(February 16)

Our Father, Who art in heaven…”

By praying the Our Father, I let myself be drawn into a proper kind of attitude toward Him, as our common Father, and toward myself, as His child among countless others. I become aware of Him, as One whose will I am open to being done (and not mine), and the coming of whose kingdom I do not want to obstruct, not in my own life or in the lives of others.

I also become aware of “our” connection, the connection of all of us children of God here on earth, with heaven. It’s so helpful that “heaven” is mentioned not once but twice in the Lord’s Prayer, (1. Who art in *heaven*; 2. On earth as it is in *heaven*), so I learn, by praying in the words that the God Man Himself taught us to pray, to realize how earth and heaven are connected, inside of us, through the communion and unity we are offered through the Word of God become flesh. He prayed this prayer first, and when we lend our little voices to His voice, we stand alongside Him, as sons and daughters of Our Father.

Finally, this prayer enlightens my earthly trials, – my concerns for my “daily bread,” for the debts/trespasses that I need to forgive and have forgiven, and for the “temptations” from which I need deliverance. I am learning through praying this prayer to rely on God and not on myself in these issues. I learn to dare to rely on Him, to trust Him, as He guides my little baby steps toward salvation, even while I must take the steps myself. It’s like when a parent is teaching a toddler to walk, holding the toddlers hands from behind as he or she puts one foot in front of the other. “Lead us not into temptation,” the Lord teaches us to say, in case we occasionally insist on breaking loose from Our Father and scramble into a dirty puddle. “But deliver us from the evil one,” we add for these cases, when we need to be rescued from the dirty puddles.

Thank You, Lord, for teaches us to pray as You prayed, for Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen!