In the Lord’s Prayer or Our Father, Jesus told us to forgive others
their trespasses against us, and God will forgive ours. But that forgiveness is
only the bare minimum! This true story shows something more.
“Thou art my father, my God,” Psalm 89:26. Our Father which art in heaven
“The Lord our God is holy,” Psalm 99:9. Hallowed be Thy name.
“Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,” Psalm 145:13. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done
“I will be exalted in the earth,” Psalm 46:10. in earth, as it is in heaven.
“And the Lord God humbled you, let you hunger, then fed you with manna….to make you know that we do not live by bread alone, but by every word from the mouth of the Lord,” Deuteronomy 8:3. Give us this day our daily bread.
“Hear in heaven Your dwelling place and forgive! To those whose hearts You know, let it be according to their ways – for You, Lord, You alone, know the hearts of all,” 1 Kings 8:39. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
“Listen, O Shepherd of Israel, You Who lead us like a flock,” Psalm 80:1. And lead us not into temptation,
“Fear the Lord your God, and God will deliver you from the hands of all your enemies,” 2 Kings 17:39. But deliver us from evil
“Yours, O Lord is the greatness, the power, the glory, the victory, and the majesty! All that is heaven and earth is Yours! Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and You are exalted above all,” 1 Chronicles 29:11. For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
Growing up in a church that relied on spontaneous prayer, rather than prayers from the Bible, I didn’t hear the Lord’s Prayer aka Our Father right away. However, my Sunday School teachers encouraged us to get into the habit of bringing a Bible to church and reading it regularly at home, which I did at the time and have kept doing for decades.
At some point in those early years with God’s Word, I ran across a short prayer in Psalm 19:14 that’s often referred to as “David’s Prayer.” Whether King David was the actual psalmist for these particular lines, I don’t know, but I do know that the prayer became my prayer.
Since I first learned “my prayer” in the King James Version of the Bible (KJV), that’s still my first choice for praying and sharing with you:
“Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer,” KJV.
Today’s “Verse of the Day” on Bible Gateway featured this Bible prayer, which I then searched out in other English versions such as the Good News Translation (GNT.)
“May my words and my thoughts be acceptable to you,
O Lord, my refuge and my redeemer!”
Since the New American Bible, Revised Edition (NABRE) often counts the title or inscription of a psalm as the first verse, this version can be found as Psalm 19:15:
“Let the words of my mouth be acceptable,
the thoughts of my heart before you,
Lord, my rock and my redeemer.”
Regardless of the translation you prefer, my prayer can be your prayer too.
Dear Lord God, Heavenly Father,
help me to say only what’s true
and acceptable to You.
Write Your words upon my heart,
and help my thoughts to keep You
continually in mind and spirit
for You are the Rock, the Tower
to Whom I run. You are
The Spirit Who redeems
our untoward words
and fills us with Your power.
In Matthew 5:43-44, Jesus taught His followers a different way of looking at things and responding to other people. As He told us, You have heard it said, `You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, love your enemies. Bless those who curse you. Do good to those who hate you and pray for those who use you or mistreat you, spitefully.
Thank God, Jesus commanded us to pray for our enemies and love them without demanding something as humanly impossible as liking them!
From a biblical perspective, love has little to do with preferring people to whom we fondly respond. Instead godly love calls for upright actions whereby we act with kindness and consideration for the well-being of others, including unsavory characters and people we dislike.
Wanting to please and obey God would be reason enough for us to love our enemies, but God might have more in mind. For example, loving our adversaries can disarm them, calm them, heal them, and help them to hear what we have to say about our forgiving Father and His Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Even though earthly foes might bully or people abuse, our prayers promptly propel our enemies into a spiritual realm protected by the power of Almighty God. Think of it! What blessings, what spiritual awakening, what new hope of reconciliation could our loving prayers bring to the most unlovable people?
Prayer:Dear Heavenly Father of All, forgive us for wishing anyone ill! Help us to convey Your love to everyone with whom we have contact. Give us Your words of blessing, especially to our families, other Christians, and church leaders, but also to those who wish us ill or, worse, who malign You. Protect us, Lord. Help us to do what’s best from Your perspective and become excellent examples of Your forgiving love in Jesus’ Name.
After being without power all week due to Hurricane Irma’s sweep through Florida, my electricity has been restored, thank God! May our spiritual power be restored with this prayer-a-phrase of Psalm 80.
Listen, O Shepherd
Who leads us like a flock –
yes, You, Lord, who lives
among cherubim and us –
For we who feel powerless,
stir up Your mighty power,
so we can see Your help.
Turn us toward You, O God.
Let Your face shine on us,
and we shall be saved.
O Lord God of hosts,
some say You’re too angry with us
to hear our prayers.
Some say You feed us with
bread made from our moans
and flood us with tears.
Some say You cause quarrels between us,
so our enemies laugh among themselves.
Restore us, O God of All.
Show how Your face glows over us.
We praise You for we have been saved.