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Encounters with Jesus, pt. 2

Pray: To open your time together.

Read: Luke 11: 1-4; Matthew 6: 9-13

Jesus challenges and reframes what prayer is and what is means for us through his instructive teaching on the Lord’s Prayer.

Our Father – Jesus calls God, “Our Father”, which should give us pause. We know God is Jesus’ Father, and Jesus is the good and perfect son, but how do we get in the mix? Jesus is inviting us into the same love and intimacy with the Father that He has enjoyed for eternity. Also, we are invited to receive the love of the Father as He intended it. Our experience with our earthly fathers can cloud all father language, but ironically one of the best ways to disassemble faulty Father narratives is by bringing them to the One True Father in prayer.  

Question 1: How does your relationship with your earthly father limit or expand your experience with God as Father? What does it mean to you that Jesus says “our”, as in “we all get to share this love of the father together”?

In Heaven – the Greek word for Heaven is “Ouranos” which means “atmosphere” or “air”, In other words Jesus is declaring that God is not in a heavenly space that is far away and only accessible when we die, but rather God’s heavenly space is all around us, and in us. We are inseparable from God’s presence.

Question 2: How does this “Ouranos” language help you reimagine prayer? How would you pray differently if you believed God was as close as the air you breathed and full of compassion for you and delight in His creation?

Hallowed Be Your Name – The implication of Jesus statement here is that the people of Israel have been treating God’s name as other than holy. That’s why Jesus enters the scene. To re-establish what holiness on earth looks like.

Question 3: What would have to happen for your city, school, neighborhood, or community to believe that God is holy? (hint: it might require a remnant of people who lived as holy as a representation of Him)

Your Kingdom Come, Your Will Be Done on Earth as it is in Heaven – Jesus seems to indicate that God’s kingdom has not fully come and His will has not fully been done, YET. Which seems to indicate that we have work to do here. Kingdom work and that prayer is a keyway we channel what will be in the future to the here and now of our lives.

Question 4: How can you pray for God’s Kingdom to come to your community? When it shows up, what will God’s Kingdom in your community look like?

Prayers for your group:

  • Pray for God’s provision in your life and those you know need God’s help
  • Pray for God forgiveness toward you and as you receive forgiveness, model God’s love and forgiveness to those in your community (and even those outside of your community).
  • Pray for God’s wisdom, courage, and help resisting all that is evil in this word.