The Lord's Prayer
The Master taught through precept and example the great importance of developing our personal relationship with God. Now prayer is the very pathway for achieving a loving fellowship with God. But how do we pray?
Of course, you know the 'Lord's Prayer'. But did you know that Jesus presented it as a model for how to pray -- that you and I might use it as a pattern to develop our most precious and intimate relationship with God? It is a short, but profound outline by which we may use to establish our prayer consciousness today. Certainly, it is the very process Jesus used long, long ago.
It begins with the following words that enable you and I to connect with the Creative Presence of the divine:
"Our heavenly Father, hallowed be Thy name."
The prayer does not begin with the word My, but Our. Think of it! Where is the emphasis? Not on one's ego-self as an entity separate from all others, but upon the consciousness of our connectedness with all people. It's as if we are praying in union with -- and for -- every soul on the earth. Each is to pray for his/her own well being and the well being of all the people of the world.
God's realm is placed "in heaven" or "in the heavens", depicting the Creator as Infinite-Spirit, everywhere-present. To peer into a nighttime sky this summer and ponder the distant stars and galaxies is a transcending experience for any soul. The great expanding cosmos called the heavens is absolutely magnificent. The Universe is alive! And it is awesome! Truly, the mighty hand of Creative-Intelligence synchronizes the precise, harmonious motions of the countless solar bodies.
Any attempt to comprehend the billions upon billions of galaxies as they traverse throughout the cosmos is most humbling to the objective mind. So go to your heart instead. Connect with God in your heart. While there, simply allow your heart to embrace infinity. Don't think -- just be aware.
This prayer approach is not intended to be religious or righteous sounding, but personal and loving. Actually, Jesus did not identify God as his Father and our Father, but used a much more personal term of affection, of endearment:
Daddy or Papa.
Of course, it's not the actual word one uses that is crucial, but the feeling generated which connects you with God.
So Jesus related to God as the loving, caring Daddy of us all, who loves His children equally and fully. The Master declared, "how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who keep on asking him!" Receive God warmly as the limitless resource for the fulfillment of your daily needs.
Today, we don't use the word hallowed. It means holy, sacred, or blessed. So the name of God -- that is, the nature or character of God -- is good, whole, and perfect (to use contemporary terms). I prefer the word pristine, for the Father is the "primitive or original and remains in a pure state, uncorrupted" (dictionary).
Jesus sought God first and always. And he was guided in all things as to what to say and do; his words became the audible voice of God and his actions became the miraculous hands of God. His life ... was God's life! "The Father and I are one."
So let us begin and make our love-connection with God and go to our hearts in prayer.
"Loving Creator of all-that-is, Spirit of God in me.
Awesome is your Cosmic Presence"
Authored by Reverend Virgil Brewer at Unity Chapel
September 1, 2003