Reproclaiming the Everlasting Gospel
Almost all Christians incorporate the reciting of the Lord’s Prayer into their worship services. After all, Jesus said, “This is how you should pray,” before speaking the words every believer knows so well. (Matt. 6: 9-13 NIV)
However, the preceding passage in Matthew illustrates the reason the Lord’s Prayer is necessary: “[W]hen you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.” (Matt. 6:7) This admonition goes to the root of a perpetual human preoccupation, that of attempting to control our fate.
Whether we “babble like pagans,” consult a Ouija board or Tarot cards, or read books like Rhonda Byrne’s The Secret, the same urge is behind all this behavior. We want to orchestrate or influence events because we don’t trust our Creator to look after us as He thinks best.
So the essence of Jesus’s advice is, “Don’t waste your attention and effort trying to manipulate the ‘Universe’ into giving you what you want. Instead, ask for these few things: God’s will in your life, your daily bread, to be protected from temptation, and for your trespasses to be forgiven.”
Therefore, reciting the Lord’s Prayer is a wasted exercise for those who merely say the words without really depending on God. By contrast, for those who trust their Heavenly Father, no recitation of any formal prayer is necessary because He knows what we need before we ask (Matt. 6:8), and we have learned to rely on this superior wisdom.
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