How many times have you heard it said that Christianity is a relationship, not a religion? Do you know what people mean by that phrase? As Christians we have a close connection with the God of the universe. There is personal rapport. We aren’t numbers trying to appease a distant power. We are emotionally and spiritually bonded to God Himself. We are in a relationship.
We see different aspects of this relationship in the Lord’s Prayer. “Our Father,” of course, shows a Father/child relationship. That is the predominate relationship which encompasses all the others. It speaks of a loving, caring, nurturing, protecting and providing parent who is always there for a trusting child. It sums up what Christianity is all about.
But there are other relationships seen in this prayer as well. “Holy (hallowed) be Your name” focus on the Deity/worshipper relationship. Because He is Holy God we are to worship Him. “Your kingdom come” implies a Sovereign/subject relationship. He is God and we long for the day when we can live in close harmony with Him in His kingdom.
A Master/servant relationship is referred to when we pray “Your will be done.” We are here to serve Him, not to try to get Him to serve us, something we often forget. “Give us our daily bread” brings to mind a Benefactor/beneficiary relationship. We are dependent on Him for our needs, even our mundane, basic daily needs.
“Forgive us out sins/debts” clearly connects us as sinners with our Savior. We come to Him needing cleansing and He provides it for us. “Lead us not into temptation” denotes a Guide/pilgrim relationship. He provides direction and guidance for we who desperately need it.
All these relationships are covered in the Lord’s Prayer, but the overriding one is the first, the Father/child relationship. What could be better than having a loving Heavenly Father who cares for us because of His deep love and who knows and does what is best for us in the long run.
“Our Father” is not just the start of the prayer. It summarizes the whole thing. It itself is the prayer. Just praying “Father” says it all. Spend a few minutes calling God “Father” and think of all the implications and ramifications that come from that simple word.
(Written by Jerry Schmoyer, 2014. You can find more of his writings at http://www.christiantrainingonline.org/. If you have questions or suggestions feel free to contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org)