Getting the most out of The Lord’s Prayer
My 92-year-old dad, retired pastor, first spoke these words simply as a prayer during a Bible study. Later he wrote them out. I hope you get as much blessing from them as I do.
Our Father who art in heaven. What a privilege to call You “Father.” You are the one who gave me life, who cares for me, who loves me, who forgives me, who wants the best for me. I am in awe that you are my father.
Hallowed be Thy name. Dear Father, your name is holy. Help me to keep it holy by living a godly and chaste life in what I say and do. Keep me from degrading and defaming your name by using it to wrongfully defend terrible sins against you.
Thy kingdom come. Dear Father, I want you to be my ruler. Keep me in your kingdom of grace and take me to your kingdom of glory. Help me and all Christians share the Good News of Jesus as Lord and Savior with others so they also can be in your kingdom eternally. Bless the work of pastors, missionaries, and congregations in all parts of the world in order to bring your kingdom to more people, and to bring more people into your kingdom.
Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Dear Father, may your will be done in my life. Guide and direct me. Show me the way to go. Help me make decisions, not according to my will and my feelings, but according to your will as you have revealed it in Holy Scripture. Strengthen me to do your will like the angels do in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread. Dear Father, thank you for giving me food, clothing, and shelter in abundance. Continue to give me good health according to your will. Give these material blessings to all, especially those who are hungry, poor, homeless, or in bad health. Use me to bring kindness and a better way of life to those less fortunate than I am. Give me these material blessings according to your good and gracious will, for which I am and will be genuinely thankful to you.
And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. Dear Father, forgive me my sins because Jesus died to forgive them. Help me to forgive the wrongs of others against me. That is so hard, Lord. Please help me. And please help me be loving and patient especially to my dearest loved ones and to those around me.
And lead us not into temptation. Dear Father, when you test me, use that testing to strengthen my faith and to purify my soul. But I’m also asking you to give me strength to resist and overcome the temptations that go against your good and gracious will. These alluring temptations, offered deceptively by my own sinful flesh, the devil, and the sinful world, are real and constant. Give me the desire and the power to win victories over those temptations.
But deliver us from evil. Dear Father, deliver me from the devil himself, the greatest evil. And, as Martin Luther wrote, “Deliver me from every evil of body and soul, property and honor. And finally, when my last hour has come, grant me a blessed end, and graciously take me from this vale of tears to yourself in heaven.”
For thine is the kingdom. Dear Father, you are the Good King who rules and guides my life. You are the king of my family, my congregation, my church body, all Christians. You are the king of my country, of all countries in the world. You are the one from whom I seek help and blessings. All of my little kingdoms are all under the authority of your grand and glorious kingdom.
And the power. Dear Father, you are the only one who has the ultimate and final power. You are the only one who is able to help me and to grant me my requests. I beg you to bring an end to the wars and terrorist attacks and the senseless violence in our world. You alone have the power to guide leaders of nations in order to bring about peaceful solutions. You alone have the power to bring your peace to the world. Show your power, O Father.
And the glory. Dear Father, all glory, all honor, all praise, all adoration, and all thanksgiving be given to you for all you have done for me and will do for me, and what you are doing for all humankind. All credit and all appreciation goes to you! Soli Deo Gloria! “Alone to you, O God, be the glory!”
Forever and ever. Dear Father, countless and endless “Hallelujahs!” to you on this side of eternity and throughout infinite and endless eternity — yes, forever and ever … forever and ever … forever and ever.
Amen. Yes! Yes! It shall be so! It shall be so!
[Kollmeyer is Pastor of Prince of Peace Lutheran Church Fayetteville (NALC). www.princeofpeacefayette.com]