Based on Matthew 6:9-13 (NIV)
Have you ever pondered “The Lord’s Prayer” in light of the missionary task? We can extract eleven core issues related to our task from this model prayer given by Jesus when considered from the mission perspective. Three related to God’s person, three to God’s program, and five to God’s messenger. Read, ponder and pray as follows:
You are the transcendent, omnipotent God, the one and only true Divine. Yet, as sons and daughters you have sent us out as your ambassadors to proclaim you as a loving, caring Father who controls all that is in the universe by your good hand. The gods we encounter in this world do not compare to you and your greatness, and those who worship them would never claim a familial relationship with them. I reverently proclaim you as a loving, caring Father, who is worthy of all praise.
You are totally other than your creation. You exist outside and above all that you have made. Though all that is is within your presence, your eternal abode is beyond this visible universe. I declare to the uninformed around me the paradox that you reside in unapproachable light, yet make yourself approachable to the lowest of men through your son Jesus Christ.
“hollowed be your name”
The ultimate end of man, and certainly my labor as your messenger, is to bring unadulterated worship to you. All praise and honor and glory are due you and to you alone. This is the core message I am proclaiming to a corrupt and clueless people who ignore your majesty and violate your holiness.
“your kingdom come”
You have sent me, and others like me, to other kingdoms of this world – kingdoms where people languish in spiritual darkness. Whether they be kingdoms to the north, to the south, to the east or the west, all are in rebellion against your Kingdom. Wrongs will not be righted, justice will not be fully served, wars will not cease and the intentional flaunting of your righteous standards will not end until you come and establish your eternal kingdom. You are the King of all and yours is the dominion forever and ever.
“your will be done”
As your servant I have enfolded my will into yours. And in following your will for my life you have sent me to this far and distant land and to a people much different than myself. This has been good, and the longer I am here the longer I see the goodness of your will being done through my life, as my presence here is part of your purposeful design for these people. Keep me valuing your will for my life.
“on earth as it is in heaven”
I am learning more and more about your heavenly plan for those living across the span of this vast earth. There still remain so many unengaged people groups. There still remain hordes of unreached peoples. You are not willing that any should perish but that all come to repentance. Use me to help make your heavenly will be a reality in this corner of the earth where you have sent me.
“Give us today our daily bread”
Father, my daily bread is supplied through the generosity of your people. I never seem to have a lot, but I always have enough. Help me to be satisfied with your daily provision, and not be envious of the affluence of the support team back home that has so much more. You have richly blessed them so that they in turn might be a blessing to these people through my presence here. They have been generous. Thank you for supplying all my daily needs.
“And forgive our debts”
I am indebted to a lot of people that make my ministry possible: supporting churches and individuals, the support staff at the home office, but most of all to my colleagues here on the field. At times I have friction with these co-workers and even with my national brethren. Sometimes hurtful words are exchanged. Help me, and them, learn to forgive each other and to continue going forward together in harmony and oneness of spirit.
“As we also have forgiven our debtors”
I have learned to forgive quite a few people who have either opposed or offended me here:
- Government officials who have purposefully stalled my paper work
- Well-meaning short-term teams who think after 5 days they know this ministry better than me
- Co-workers, whom I mentioned previously
- Local pastors who selfishly jockey for influence, power and position
- Hostile locals who feel threatened by your life-changing gospel
- But most hurtful at times has been those closest to me that do not understand why I am on mission with you.
Help me to continue to forgive, for tension with others will always be my lot as long as I am on mission with you.
“And lead us not into temptation”
I am embarrassed to admit, but even as a missionary I am tempted to sin on a daily basis. The longer I am here the more cognizant I become that, like everyone else, I am a sinner by nature and by choice. The same temptations that vied for my heart and mind in the homeland are here too, but seemly more accentuated. There is no sanctification by aviation. My old nature flew over here with me! I was really hoping that would not have been the case. But it is. Help me to be a champion over besetting sins and on-gone temptation.
“but deliver us from the evil one.”
I have found that the apostle Peter was not exaggerating when he wrote that Satan is “prowling about like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour.” That evil prince of this world hates you, your work, and your workers – and that includes me. I am engaged in spiritual warfare against him, his evil schemes and his evil minions. But thanks be to YOU who gives me – your frail yet willing ambassador – the victory, through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.