In The Lord’s Prayer, forgiveness is central. Life transformation, as well as intimacy with God, works from the inside out. Until we are transformed through the grace of forgiveness, and adopt a true perspective that accepts we cannot control people or circumstances through anger or bitterness, our views will be tainted and our life experience marred.
The petitions in these verses are mirror images in the Lord’s Prayer chiasm. They each speak of dependence. The first is a recognition that we are dependent upon God’s mercy and provision for our physical needs – our “daily bread”. We often live the illusion that we are self-sufficient. As we contemplate the fragility of our world, we can either despair or trust. Living a daily reality that we are dependent upon the Lord brings security, for the Lord has our best interest at heart.
The mirror verse speaks of spiritual dependence, that we be “delivered from the evil one”. Satan is always ready with a tempting lie, a falsity that leads us astray. The Bible tells us he is like a ravenous lion, seeking someone to devour. Our security depends upon trusting God’s care.
One of Satan’s lies is that a change in circumstance will bring us happiness. Reality is that no
matter what our circumstances might be, happiness lies in embracing whatever is with gratitude. The focus of the Lord’s Prayer aligns our hearts with the reality of our dependence on God. It brims with the truth of what we cannot control (physical and spiritual security) and what we can (forgiving others).
There are only three things we can control. The central message of forgiveness in the chiasm concerns one of those things – our choices. In the balance of His prayer Jesus expands to the other two things we control – our attitude/perspective and whom we trust. For the things we cannot control, we must choose who to trust. Jesus teaches us to be intentional to actively trust God.
The Lord’s Prayer shows us we ought to root our security in trusting God in both physical as well as spiritual dimensions. The Lord’s Prayer aligns us with God in multiple ways, including aligning our perspective with what is true. In this manner we are choosing ways that lead to life and fulfillment.
This is the third in a series of five devotionals centered around The Lord’s Prayer. We hope this series encourages you to examine how and why you pray. We hope it unlocks some clarity around the power and purpose of prayer. And we hope it leads you to the heart of God.