We always have a collie around. We are hiking with three of our five grandchildren. It is times like these that some little points about creation, or even the Beatitudes, can be talked about as you go along the path. Of course, be ready for anything to interrupt. Right after this was taken, they all decided it would be fun to run along the trail. Take advantage of each moment you are given! I restrict comments most of the time in order to keep our focus on the Bible passage and its application from a warm-hearted Calvinist’s perspective. Now that we have completed The Lord’s Prayer and The Beatitudes, we might all profit from listening to each other. Please tell us how you have been helped by these studies on the Lord’s Prayer and the Beatitudes. Has the introduction to Thomas Watson and Martyn Lloyd-Jones and warm-hearted Calvinism been beneficial to you? Have you read from any of the other books from the main menu? Any questions?
The Lord’s Prayer
“For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen” (Matthew 6:13(b)).
The whole of the Lord’s Prayer teaches us that what really matters in this life is our relationship with our Father. Our supreme desire should be to know Him better and more intimately. Then praise and thanksgiving just erupt from our thinking about this relationship and praying like Jesus taught us to pray.
This conclusion teaches us to seek God’s glory first and above all. Jesus instructs us to ground our prayers only on God. We are not to ask for anything because of any merit of our own. We don’t deserve anything. We aren’t good enough; any good deed isn’t enough to warrant our request. (See The 1570 Geneva Bible notes at Matthew 6.) Seeking the glory of God is a reminder that the only way our relationship with God will be maintained is through our dependence on the sovereignty of God and His plan of redemption through our Lord Jesus Christ and His crucifixion. Our supreme desire is to know Him and to have a right relationship with Him in an uninterrupted fellowship and communion with Him.
The three petitions (Give us this day our daily bread; Forgive us our debts; Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil) show us our complete dependence on God and His sovereignty over all of creation. In this concluding praise and adoration is a final thanksgiving. As we consider our needs and our dependence on and relationship with God, we must praise Him and thank Him. Thanksgiving is so much a part of our relating with our Father. In addition, praise and thanksgiving are a measure of how focused we are on our relationship with Him. When that warm-hearted Calvinist, Martyn Lloyd-Jones, realized his cancer was going to kill him, he remarked that the only thing that mattered, at that point in his life, was knowing God and walking with Him in adoration and wonder and thankfulness. This relationship was his supreme joy, not whether he continued to preach or whether he even remained to be with his other great loves, his wife, daughters, and grandchildren. Just like that, this conclusion of the Lord’s Prayer brings us back to our total dependence on Him.
“It means receiving something of His strength and power and grace; and literally knowing that we are receiving it, knowing that we are in Him as a branch is in the vine, and receiving of His life.” (quoted in my Warm-hearted Calvinists, “Martyn Lloyd-Jones.”)
As we pray like this, it focuses our eyes on our other relationships too. It causes us to think about them–how to make them better; how much we treasure them; what to pray about them. We start thinking about how to honor them as we honor our Lord. We think about their needs and ask God to meet them. We remember how much our Father has forgiven us and we seek to forgive them for the little and big ways they have sinned against us. We notice that we are thankful for their being in our lives; what we have learned from them; the joys we have shared; the sorrows that have knit us together. All of this grows out of our praying like Jesus taught us and the relating we have been doing with our great God and Father.
TEENS AND YOUNG ADULTS
My prayer for you is that you will practice this kind of praying now. And that you will grow more and more into seeing your total dependence on God and your relationship with Him that comes only through our Lord Jesus Christ. It will make all the difference in your marriages, your children, your relationship as adults with your parents, and with your friends. I hope you will begin now to pattern your prayers after the Lord’s Prayer and taking a long walk with God through this life and the life beyond.