Read Part 1 of our discussion of the Lord’s Prayer here.
Forgive Us Our Debts As We Forgive Our Debtors-What stands out about this request is the reciprocal nature of it. “Forgive us…as we forgive others…” It is reminiscent of scenes from the Old Testament where God gives the people a command, for instance, to be kind to strangers, because they once were strangers in Egypt. “Have mercy on slaves, remembering that you were once slaves in Egypt”. This happens numerous times in the Old Testament. We ought to be kind to those in chains because we were once in chains. We ought to be kind to strangers because we have been strangers. And we ought to forgive others because we ourselves stand in need of forgiveness.
Lead Us Not Into Temptation, But Deliver Us From Evil-Once again, one cannot help but think of the people of Israel in the Wilderness. “Have you led us out here to die???” the people asked Moses. Being seemingly trapped by the Red Sea, mountains and Pharoah’s army, the people complain that God & Moses led them out in the wilderness to die. We understand mentally that God doesn’t tempt us. And yet, doesn’t it seem like he leads us into evil sometimes? Of course, he never does, but it feels that way sometimes. And so in this line of the prayer, we learn to pray our feelings. We can be honest in prayer, and pray for God to not lead us into temptation, even if we know he never will, because sometimes it feels like he does.
For Yours is the Kingdom, the Power and the Glory Forever, Amen-We are reminded of the only way any of this prayer can come to pass. God is the Creator. His kingdom, power and glory are eternal. That is the context of our prayer, and that is the force behind it. Our only hop eis the Kingdom, Power and Glory of God reigning in our world and lives.