There are two distinct ways to enjoy new countries or lands that one might visit. One is as a tourist, the other is as an explorer. While the tourist might enjoy the predictability of pre-planned itineraries, the primary goal of the tourist is to see and to view the terrain and the culture the way most others experience the land. Not so with the explorer, who has a different motivation, that of leaving the well worn path and the controlled excursions to seek new vistas, to immerse oneself in the local culture that results in, not only seeing, but also in discovery.
We can approach the Lord’s Prayer in much the same way. As a tourist, we may see the words as familiar and predictable, words that many of us have recited from memory since we were children. We may not fully appreciate the magnitude and power of this prayer because it is so familiar that reciting this prayer has become routine. We have traveled this ground so many times the path has become worn and familiar.
What we will be doing today is taking the approach of the explorer, who looks in different directions with a specific purpose and focus. We will examine and study each word of this prayer with the desire of bringing new discovery and enlightenment to these sacred and ancient words that Jesus taught to us.
This week we will explore the words in bold:
“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.”
In considering this opening section of the Lords’ Prayer, we open ourselves to the fact that, as we pray this prayer, we are not using our words to address a human being, and our words are not even directed to this earthly dimension. Our focus is on a different plane. We are lifting our words to our glorious God in heaven. This section of the Lord’s prayer is a call to redirect our outlook toward adopting a cosmic view and to acknowledge the reality of the spiritual realm that exists with our physical world. With these words we are not only proclaiming and celebrating Gods’ existence and presence, we are also transported into His dimension.
“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
- 2 Corinthians 4:18
As you pray, do you pray as a tourist or an explorer?