The Lord has called us to honor Him and to live a life exclusively for our God. Christ makes this life a challenge when Christ is very explicit that the law is something that cuts to the heart rather than just being an outward superficial conforming. It is impossible for us to conform to the Lord from our heart, and so how do we conform to the Lord? How do we come before the Lord in light of such impossible exhortations?
The Lord’s prayer has a strange request that we ask the Lord not to lead us into temptation. If the Lord desires us to dwell with Him forever in heaven, then why would the Lord tempt us? What does this request mean for our Christian life? Can we trust our Lord if He is tempting us? So, what does this request mean?
This is one of the requests of the Lord’s prayer that we can rattle off without really considering the implications of it. What does it mean that we really want the Lord’s will? This is basically saying that we no longer desire to live by our will, but by the will of our father in heaven. So, how do we live by the will of the Lord seeking to honor the Lord?
Christ commands us to pray, “Our Father who art in heaven.” This is not something that initially seems comforting to us earth dwelling Christians. If God is in heaven while we are here on earth how can His heavenly dwelling be a benefit to us? However, Christ is teaching us to pray this prayer so this is something good. So, what we are we missing? What is the bigger picture that we so often fail to see as struggling humans? How is our praying to our Father in Heaven far more comforting than we could imagine?
It is rather strange to ask the Lord not to lead us into temptation because we are sinners who follow our sinful desires quit well. We also believe and affirm that God cannot sin. If God cannot sin, and we are sinners why would we then ask the Lord not to lead us into temptation? It seems that we are more than capable of finding and following temptation ourselves. So, why do we pray such a request, and why even ask the Lord such a thing when really it is our call to walk the straight and narrow in Christ? Right or is there more to this request?
The call for us to suffer and forgive those who offend us is a rather difficult challenge. We as humans want to make sure that we get our pound of flesh. We think that those who offend us must pay the price or we might want be scared that they will make a habit of offending us. So, why do we ask for forgiveness and ask that we would forgive others? What could possibly motivate us to want to fulfill this radical request?
Our temptation is to trust in ourselves for our daily physical needs. We can look to money we have set aside for a rainy day, our investments, our business opportunities, or maybe just our shrewd handling of money. The temptation we have as creatures is that we can trust in our abilities for our daily provisions rather than the Lord. So, why is this wrong and what does the prayer request regarding the Lord providing our daily bread put our financial priorities in perspective?
We are creatures who have our own desires, convictions, and goals. It is not natural for us as fallen creatures to put another’s will ahead of our own will. If this is true then how can we pray, “Your will be done?” How can we want the Lord’s will over our own will? Is the Lord requiring something of us that is beyond our capabilities? Does the Lord even know how difficult it is to desire such a thing? How do we know that our high priest who resides in the glory of heaven knows such a struggle?
Our human inclination is to think that God dwelling in heaven makes Him distant from us. However, when Christ teaches us to pray the force of addressing God as our Father in heaven seems to be a blessing. So, why is it good that our Father is in heaven and not on an earthly visible throne?