Sermon – July 31, 2022

Weekly Sermon (2)

Our Lord’s Prayer Part 2

July 31, 2022

Last week we began to look closely at the prayer Jesus
taught his disciples as recounted in both Luke’s and Matthew’s
gospels. We looked at the introduction and the first three
petitions which are directed towards the plans and purposes of
God. We saw that the word ‘our’ which begins the prayer was
deliberate and, though the prayer is also intended to be prayed
individually and personally, at heart, it is a communal prayer,
one to be prayed and lived out by the whole community.
We heard that the word in Aramaic that Jesus used to
address his father was Abba, which is an affectionate and
intimate name, such as Daddy or Papa, chosen by Jesus to show
his disciples that our God wants to be in close and loving
relationship with each one of his children…our God wants to be
known as a loving papa, dependable and ever-present, watching
over and keeping us close each and every minute of the day.
We learned that “
‘hallowed be’ was a prayer that God would act to make his name
holy on earth, that God’s name, God’s fullness and presence
would be seen here and now, visible for all to see…we learned
that the Kingdom of God was seen differently by Matthew’s and
Luke’s communities, depending on their history and
circumstances…and that it is possible to see the Kingdom of
God as one’s own personal possession and right…or it is

2
possible to see the Kingdom of our Lord as an invitation to all
peoples to join together at one table in human fellowship…as
one contemporary theologian offered, the ‘kindom’ of God.
And finally we looked at the petition ‘thy will be done’…a
call for our Lord’s will and purposes to be accomplished not
only through our actions and words, but also in spite of the
choices we make as a consequence of our free will. A prayer
that God would continue to bring about the fulfillment of God’s
good and glorious designs for us and for all of Creation, even
though we may not always make choices or take actions that are
pointed in those same directions.
Last week we finished up the three ‘Thou’ petitions and
prayed the first half of our Lord’s prayer as…Our papa, make
your name, your fullness present in our sight. Hasten the day
when all can see and be a part of the kinship of your family and
work through our stubbornness and weakness to bring the flower
of your love here on earth into fullest and fairest bloom for all to
see. Papa God in heaven, hear this our prayer…
Today we move on into the remainder of the prayer taught
to us by Jesus, looking at the remaining four petitions, the ones
that are more specifically personal, the ones that ask God to deal
directly with us and with our lives as his followers, as Papa’s
children. Today we pick up at verse eleven of Matthew’s
gospel, where it is written, ‘Give us this day our daily bread’.
This line of Jesus’ prayer has been discussed and debated
from the very beginning of biblical study. In part because bread
figures so prominently throughout both the New and the Old

3
Testament accounts, as a symbol of God’s provision and care for
God’s children. From the daily ‘manna’ given to Moses and the
wandering Hebrews in the desert, to Jesus’ feeding of the five
thousand with a few loaves and fish…from Jesus’ declaration
that ‘I am the bread of life’, to the ‘Last Supper’ where Jesus
broke the bread and gave it to his disciples, bread has been seen
as an essential part of our sustenance, and a prominent symbol
of our faith. As a result many saw this line in the prayer as a
call for God to bring about the fulfillment of his Kingdom and to
once again offer to us the bread of divine deliverance.
Others however heard a different plea. In truth, there are
very few words in the scriptures whose meanings are not quite
clear. Most of the words and phrases have been translated and
understood because of numerous cross references across the
whole body of available texts and references both scriptural and
non scriptural from ancient times. And, with the advent of
computers, the quest searching for and finding cross references
for various words or phrases has become much more thorough
and efficient. Virtually all of the ancient Greek texts, both
sacred and not have been put into the mix and very few, in fact
only a handful are still unclear as to their meaning. And don’t
you know, this word ‘daily’ in the Lord’s Prayer, which is the
Greek word ‘epiousios’, is just such a word. The only other
reference we have in all of the ancient texts was found on a
scrap of parchment dating from the fifth century and which
appears to be some sort of listing of things the writer was

4
intending to get, almost like a shopping list. And so the closest
meaning seems to be ‘bread for the day’.
So for many who study the bible, ‘daily bread’ is
understood as bread, or provision sufficient for the day ahead.
Not for the future. not even for tomorrow, but bread sufficient
for this day. Bread provided by a ‘Papa God’ for our immediate
needs. Nothing extra to carry, nothing that might burden us
down on our journey, but simply bread sufficient for today.
Tomorrow’s bread can be prayed for tomorrow!
For this God of ours is a God who seeks to be in close
relationship with each one oof us, a relationship in which we are
of necessity dependent on the providence and provision of our
God. A relationship of deep trust, such that we know he will be
our guide and provider each step of the way, one day at a time.
So now our prayer reads… Our papa, make your name,
your fullness present in our sight. Hasten the day when all can
see and be a part of the kinship of your family, and work
through our stubbornness and weakness to bring the flower of
your love on earth into fullest and fairest bloom for all to see.
Give us, we pray, sufficient provision for this day, and teach us
to trust in your constant care for each one of us as we walk
forward seeking to do your will.
The next part of our prayer is also one that can be
understood in a couple of different ways. Our usual way of
saying it is ‘forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors’.
Actually, our translation and others read, ‘forgive us our debts,
as we have forgiven our debtors’. And that difference is

5

significant, for if we read it as we normally say the
prayer…‘forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors…’, it is
possible to put the focus on the word ‘as’, and to thereby make
the petition a conditional one. In other words, to read this line as
‘forgive us our debts, as, or to the extent that we forgive our
debtors’, Sort of like ‘God, we know you are good…but we also
feel that you are a stern and judging God, therefore we are sure
that you keep score, and if we do not forgive others from the
heart then you will not forgive us…that is only fair of course’,
But is it really in keeping with a God we know as ‘Daddy’ or
‘Papa’?
However if we read it as it is translated and given to us in
our Bibles the meaning is actually quite different. Forgive us, as
we have already forgiven implies a deeper and more personal
relationship with the Lord. Since, as a result of the mercy and
love you have poured into our hearts, we have already forgiven
those who may have wronged us, and since we wish to mirror
your forgiveness and love, please Lord, look upon our own
shortcomings and miss-steps with that same mercy and loving
kindness. Not because we deserve it, not because of anything
we have done, but because your love is unconditional and
complete. Teach us Lord to extend that same forgiveness
towards others that you have so graciously extended to us, keep
us fully out of the judgment business, for it is no business of
ours. If you can forgive me Lord, then I have no grounds, no
reason, no right to somehow withhold from others the same

6
forgiving love. We are all your children Papa, all unworthy,
and all loved just the same!

So now our prayer reads: ‘Our Papa, make your name,
your fullness present in our sight. Hasten the day when all can
see and be a part of the kinship of your family. Work through
our stubbornness and weakness to bring the flower of your love
on earth into fullest and fairest bloom for all to see. Give us we
pray, sufficient provision for this day, and teach us to trust in
your constant care for each one of us as we walk forward
seeking to do your will. And when we stumble and fall, dear
Lord, continue to forgive us and to extend your love towards
each one of us, teaching us how to offer the same to those
around us…as we seek to walk in your grace,and to love as you
love.’
‘Lead us not into temptation’, we ask next. Another line
from this prayer that has given folks pause over the years. And
probably mainly because it seems to be the one line we struggle
with the most. But in all honesty, if we look at the world around
us, at what we see and face every day we must admit that times
are hard, and there are many, many opportunities to bend the
truth or shade some meaning just to get by. ‘Life is hard’ we
say, ‘it won’t hurt just this one time to do it this way, or to make
sure that my ‘share of whatever’ is secure’. In truth, life is filled
with many temptations and it is a continuing struggle and
requires vigilance and conscious choice to walk in a way that is
without fault or weakness.

7
So, what is the prayer saying here? It seems to be saying
that since we are constantly bombarded with opportunities to do
things the ‘easy way’, or the ‘sort of right way’, or the, ‘it really
doesn’t matter that much’ way…since that is so much a part of
our daily walk Dear Papa, we ask that you will continue to
patiently and lovingly guide us by your Holy Spirit, helping us
to see the pathway through and around those temptations. We
ask for the strength to endure, to hold fast, and to listen to that
small voice deep within that counsels. ‘Here is the path, follow
it’. Make us strong in our relationship with you Lord, such that
in all times of hard testing we may turn to you and find the
guidance and strength to continue our walk towards you.
And then finally we pray, ‘Deliver us from evil’…deliver us
from evil. In truth it really doesn’t matter how you view evil or
what you believe the source of it to be. The fact is that there is
real evil in the world around us. And so this final petition both
acknowledges that presence, and seeks to ask God to keep us
safe from the power and effects of those destructive forces at
work in the world today. With this line we ask for deliverance
from that power, but that does not mean we are therefore
allowed just to run away and hide in the folds of Jesus’ robe
with our eyes closed until it goes away. That is not what Jesus
did. In fact, he stood up against all the powers of evil when he
was present here on earth, he stood fast against all the systems
of oppression and injustice present in the world at that time to
the extent that he was arrested, crucified, and murdered because
of it.

8
No, this line of the prayer is not asking for us to be freed
from the obligation to engage the powers of evil still present in
the world, but rather to be strengthened in that struggle by the
power and love of our Lord Jesus. And ultimately, to be
delivered from defeat at the hand of those same forces which
seek to destroy all that is good, loving, and holy within God’s
good Creation. Keep us safe Lord, as we toil and struggle in
your name to make your love the final victor in our own day.
So as you can see, this prayer which seems so common and
so familiar is in fact a very full, very deep, and very powerful
prayer. It is not a prayer that should be prayed lightly, as it asks
much of each one of us. Just as it acknowledges the depth and
breadth of our Lord’s unconditional love for us all.
And so in the end, we pray this prayer in deeper
understanding as we pray: Our Papa, make your name, your
fullness present in our sight. Hasten the day when all can see
and be a part of the kinship of your family. Work through our
stubbornness and weakness to bring the flower of your love on
earth into fullest and fairest bloom for all to see. Give us we
pray, sufficient provision for this day, and teach us to trust in
your constant care for each one of us as we walk forward
seeking to do your will. And whenever we stumble and fall dear
Lord, continue to forgive us and to extend your unconditional
love towards each one of us, teaching us how to offer the same
forgiving grace to those around us. And dearest Lord, help us
each day to look to you in times of testing and temptation and to

remember that you are there, and wanting to lead us in paths of
joy and grace, Help us to endure for the sake of your love.
And finally Lord Jesus, we acknowledge that you have
called us to work tirelessly on your behalf, to continue your
liberating work of freeing all of Creation from the ravages of
evil. Walk beside us and keep us safe this, and every day…
Oh Lord, Papa God, hear this our prayer…

…amen

Share this post

Scroll to Top