Morning, October 29, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening
“Pray, then, in this way: ‘Our Father who is in heaven…’” — Matthew 6:9
This prayer begins where all true prayer must commence, with the spirit of adoption, “Our Father.” There is no acceptable prayer until we can say, “I will arise, and go to my Father.” This child-like spirit quickly perceives the grandeur of the Father “in heaven,” and arises to devout adoration, “Hallowed be thy name.” The child stammering, “Abba, Father,” grows into the cherub crying, “Holy, Holy, Holy.” There is just a step from euphoric worship to the kindling of the missionary spirit, which is a sure outgrowth of familial love and reverent adoration–“Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Next follows the heartfelt expression of dependence upon God–“Give us this day our daily bread.” Being further illuminated by the Spirit, he discovers that he is not only dependent, but sinful, hence he pleads for mercy, “Forgive us our debts as we have forgiven our debtors:” and being pardoned, having the righteousness of Christ credited to him, and knowing his acceptance with God, he humbly appeals for holy steadfastness, “Lead us not into temptation.” The man who is really forgiven, is anxious not to offend again; the possession of justification leads to an anxious desire for sanctification. “Forgive us our debts,” is that justification; “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil,” is that sanctification in its negative and positive forms. As the result of all this, there follows a triumphant assertion of praise, “Yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, forever and ever, Amen.” We rejoice that our King reigns in foreseeing care and shall reign in grace, from the river even to the ends of the earth, and of his dominion there shall be no end. Therefore, from a sense of adoption, continuing up to fellowship with our reigning Lord, this short model of prayer shepherds the soul. Lord, teach us accordingly to pray.