Priest's Perspective

6 October Luke 11:1-4

Daily Gospel Reflection

1One day in a place where Jesus had just finished praying, one of His disciples requested, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”

2So Jesus told them, “When you pray, say:

‘Father, hallowed be Your name.

Your kingdom come.

3Give us each day our daily bread.

4And forgive us our sins,

for we also forgive everyone who sins against us.

And lead us not into temptation.’ ”

Luke has the shortened version of the Lord’s prayer. It is a powerful prayer and one which we should use as a formula and as a set prayer.

Father – despite this word having lost meaning because sinful men have given fathers a bad name through being absent, violent and abusive, and for many people the image of a father is not what it should be, we must see the pure sense in which this world is used. A Father is a protector and provider, it is from the father that life originates, and the child belongs to him, was created by him in love and out of love.  To use different language we could say –

“Creator sustainer and perfector of life”

Hallowed is not a word we use often in modern language, but it means to revere, to honour, to respect to hold in high esteem. To worship means to see the “worth of” to count as wonderful and majestic and glorious, so we could pray:

Creator sustainer and perfector of life, I worship you.”

A name is not merely what we call something, it describes their character, it is a definition of the named entity. And so we pray:

“Creator sustainer and perfector of life, I worship you for who you are”

When we pray “your kingdom come’ we are asking that the divine order of life, the nature of God’s reign, the culture of heaven, God’s plans for our lives in his Kingdom, will be our reality. The Kingdom is not a future ideal, it is a present reality. In God’s kingdom, God reigns, and we serve, not as slaves but as brothers and sisters, of Christ. When we pray for the Kingdom to come we are praying that God’s will be done in our lives and that we will truly live in the love of God, to pray for the kingdom is to pray that the world will be filled with love, it is not a desire for a paradise, but a desire that every situation will be filled with kindness, compassion, healing, hope, joy,  peace, gentleness. The kingdom is a place where the fruits of the Spirit are served on the table of life. and so we pray

“Creator sustainer and perfector of life, I worship you for who you are, and I pray that the world will be filled with the Spirit of God and the fruits of the Spirit will be experienced by all.”

In the wilderness when the people went out to collect the manna, no mater how much they collected, it was just enough.

Exodus 16: 17 and 18 says – “So the Israelites did this. Some gathered more, and some less.  When they measured it by the omer, he who gathered much had no excess, and he who gathered little had no shortfall.  Each one gathered as much as he needed to eat.”

In God’s economy we are to use what we need and no more, we are to take our share and not gather wealth for ourselves at the expense of others. God’s economy and the worlds economy are at odds, and this is why we have so many problems in the world today. The worlds economy is built on greed and inequality and some people have more than they could ever use, while others live in lack. The wealth that the bible speaks against is when we live with more than we need or use. God does not expect us to live on less than we need and does not want us to waste. We need to live a life where our needs are met, but where we don’t deny the ‘other’ their needs. And so we pray:

Creator sustainer and perfector of life, I worship you for who you are and I pray that the world will be filled with the Spirit of God and the fruits of the Spirit will be experienced by all. Lord provide me with what I need today and help me to live thriftfully and to be generous to others. In all my doings may I not seek excess but be content with what I have. “

St Paul wrote “ all have fallen short of the glory of God.” Put simply we were created in God’s image but we do not portray that image to the world because we are self seeking and doubt God’s good intentions for us. To ask to be forgiven is not simply to say that we are sorry for what we have done wrong. It is to admit that we desire to be the lord of our own life and fail to live life only doing what the father tells us to. To ask forgiveness is to admit that we are trapped in a culture that is not of heaven, our normal daily lives care more for self preservation than the good of others, we take more than our share, we uphold an unjust economy and continue to develop a society that is unjust. To be forgiven means to be set free from the guilt of being part of a corrupt system, so that we can work at changing things wherever we can. To be forgiven means to have the log removed from our eye so that we can see clearly to deal with the specks ( Luke 6 :42)  When we are set free from the wages of sin which is death ( Romans 6:23) then we can accept the gift of life and share that life with others.

Creator sustainer and perfector of life, I worship you for who you are and I pray that the world will be filled with the Spirit of God and the fruits of the Spirit will be experienced by all. Lord provide me with what I need today and help me to live thriftfully and to be generous to others. In all my doings may I not seek excess but be content with what I have. “

 Set me free from the sins which ensnare me so that I may love others as I am loved. Help me to see others as loved by you as a work in progress too, help me see Christ in others. “

The world is full of evil as scripture says the 1 Peter 5:8 – “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. “So we ask God to protect us and keep us on the narrow path and that we will not face more temptation than we can bear. We pray that God will help us to resist the devil, so that he will flee from us.

so let us pray

“ Creator sustainer and perfector of life, I worship you for who you are and I pray that the world will be filled with the Spirit of God and the fruits of the Spirit will be experienced by all. Lord provide me with what I need today and help me to live thriftfully and to be generous to others. In all my doings may I not seek excess but be content with what I have. “

 Set me free from the sins which ensnare me so that I may love others as I am loved. Help me to see others as loved by you as a work in progress too, help me see Christ in others. Give me the strength to resist the Devil and to walk in your ways,  that my life may reflect the kingdom values and my love for you flow into a love for others.

Amen.”

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