Our daily bread…
Aaahhh… those words on our graphic are so comforting, aren’t they? Matthew 6:9-15 are familiar verses. As a child, I memorized those verses (which is pretty good considering that now I say Bible verses in a “paraphrased by Anita” way!), but didn’t really understand them. Later in life I participated in a Bible study that broke the verses down, and showed how to pray the Lord’s prayer in my everyday life. I will share just a bit of what I learned during that study (if you are wondering what study I did, it was Kay Arthur’s “Teach me to pray in 28 days”–awesome!).
The prayer is broken into several segments. I encourage you to do some study on these words yourself–the prayer is so, so powerful. The first part of this prayer is showing how God should be exalted in our lives. When we pray the Lord’s prayer back to Him, we are acknowledging His sovereignty. Our God is in complete control, even when we aren’t aware or aren’t sure of what’s happening.
Let me ask you–how serious are you about letting “God’s will be done” in your life? When we pray this prayer, we are giving God “permission” to work in our lives. Friends, this “work” can be painful or blissful. Sometimes we are led to leave something that we really enjoy, or put down something we love, or stop something we’ve been tolerating. Other times, we may be led to start something new, find our “voice,” lead the fight. Are you ready for a life-change? I can say from experience that God is in the “change business,” and He wants to work mightily in you. If you are fully committed to this part of the Lord’s prayer, be ready for some changes, challenges, shake-ups, and shake-downs. What a ride!
The forgiveness part of this prayer is so difficult at times. We want God to forgive us of the many sins (debts, trespasses) in our pasts as well as the sins of our present and our future. That part is easy to pray. It’s the other part that gets hard–“as we forgive those who (sin, trespass) against us.” If you look at that, we are asking God to forgive us as easily or as fully as we forgive others. Hmmmm…. makes us look a lot closer at our “forgiveness practices, ” doesn’t it? We can’t hold on to those grudges, or remember those past sins, or say we’ve forgiven when we really haven’t, or ignore something that hurt us. We must forgive; fully, wholeheartedly, wipe the slate clean, never to dwell on it again. That is the only way we can completely forgive–I can’t do that on my own and neither can you. Our human nature wants to hold on to those hurts. Our renewed spirit that came from a relationship with Jesus can let go of those things–but only if we allow God to work in and through our lives to show others the healing power of forgiveness. May we all give that which we receive; full and complete forgiveness through our Savior Jesus.
Again, I encourage you to study the Lord’s prayer and make a commitment to memorize not only the words but their meanings as well. In bounty and in need, this prayer is the model of how we should lift up our praises and requests to God.
Did you notice that I skipped over the “give us this day our daily bread” part? I did so on purpose. Most people believe that these words are literal–when we say these words, we are asking for our physical needs to be met. And that is true in part. I will focus strictly on that meaning at this time, because I want to share an awesome recipe for… you guessed it, bread! I tried this on a whim when I needed something extra with my meal. I was a bit skeptical, but my skepticism was unnecessary. Oh. My. Goodness. Try this recipe for Miracle Bread I found at recipes chez moi. One hour, start to finish. I know it seems impossible, but the only impossibility you will encounter with this recipe is trying to eat just one piece! YUMMY!
Take a look at that picture. You know you want a piece of bread right now, don’t you? Go ahead, try it!
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