What is the ultimate goal for the Lord’s Prayer? The expressed purpose of the prayer is to teach us how to pray. How does it do that? It models for us how Jesus lived out his earthly life. By praying this way, our earthly lives can be shaped to match Jesus in bringing glory to the Father. Thus, the goal of the Lord’s prayer is to glorify God.
What happens when we glorify God? Our ways match the ways of God and God’s heart sets the cadence for our own. The fulfillment of God’s will and ways is our highest need.
It is important we properly apply this goal to all of our references to the Lord’s Prayer. What happens if we don’t? Our world turns upside down in the wrong direction. When we are faced with the ultimate choice in lfe we make the wrong decision in the wrong direction. What do I mean?
The world has taught us a lie. We have been taught through Maslov’s hierarchy that our greatest need is self fulfillment. Jesus teaches us this is not true. Our highest need is to glorify the Father and that begins with self-denial. What happens if we believe this lie? We will make ourselves “equal with God”, our ways in need of recognition and reverence. We will try to impose our ways upon others. We will act entitled to provision and blessing. Forgiveness will become a pity-full contempt for others being ignorant and unable to appreciate our good intentions and plans. To pray ‘lead us not into temptation’ will call us to avoid comparing our ways to God’s, lest we are asked to change our ways and repent. Finally, self fulfillment when it’s work is complete will turn God into the evil one who is always trying to change us.
Let real prayer work out its purpose in us, teaching us how to be transformed into creatures that hallow the name of God, entrust ourselves to his will, depend on him for prescribing a means for us to grow and develop as spiritually healthy people. Let us become those who apply the power of forgiveness and spiritual direction to free us from the evil to which we used to be rooted.
Again, let us ask, “Lord, teach us to pray”, teach us how to glorify You!