The Lord’s Prayer is the first prayer our children have heard us pray. I still pray it every night with our youngest child, now eleven, and my husband and I have prayed this with each of our four children for the past twenty-three years. We alternate between our praying it over them one night, and them praying it out loud the next. I believe this habit will bode them at least as well as it has me over the years. Many times, when terrible distress or crushing anxiety have rendered me dumb for spiritual words, this prayer is the only sensible thing that I can think of to pray. My hope is that even if my children stray from other spiritual or religious practices, they will always remember the words our Lord taught us to say, and may use them in times when they feel they need his presence close, and quickly.
There’s a temptation when we come to the end of our nightly prayer times to speed up to get to the end, and the bit we like most – the kiss and the cuddle before lights out. The words run into each other as we fast forward to the finish – forthineistheKingdomthepowerandthegloryforeverandever-amen! In these words, however, lies the key we need to unlock the mysterious, wondrous power of this prayer.
For thine is the Kingdom – Everything is God’s. All we have, all we see, all we dream of and hope for, and all He has placed inside us that’s yet to be realised. All of it belongs to Him.
For thine is the power – God is our sovereign, our provider and our Lord. He is King over all, and King over our family. We receive all He gives by His wisdom and grace with grateful hearts and with thanksgiving.
For thine is the glory – God made the world and everything in it. Giving Him glory is more than just refusing to take any for ourselves. The glory is Gods because He is the great “I Am”.
The Lord’s Prayer is in our home both a tradition and a tenet of our faith. More than a simple child’s prayer, although it is that, it is a confession, a cry for help, and provides comfort for us in difficult and lonely times. This prayer binds us to each other, and to the God we worship and follow. I have told my children since they were small that even if they lose their grip on Him, He will never lose his grip on them, and as parents, we trust that this prayer will stay with them in all their celebrations and their tribulations, providing comfort, encouragement, relief and succour when they need it most. We know also that this prayer binds them not only to God, but to one another, as they remember it as part of our family heritage and culture, and teach it to their children.
It comforts me greatly to think that perhaps, in giving us this wonderful prayer, this is something like what Jesus had in mind for it all along.