Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ prayed vigorously and continuously, to set an example for us and so that we may learn from Him. He even tells us how we should pray:
“This, then, is how you should pray: ‘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.’”
The Lord’s Prayer is found in St. Matthew 6:9-15 and St. Luke 11:2-4. In the gospel of Matthew, it is a part of a sermon our Lord preached called the Sermon on the Mount. In this sermon, He addressed His disciples and gave them practical instructions on how to live. As Father Hermon says, “Notice our Lord doesn’t say if you pray. He says, how you should pray. ” As a Tewahedo Orthodox Girl, you must understand it’s not an option for us to pray, it is mandated by our Lord, that we must, we need, and we should pray. Prayer is mentioned over 400 times in the Bible (KJV) and God’s Word places a high priority on prayer. Therefore, we need to have a prayerful life. Prayer must become part of our daily routine, like the air we breath and the water we drink. We need prayer to live a spiritual life.
Thankfully, in our Tewahedo Orthodox faith, the Lord’s prayer is recited numerous times and many of us have it memorized and will recite it without any hesitation. Unfortunately, reciting just the word can make it thoughtless and it often becomes a mundane activity. As we just recite the word, without thinking very much about what we are praying and sadly to Whom we are praying. As a result, many of us merely recite it not knowing what it means, instead of truly praying the Lord’s prayer.
Now ask yourself, are you truly praying the Lord’s prayer? Do you pray from your heart? Do you zealously pray? If you haven’t been it’s ok, because it is easy for us to unthinkingly fall into a thoughtless prayer life. But going forward, when you start to recite the Lord’s prayer, you must pray from your heart. You must pray fervently, taking account of every single word you are saying, truly mean what you are praying. Because if you are just reciting the prayer not believing or practicing what you are saying. Then you truly are not praying the Lord’s prayer. And if you are not praying the Lord’s prayer that means…
You cannot say FATHER if you do not demonstrate this relationship in your daily life.
You cannot say WHO ART IN HEAVEN if all your interests and pursuits are in earthly things.
You cannot say HALLOWED BE THY NAME if you, whom are called by his name are not holy.
You cannot say THY KINGDOM COME if you are unwilling to give up your own sovereignty and accept the righteous reign of God.
You cannot say THY WILL BE DONE if you are unwilling or resentful of having it in your life.
You cannot say ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN unless you are truly ready to give yourself to his service here and now.
You cannot say GIVE US THIS DAY OUR DAILY BREAD without expending honest effort for it or by ignoring the genuine needs of your fellow men.
You cannot say FORGIVE US OUR TRESPASSES AS WE FORGIVE THOSE WHO TRESPASS AGAINST US if you continue to harbor a grudge against anyone.
You cannot say LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION if you deliberately choose to remain in a situation where you are likely to be tempted.
You cannot say DELIVER US FROM EVIL if you are not prepared to fight in the spiritual realm with the weapon of prayer.
You cannot say THINE IS THE KINGDOM if you do not give the King the disciplined obedience of a loyal subject.
You cannot say THINE IS THE POWER if you fear what your neighbors and friends may say or do.
You cannot say THINE IS THE GLORY if you are seeking your own glory first.
You cannot say FOREVER if you are too anxious about each day’s affairs.
You cannot say AMEN unless you honestly say, “Cost what it may, this is my prayer.”
May God open our hearts when we pray to Him and may we…
Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving (Colossians 4:2).
Author Selam Seyoum