice.
Every time. I forgive you, Beatrice, only, it’s not Beatrice. We all got that. Right. Okay. So, but the saying of it out loud again is like, a counter attack of the enemy that’s trying to keep me in a space of unforgiveness. Now, have I forgiven completely? Probably not, but I keep saying it and working on it and, and sometimes a huge release comes just from saying, I forgive you Beatrice. It’s amazing.
That is amazing.
Yeah. So that’s one method. Have you got a method?
Not as good as that. I like that because he can’t read our thoughts I don’t think. No, he can’t. God is omniscient, but Satan can’t. So when we verbalize these things, he gets to hear that we’re fighting against this temptation. So, I think it’s, I process out loud. It’s nice to talk to a trusted friend and help work through, you know, some of the hurt in what had happened. And then like, forgive, like you said, every time they come to your mind, just like, okay, I don’t want to dwell on this. God forgive them. And help me, let it go.
You know, just constant. I think it’s like capturing your thoughts again. Just every time it pops in like, okay, God, I don’t want this. It’s not instant. It’s not magic. It takes that like digging out. Cause it’s a deep hurt sometimes.
It’s a deep hurt. Right.
It’s like an ugly root. You have to get the whole root, the taproots and all that. So it’s just that repetitive forgiveness.
Yes, yes. And Jesus’ reason for this is so beautiful. God forgives us so much. I mean, I don’t want to tell you how many times I’ve had to say, please forgive me for losing my temper. So don’t ask me cause I mean, I don’t even know, way too many. I get so disgusted with myself. You know, like how in the world am I still losing my temper? But God continues to forgive me. What is that?
I know. Every time. It’s amazing.
Oh my word! And then the wonderful story of the prodigal son who squanders everything and is just rotten to the core. And he comes back and the father runs, hugs him and throws a party.
We’d have lectured him first.
I know. We have such a forgiving God, we have such a forgiving God. It must break God’s heart when we won’t forgive when he is so generous with it. And we have gone against him so much more often than any other person, because every sin is against God. So I think that helps too, just remembering that God forgives, but this is serious. So if you are struggling with unforgiveness, I recommend just saying, I forgive you and putting that name in out loud as a start and then trusting that God will help you aphiemi, release it. Never ever do you have to say what someone did to you that was wrong, was right. You don’t, but you do need to release them and let God deal with them justly and with the same mercy that he gives to us.
Okay, Nicole, why don’t you read the next verse.
Alright. ‘For yours is the kingdom;.
Oh you forgot, ‘Don’t let us yield to temptation’.
Oh, I did. I jumped right to the end. ‘And don’t let us yield to temptation, but rescue us from the evil one’. That’s a good one. We can’t skip that one.
We cannot skip that one because the temptation is not to forgive. It’s interesting that that comes right afterwards.
Isn’t it? I mean there’s other temptations too.
But that’s hard. That’s a strong temptation to hold onto it.
I think he knows we’re all prone to holding that hurt tight and clutching it in our fists.
Yes, yes, yes, yes. And I love that daily and this is a daily kind of prayer. We should say, protect me from the evil one. Don’t let me be tempted beyond my ability to stand it. Make me aware of when I’m being pulled away from living out the life you want me to live. It’s beautiful.
It is a good one. Satan is actively trying to tempt us and hurt us. He’s just, he’s a constant force. So we need to be aware of that and ask God to protect us from this.
Yes. Now, how do you fight temptation? Tell me.
Well, it certainly helps to be praying every day and starting the day with God.
It sure does.
If I started in the word, then I’m already prepared. I’m not going to be as caught off guard when something comes. So, you know, we’ve heard since we were little, like read your Bible and pray every day, but it’s true. It’s simple. And it’s true. And it’s effective.
Yes. It’s your daily manna.
Yup, exactly it is. And I need it
And it is. And we walk astray if we don’t have it. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve had somebody come to me and tell me that things aren’t right in their life.
Christian friends. And I’ll say, how’s your quiet time? Almost inevitably the quiet time isn’t good.
You know, when you lose that daily connection with the only one that can keep us straight, then you start to drift. You just do all. Lord, we need you every hour.
Yes, we do.
We really do. Okay, that last part, ‘For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen’. I just, I don’t know when that was added, you know, cause the Bible says it’s not in some of the manuscripts, but I’m glad whoever added it because it’s just such a beautiful way to end.
It is. Yeah. I think it’s good that we start with praise and we end with praise because it, again, it reminds of what God has done. And then there’s like a, there’s a trust in the praising him at the end too. Like, Oh yeah, you’re going to do this. You’re going to do your work. So there’s a faith…
There’s a faith in it. Yeah, there absolutely is. And if his is the kingdom and the power and the glory, it’s also another, humbling. It’s not my kingdom. It’s not my power and is not my glory.
I glory in the fact that I’m his and that is stunning.
Yes it is.
And definitely undeserved, definitely undeserved. And yet I am, I’m his. Such a beautiful thing. So what we’re going to do, friends, as we end today, I’m going to say, you know, a prayer, but then Nicole and I are going to recite the old King James version, ‘Our Father who art in heaven’, prayer. Because I think that’s the one most of you know. And would you like to join us? Would you like to find a prayer closet and just say those words with us or grab the hands of your children in the kitchen and say, come on children, we are going to pray this prayer together. I just love picturing all of us, Sweet Selah ministry family peeps that listen to the podcast together, worshiping, thanking, asking all the things that are found in the Lord’s Prayer. So let me close us in prayer. And then we’ll end with the ‘Our Father, which art in heaven;. So, Oh, heavenly Father how I thank you for the richness of this simple prayer, for how much it teaches us about how good you are, how forgiving you are, how you are able to keep us from temptation. Thank you for what it teaches us about you and about ourselves. Lord, truly, we do want your will to be done. We want your kingdom to come. This world is such a mess. We need you. We need you. We need you. And so together with one heart, we pray, ‘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 debts. As we forgive our debtors and lead us, not into temptation, but deliver us from evil for thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
What a blessing to pray with you Sweet Selah family, honoring God in this most beautiful of prayers. We love prayer. And I want to remind you that if you go to Sweet selah.org/podcasts, you can ask for prayer in the comments and we would be honored to pray for you. Please remember to do all the things that help us get this podcast out friends. Thank you and do come back next week for episode 21 Money Problems and Other Big Worries. May God bless you with a wonderful week walking with Jesus.
Speaker 1 (30:11):
We are so glad you stopped for awhile with us. The Sweet Selah Moments podcast is a cooperative production of Word Radio and Sweet Selah Ministries. More information about this podcast can be firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for joining us.
You can download and print the transcript here.