Pleasant Grove Community Church

Drawing Close to God Through The Lord's Prayer
This is the close of our Week of Prayer

We have been praying through The Lord’s Prayer, taking a different section each day. Today, we are going to pull it all back together and practice praying not only the words of the prayer, but what the words point towards.

First, a little additional background we haven’t shared yet to bring additional meaning to the prayer.

In Jesus’ day, rabbi’s would gather a small group of students, called disciples, and teach them about God and God’s law from the Old Testament scriptures. Jesus followed this model, which is why he is sometimes referred to as “rabbi” in the gospels. A rabbi would teach his disciples a prayer unique to that group that would represent his key teachings. The prayer was a part of the unique identity of the group. So, when Jesus’ disciples asked Him to “teach us to pray,“ they were asking to be taught a prayer that represents Jesus’ core message and would give them their unique identity.

Notice what Jesus emphasizes in the pray he teaches us:

The coming of God’s kingdom.
“Kingdom” correctly translates the original Greek word, but missing the original meaning. God’s kingdom is not political or military power, nor does it have geographical boundaries. God’s kingdom refers to God ruling and members of the kingdom following and obeying God’s rule. Jesus’ arrival represents the arrival of God’s reign on earth as He reigns in heaven.

Recognition and trust that God provides what we need.

Forgiveness is at the heart of God’s work of redemption and salvation. It is the ultimate reason Jesus came to die for us on the cross. Forgiveness then becomes the core attribute of those "Jesus disciples" following His reign.

Deliverance from evil.
The ultimate result of our salvation.

So, the Lord’s Prayer becomes an identifier of who we are as Jesus’ disciples. As we pray it, we reinforce God’s work of establishing His identity in our lives.

Now, let us practice praying the Lord’s Prayer.

  • You will pray this prayer line by line, with pauses of silence to reflect and to offer additional prayers that follow the meaning of that line.

  • You are encouraged to pray each line of the Lord’s Prayer out loud. Researchers have found that saying something out loud that builds stronger mental and emotional connections to what is being said. I believe we can also add stronger spiritual connections as well.

  • If you are able to do this together with your spouse or a friend, that is also encouraged. The prayer is a communal prayer. Notice that the petitions are all plural “us” not singular “me.”

“Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name”
  • Ten seconds of silent reflection on the words
  • Acknowledge God’s holiness and praise God for who he is

“Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven”
  • Ten seconds of silent reflection on the words
  • Ask God to align your life to His purposes
  • Ask God to align our church to His purposes and work in our community
  • Ask God to impress His will on our world and its leaders

“Give us this day our daily bread”
  • Ten seconds of silent reflection on the words
  • Pray for all of your personal needs, whatever they may be

“And forgive us our debts (sins) as we forgive our debtors (those who sinned against us)”
  • Ten seconds of silent reflection on the words
  • Confess and ask God’s forgiveness for your own sins (ask God to reveal them to you)
  • Forgive others for the specific ways they have hurt you (for further instruction on forgiveness, see the previous Saturday Growth practice by CLICKING HERE)

“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil (or the evil one)”
  • Ten seconds of silent reflection on the words
  • Pray for God’s protection over you and your family
  • Pray for those you know who are struggling with temptations
  • Pray for God’s continued protection over our church and church leaders

“For thine is the kingdom, and the power and the glory forever. Amen.”

  • What part of this prayer was most meaningful to you?
  • Did you feel God speaking to you or guiding you in any special way?

Today's practice of The Lord’s Prayer has been adapted from A Guidebook to Prayer , MaryKate Morse, IVP

Study the Book of John with Joe Caples

Joe Caples, Director of Forge Ministries Sacramento, Adjunct Professor at Epic Bible College and a regular attendee at our church is writing a short, "Missional Commentary" on the Book of John. Each Saturday we will offer another installment.

Read John chapter 4. Then, read Joe's commentary, and reflect on his comments and questions (it's only two pages). Click Here to open up Joe's commentary on John 4.
Pleasant Grove Community Church
1730 Pleasant Grove Blvd., Roseville, CA 95747
(916) 771-4447