The Pater Noster sounds really spiritual in Latin. Imagine hearing it in Elvish.
The prayer Jesus taught is to be understood. It is not magic. It should solicit our curiosity not because it is so unusual, but because it is so sensible. Jesus knew how to live wisely in a tempting wilderness. When he gives a pointer for wilderness sojourners like us, wisdom invites us to take the time to understand and employ such a brilliant bit of advice.
Two faces one reward
Looks as if spiritual but… treasure is social.
Matthew 6:5″And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.
Secret place – earthly kingdom is the realm in which we can seemingly do things more or less without God. Heavenly Kingdom is where we enter into God’s realm; that secret, seemingly absent realm in which we actually live and move and have our being.
(6) But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
(7) “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. (8) Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
Ritual or conversation? God’s view of prayer is a conversation between spiritual beings: God and a person made in God’s image. The reason to pray is not to inform God it is to conform our spirit made in God’s image to show more likeness.
(9) Pray then like this:
“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.
(10) Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
(11) Give us this day our daily bread,
(12) and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
(13) And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
Our royal Father is the hope for the world in which we live:
- Physical needs – daily sustenance
- Relational needs – merciful reconciliation
- Spiritual needs – maintaining loyalty
IF we stand for self we stand alone
(14) For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, (15) but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
Refusing to grant a pardon is to challenge the Throne. Rebels beware. But those who meekly seek the Father personally, inviting His rule to be “here” like it is “there”, have a blessed hope:
“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”