I own a framed piece of calligraphy of the Lord’s Prayer. No, not the prayer you’re thinking of. The ‘Lord’s Prayer’ (Luke 11)is more aptly called the ‘Disciples’ Prayer’, a model the disciples would use for their prayers. Read in the book of Numbers 6 to find ‘The Lord’s Prayer’. This is what the Lord prays for us.
No doubt you’ve heard this prayer said many times, possibly as a benediction concluding a worship service. Brief… but packed with meaning. ‘The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn His face toward you and give you peace'(verses 24-25). This is His prayer over us. This is the LORD’s prayer. I capitalize the word ‘LORD’ for in Hebrew this is the very name of God. Probably pronounced Yahweh. His name.
What He gives us, first-and-foremost, is His name. His identity and character–all wrapped up as a gift. I can’t imagine having direct and welcome access to the Lord of Lords and the King of Kings. But that is precisely why He gives us His name. To welcome us into His presence. The welcome mat is always out.
After giving us His name, He gives even more. Blessings cascade from His throne right into our hearts. We see His face shining with joy as He looks at us, welcoming us as His precious children. Once I went to see grandson Jackson at tumbling and gymnastics. The class is held in a large hall which had only one folding chair way off in the corner where I could sit and watch. I got there a bit early. Soon Jackson and brother Ace and Mom arrived. Jackson came into the large hall looking around not seeing me. But then he could see me waving at him way off in that distant corner. And his face lit up like you can’t believe! Waving back at me, excited to see me there… for him. Papa was there for Jackson. Gave ME such a thrill.
That’s what God gives us. His shining face lovingly gazing at us, His children. His face– filled with warmth and love. We may imagine that He’s turned away from us due to our sin, but in fact He’s right in front of us, having turned toward us when Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead. He faces us with love and forgiveness.
But there’s even more– God wants to give us His peace, His ‘shalom’. The world can’t give it. Only from Him. From Jesus… the Prince of Peace. A wonderful prayer, this Lord’s Prayer… from the Old Testament. His wishes… for us!
Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for all your blessings that keep coming our way. We love you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.