Sunday, 24 July 2016


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daily reflection

“2 And he said unto them, when ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth. Give us day by day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.” Luke 11:2-4 (King James Version)

I greet you child of God with the greetings of the saints. I welcome you to today’s daily reflection and I hope you are growing each day in your daily sanctity and strive for holiness? If so, praise be to God. Our focus today shall be on the Lord’s Prayer, as it is popularly known or the Our Father prayer.
This is probably the first or one of the first prayers you might have learnt in your younger years. Yes, remember how you used to say the words and how they seemed meaningless to you but you said it with such great joy and passion. It was really awesome to have those prayers come out of your mouth.
Now let us analyse this prayer that Christ taught his disciples. The scripture records that one of Jesus’ disciples came to him while he was praying and asked him to teach them how to pray. Wow, surprising! Does it mean that all those while they have been with Jesus they had not actually been praying? Not even a communal prayer? Incredible! In the ancient periods, it was an established fact that every religious group must have their specific character, this is shown in the truth they believe in, the laws they observed and also the kind of prayers they said. The disciple made reference to the disciples of John the Baptist who must have taught them his specific type of prayer. It doesn’t mean that they were not all prayers.
But instead of giving them a specific kind of prayer which should define them specifically as his disciples, he gave them the formula for all prayers – The Lord’s prayer. You may take a few minutes to look at the Lord’s Prayer once more before you continue reading this. So I shall go on to analyse this prayer to see how the formula manifests itself.

The Division of the Lord’s Prayer

The prayer is divided into two or rather it is double-pointed. The first is directed to God and the second is directed to us. So we have divine and human focus in prayer. In the divine focus we have,

“Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.

This is what I term prayer of adoration. Christ takes us to recognise the greatness of the name of God, to acknowledge and to exult him. As we start any prayer, it is most ad rem that we follow this first formula. In praising and adoring God, he will be so drawn to you and ready to hear your prayers. He is a God that loves adoration and praise. First, give him his due, tell him how good he has been and praise his mighty name. Don’t start with lamentations, accusations and blames. After praising his holy name, show him how ready you are to be involved in the renewal of the world through commitment to others. This is expressed when we say “your Kingdom come”.
The second part of the prayer is focused on us. Let us take cognizance of the inclusive pronoun “us” which Christ uses, there is no “me” or “I” or “my” but “us”. Here we have,

“Give us day by day our daily bread.

I term this the prayer of supplication. You make your petitions to God asking him to give you the bread that comes to you, that is, to give you what is really your due. By making this petition, you show God your child-like disposition to his providence. You ask and have confidence that God will fully supply whatever we need, in accordance with his glorious riches in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19). Now you proceed after the prayer of supplication and pray

“And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us.”

 I call this one prayer of absolution. At this stage, Christ wants us to recognise our unworthiness and sinful nature before God. This is the stage Isaiah was when he saw God and exclaimed “…woe to me, I am doomed! For I am a man of unclean lips, living among a people of unclean lips…” (Isaiah 6:5). We are sinners and we need God to cleanse us of our sins. He calls us to come and settle with him (Isaiah 1:18). So do not think that you have no sin in you when you are praying, if you think so, Saint John the Evangelist will tell you that you make God a liar and his word is not in you (1 John 1:10), and so in prayer let us acknowledge our sins before him and ask him for pardon and he will surely cleanse us from every wrongdoing (1 John 1:9).
Having been cleansed from our iniquities, we feel the need to ask his protection from every evil way so that we may not incur his just wrath. And so we pray,

“And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.

I term this the prayer of protection. We are assailed by many spirit and demons of high places. Some in the waters, some in the air, some in the desert, some on land and some around us. We may not know them but they know us. One of the most dangerous battles is the one that you fight with an unknown enemy who knows your every movement. That is why Saint Paul advises that “…our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the whole rulers of this present darkness…” (Ephesians 6:10). Saint Paul understands very well the battle of the spiritual and struggle for sanctity. So what should we do if not to hide under the name of the Lord which is a strong tower (Proverbs 18:10), not just as cowards but paying heed to the advice of Saint Peter and be sober and vigilant (1 Peter 5:8).


Have you now seen that Christ has done it all, even giving us the path to come to him and his father? It is up to you and me to make out time and meet him in prayer with the hope that never shakes believing that he will answer our prayer. But remember that every good and effective prayer must have this formula Christ have given to us, that is, Prayer of worship, Prayer of supplication, Prayer of absolution, and Prayer of protection.
May the lord bless us for having gotten this far in today’s daily reflection. God loves you, God bless you, Grace to You!

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