I am following a Lenten Bible reading plan this season; I found it on Youversion. I have the app on my iPod touch and reading the day’s lesson is the last thing I do before I go to bed at night. I love using the audio feature because the man reading the verses sounds like he’s been a professor at Oxford for 40 years. The scripture reading is followed by a devotional.
Last night, the reading was Matthew 6. This chapter includes Jesus teaching the Lord’s prayer. In the devotional, the author really simplified well the essence of the Lord’s prayer. This is what he wrote:
So the great prayer comes together. Utterly simple, utterly profound…we then place our needs, whether simple or complex, within that framework. Bread for the day ahead. Forgiveness of debt – the debts we owe to God, the debts too we owe one another. And then, importantly, rescue: rescue from the time of testing, of trial, whether that be personal temptation, frequently repeated, or tribulation.
Bread, forgiveness, rescue. I wanted to pull a Mark Batterson and make that into an acronym. But BFR is kind of weird. And I wanted to include the beginning of the prayer too. So I thought about it and, in the shower (where all my best thinking happens) I thought of the 4 R’s!
We’ve all been saying the Lord’s prayer forever, I think most people have this impression that it’s a high and mighty prayer spoken by high and mighty people in a cathedral. It’s actually pretty simple.
In closing, I wanted to share another part of the devotional. I love what the author wrote about prayer:
Prayer, in fact, isn’t a mystery in the sense of ‘a puzzle we can’t understand’. Prayer is a symptom, a sign, of the mystery: the fact that heaven and earth actually mingle together. There are times when they interlock; there are places where they overlap. To pray, in this sense, is to claim a time and place – it can be anywhere, any time – as one of those times, one of those places.