Pause for Prayer (first published in the Euro Weekly on the 21st May 2020)
When stressed or in danger many, including some atheists choose to pray ‘The Lord’s Prayer’. This prayer has provided solace during battle, at the graveside and in disaster.. And it has doubtless been used by many these past few months, both here in Spain, in the UK and yes, in China too, where Covid-19 first appeared.
Could you recite it without reading it? Do you understand it? It can be so familiar that we say it automatically and get it wrong. I have a niece who frequently gets things muddled. I once heard her mumbling “Our Father Richard in Heaven, Harold be Thy name.” So, she really did not understand!
The opening words remind us that God loves us like any Dad. He is very special and important in Heaven and should be treated with deep reverence; we should “Hallow” Him and not treat Him flippantly.
Yet how often we fail to reverence God’s name, shouting it almost as an expletive whenever something goes wrong? As in “Oh God!!!” or “For God’s sake!!” We really need to revere the name of God, so how essential to understand this prayer we at times rely so heavily upon.
Now is a good time to get to know this prayer better, because between Ascension Day and Pentecost (21st -31stMay2020) the Church concentrates on: “Thy kingdom come” within the Lord’s prayer.
What are we asking for? This hymn helps me answer that question
“Thy Kingdom come, O God, Thy rule, O Christ, begin; break with Thine iron rod the tyrannies of sin.
Where is thy reign of peace and purity and love? When shall all hatred cease, as in the realms above?
When comes the promised time that war shall be no more, and lust, oppression, crime shall flee thy face before?”
When God reigns on Earth as He does in Heaven, illnesses (failure of our Human bodies to function as God designed and intended), and wrongdoing (failure of our minds and wills to function as God designed and intended) are brought back under His control.
Sickness, Hatred, Wars, Greed and Self-centeredness are replaced by Peace, Purity and Love. So it’s no use praying for God’s Kingdom without allowing God’s peace, purity and love to replace our sick thinking, greed and selfishness.
So let’s each commit ourselves to pause for a moment every day from now until 31st May to pray this prayer and consider how to allow His Kingdom to come in our own lives? I’ll pause at 11.00 am every day for this and would appreciate your “virtual” company if you feel able.