Lord's Prayer is divided into six couplets. The first
teaches about God's nature. The second asks for his
will to be done now. The third asks him to provide for
our material needs. Now we are looking at the fourth
couplet. It asks him to forgive our mistakes. The
first line of the two is "and forgive us our
debts," our trespasses.
are several dynamics in this short phrase. The first
is the admission that we need forgiving. The next is
that God has the power to forgive. Also, it assumes
God is inclined to forgive. Overall it is a confession
that we are fallible. "Occasionally" we have
made some noticeable mistakes.
The petition for forgiveness ties to Jesus'
Beatitudes. It relates to most of them. For us to
admit faults and ask for forgiveness, the key
Beatitude attitudes must be felt. To ask for
forgiveness, one would be poor in spirit, mourning,
meek, searching for righteousness, merciful, seeking
purity of heart and also wanting to be a peacemaker.
course, asking for forgiveness can be done from the
fear of expected or deserved divine punishment.
However, the prayer doesn't require a particular
motive. It just requests God to forgive our mistakes.
The fact that we ask God for forgiveness acknowledges
his power and primacy. .
a more general basis, here we acknowledge that there
is some proper order for all of us. The prayer says,
"forgive us our debts." The plural pronoun
of us implies that all people have fallen short of
God's requirements. All are in the same boat.
have a commonality as humans standing before God. None
of us is better than another. If we all have fallen
short of God's requirements and need his forgiveness,
what are our shortcomings? Do you know yours?
"Thy will be done." Let me ask you a
question. Assuming you are going to the Spirit world -
Heaven - after you die, what are you going to do for
eternity? Do you know?
Have you thought about it? I know what I am going to
do in the hereafter Heaven. I am going to do what I am
told to do. I am going to do what God tells me to do.
I am going to be obedient to his "will".
God's will is a choice, of sorts, in this world. It
becomes a necessity in the world to come. The world to
come, Heaven in the hereafter sense, is called
"Paradise." Life there, we assume, will be
trouble free and always in the presence of God. There
we think we will be bathed in God's love, and always
be carefree and joyful.
you have any reason to dispute that picture of life
after death? Maybe you are not sure of what the living
conditions will be in that later heaven, but you know
you will not be in control. Don't you? You do know you
will need to do what you are told to do. Don't you? I
this prayer phrase, we are agreeing with the
inevitable. God's will shall be done because he is God
and he has the power to cause anything to happen.
Honestly spoken, this phrase is our intellectual
commitment to submit to God's will as we can best
understand it and conform to it. Here we admit God has
a will and we will follow it if we can figure out how.
Instinctively, or at least hopefully, we think God can
show us his will.
this part of the prayer becomes more than a
thoughtless liturgy. It is our acknowledgement that
God is real, alive, and has a will. We are agreeing to
accept and implement his will. Now we wonder, what is
supposed to happen next?
good news about a life of faith in God's kingdom is
that he is in control. Along with his authority over
you, he continues to have responsibility for you. It
is as if he says to you, "The buck stops
here." God is working for your well being.
you took Jesus' teachings seriously, and accepted them
for your way of life, you won God's protection. From
then on you became God's responsibility. He is your
protector. You know this from the "Lord's
Prayer." God is your Abba, Daddy. You do not need
to do more religious works to prod him.
liturgies, prayer formulas, piety, or special
knowledge are not needed. He is working in your life
because he loves you, and not because of what you do.
All your Father wants from you is acknowledgment that
he is the source of your good fortune. He appreciates
in God's Kingdom of Heaven is that simple. All you say
is, "God is God, and I am his child, and he is
taking care of me. I will do my best and he will make
all things work out for good." For some people,
that is too simple.
is accepting life as it is, without complaint. It is
knowing God will work out all things for your benefit,
sooner or later. Lack of faith is losing trust in
God's willingness to protect you and pour his love and
providence into your life. God never forgets a name.
He will never leave you or forsake you. Your name is
engraved in his mind.
things are not going according to your plans, you can
become frustrated. Things are not supposed to work out
according to your plans. Don't forget, you turned
yourself over to him some time ago. Final planning is
in his hands, not yours. No amount of religious works
can change that.