By Len vanHeest
In our Wednesday Lenten series, we discussed that our Father in Heaven wants an intimate relationship with us - A loving Father, slow to anger, and bounding in steadfast love. We are His children, and thus can talk to Him about whatever and whenever we want.
We also discussed His holiness. How awesome and great He is. Although our Father, He demands and deserves are respect. Our prayers should be filled with His praise.
Reflecting a little about HIs Kingdom: He is our eternal King. On earth and in heaven. He is Sovereign. He should be our primary focus so that we may do what is in His plan.
As Americans, I often wonder if we really know what it means to be subject to an ultimate authority. We are citizens and elect our authorities. We often disagree with them, complain about them, and can vote them out of office as well.
If we are in God's Kingdom, we are Subjects of the King. He is royal, and He is our Ruler.
In European history, Kings served by "divine right". Royalty believed God had placed them on earth to rule. Subjects may not like what the King wants, but, because of his authority, one does what he says, to advance the interests of the kingdom. Born to parents of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, although living in America, as a child we celebrated the Queen’s birthday. Now, on April 27th, I celebrate King's Day for King Willem-Alexander. He is an earthly sovereign for whom I respect and honor. It’s different than the respect and honor I have for our President, also a citizen as I am. It’s a different relationship.
It is important to note, that as Jesus taught us to pray, it is similar to how the Ten commandments are ordered. The first four commandments deal with our relationship to God. So it also is with the Lord's Prayer.
We are taught to first understand and confirm who God is - our loving Father, Holy and worthy to be praised, is also our King - our Sovereign. Therefore, prayer begins with intimacy and love, glory and praise, and the affirmation that we seek His Kingdom - on the earth, as it is in Heaven. We seek His authority, and we seek His will, as His obedient subjects, to carry out.
We do this before we ask about our daily bread, and forgiveness. Before we ask about others.
The Lord's Prayer is a model for our other prayers. "P"raise - "R"epent - "A"sk - "Y"eild.
I want to encourage you to absorb the scriptures and the sermons. Then, pray to our Father. Praise Him. And honor Him by seeking His Kingdom first.
And as Christian brothers and sisters, pray for one another.
May God bless each one of you.