Haven’t we been here before?
In Ecclesiastes the Teacher says that ‘there is nothing new under the sun’ (Ecc 1:9 NIV).
As we approach Christmas this year I have a sense of deja-vu about the furore over the cinemas saying that they will not screen The Lord’s Prayer advert. This has happened before when radio stations refused to play Sir Cliff Richard’s Millennium Prayer. It went to the top of the UK chart for 3 weeks and just missed it for Christmas.
The refusal of the cinemas to show this advert of the Lord’s Prayer is already having a similar effect, it is piquing people’s curiosity, whether or not they would have gone to see the Star Wars film they will now look at it on-line. Just out of curiosity.
The thing is that whenever anyone tries to cage the Word of God, it will break free. In the UK we have seen this prayer for too long as being very British and a very nice, safe and easy prayer to pray. So why then does it repeatedly warrant this treatment in modern day Britain? People in the secular world seem to grasp better than most of us Christians that this prayer is the dynamite that could blow the current godless and rebellious nature of this land apart.
Here are a few snippets about the prayer that you may find challenging.
God is personal and he wants a personal relationship with each of us.
The One in the heavens.
God is enthroned in heaven, and we come before him there when we pray. Jesus is referring to Psalm 2 when God laughs at those who set themselves up against him.
May your name be honoured as holy,
May your kingdom come,
May your will be done,
As in heaven, so on earth.
Jesus bases this on an early form of a Jewish prayer called the Kaddish which was used to finish every synagogue service. Jesus’ call is for kingdom now. Where God is honoured as holy even if people don’t know him, this is nothing less than a prayer for revival!
Our bread for tomorrow, give us today!
This is both physical and spiritual food. This is why this prayer has always been associated with communion, and will be consummated when he returns on the last ‘tomorrow’.
And forgive us our debts,
As from now on we will forgive our debtors.
We can only forgive others their sins (moral debts) because God has forgiven us in Christ. Once forgiven we have no right to hold onto the sins of others.
And do not bring us to the time of trial,
And deliver us from the Evil One.
God doesn’t tempt us and he brings us through all times of trail.
True deliverance not just drives out evil but sees the person filled with God.
It says it all.