Sunday, January 14, 2024

Building Unity With The Lord’s Prayer By Sharon Musgrove #devotion


Building Unity With The Lord’s Prayer

By Sharon Musgrove


The New Testament book of Matthew is chuck full of instruction from Jesus on what it means to live within the Kingdom of God.  In this Gospel, not only do we have the story of how Christ lived, as an example for us to follow, but we are served His teachings as well.  And within those lessons, He shares with us how to approach our conversations with the Almighty God, through a passage commonly known as “The Lord’s Prayer.”


“Pray then like this:

            ‘Our Father in heaven,

            Hallowed be your name.

            Your kingdom come,

            Your will be done,

                        On earth as it is in heaven.

            Give us this day our daily bread,

            And forgive us our debts,

                        As we also have forgiven our debtors.

            And lead us not into temptation,

                        But deliver us from evil.’” Matthew 6:9-13 ESV


One of the most significant facets of this prayer is that it is community minded.  The point-of-view is not singular, as in what the individual wants, but rather what is best for the group.  Note that from the opening “Our Father” to the concluding “deliver us,” every statement comes from a WE, not a ME, perspective.


Jesus Christ is one of the three-in-one God.  To believe in Jesus also means belief in a triune God made up of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.  The Trinity works together in perfect partnership, always in tune with what’s good for all.  As His image bearers, we are invited into His kingdom community, but our thinking needs to align with God’s priority of one body united.


Your kingdom come...Your will be done....


Too often I want God to run the world my way.  When I run into problems, I look for solutions that turn the situation favorable for me, not necessarily the good-for-all conclusion.  My prayers might sound more like a demand list of outcomes.  Father, do this for me, and do that for them.... But Jesus tells us to ask God for His will in our lives.


Even when facing crucifixion, Jesus humbled Himself in prayer saying, Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine be done.” Luke 22:42. In the hardest of times, Christ was not seeking His own survival, but what was best for all. 


Give us this day our daily bread....



Stockpiling is the world’s answer to worry.  Whether it’s buying in bulk or building up a “healthy” financial portfolio.  In the Lord’s prayer, Jesus promotes asking for assistance and daily relying on God and His people. 


The first congregation of followers who came together at the arrival of the Holy Spirit is described in Acts 2 as a people who lived opposite to hoarding...they lived generously. 


“And all who believed were together and had all things in common.  And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as they had need.  And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people.”  Acts 2:44-47 ESV



And forgive us...As we have forgiven....


This prayer becomes a plea for help in learning forgiveness when we realize that we will be judged on the grounds we judge others.  Help me forgive, Father!   


And does this phrase not sound like “do unto other others as you would have them do unto you” and “love your neighbor as yourself”?  It seems there is a reciprocity lifestyle of a mutual exchange of privileges in God’s kingdom. 


And lead us not into temptation....


Jesus was led into the wilderness by the Holy Spirit at the onset of His public ministry.  In this instructive prayer, Jesus says to pray against being led into temptation.  So, what tempts us?  James’ letter answered that question.


“But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.”  James 1:14 ESV


We are tempted by selfishness, and a belief that we are not getting what we need from God.  Satan tempted Jesus by suggesting He take from and test God to gain power.  This is Me thinking.


Jesus spent his earth career sharing what it means to live in heavenly community.  We learn from Him how to be kingdom dwellers, yet we don’t easily look at the Bible from a WE perspective.  Temptation begins early to get us to think of ourselves first, to feed our wants, to grab some glory, and to test God.  But we have a kingdom example to follow and a kingdom prayer to pray to help us remember who WE are in Christ.  We are one.

Author Bio:


Sharon has been writing and teaching biblically based curriculum, Bible studies, and devotionals since 2007.    


She has had the unique position of writing curriculum and teaching for two private, Christ-based, residential recovery programs. Both programs primarily served women in the homeless community.


Sharon has traveled multiple times to Kenya, serving on medical teams and teaching in the rural Maasai communities. She’s been privileged to speak in Leadership camps intended on encouraging and empowering the impoverished, underprivileged, and often abused young women.


Within these ministries, Sharon has witnessed the transformative power of loving words spoken to the broken-hearted. Sharing God’s love and witnessing its transformative power has become her passion.


Sharon and her husband, divide their time between Oregon and Hawaii. They have two grown children. 


Currently, Sharon is encouraging others via her inspirational blog, but prefers sharing face to face. Additionally, she is working towards a degree in Ministry. 



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