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The Lord’s Prayer for Current Events and Political Engagement

Implications of the Lord's Prayer for Understanding Current Events and Engaging in Politics The Garrett Ashley Mullet Show

Should the Lord’s Prayer frame the way we think about the news cycle, or engage in political action and discourse? I believe it should, properly understood. Let me tell you why.

If we can keep from over-spiritualizing it, at the expense of the physical and material implications, the Lord’s Prayer is an antidote to several foolish and unprofitable notions, which are no less prevalent in our day for being wrongheaded.

In answer to our day and age being very wise in its own eyes about such things, then, what does Jesus say?

“…When you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. 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.

For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”

– Matthew 6:7-15 (ESV)

First, notice how Christ says to not heap up empty phrases. God already knows what we need before we ask. Therefore, we should get to the point, and focus more on the substance than on showing off our rhetorical ability, as if that will impress the Almighty.

Second, consider that our Father is in heaven, and that we are not in heaven. And yet He knows our situation better than we do, and comprehends the solution to our problems more comprehensively than we ever can.

Third, Jesus tells us to pray that God’s will would be done, not only in heaven where He is, but also here on earth where we are. And the degree to which we are to pray that God’s will would be done is no more or less in either place.

Our Father rules and reigns every bit as much in both heaven and earth, then; yet the prayer that His kingdom would come on earth just as it is in heaven must be the disproving of the neo-Gnostic claim that what is spiritual is good, but what is physical and material is hopelessly corrupt.

Furthermore, if God knows what we need before we even ask, then it must be that He is paying close attention to current events, and knows the particulars. He is informed, then, and does not ignore what is going on even while He is in heaven.

How, then, can so many of us use as an excuse the ignoring of happenings here on earth on the grounds that our attention is focused on heavenly things? God is in heaven, and as holy as holy can be. Yet He knows we need our daily bread, for instance, and hears us when we ask Him for it.

But that is another thing which will surprise the pure ones, who feel guilty when they focus on what is happening here on earth to any degree, since to do so might distract them from paying more attention to what is happening in heaven. Jesus does not just tolerate our asking our Father in heaven for such basic necessities as the food we will eat today, but rather tells us to pray for this.

That the appearance of daily bread in the kind of prayer Jesus says we ought to pray might take some of us by surprise is evidence that we have probably put too much separation between what is temporal and what is eternal, walling off what is physical from what is spiritual.

Taking this point a step further, then, if we can ask our Father for daily bread, there is no reason to suppose we cannot ask Him for the other miscellaneous preconditions of our daily bread. Unless we suppose God is going to need to make loaves supernaturally appear out of thin air, ex nihilo, we can also pray for seeds, good soil, water, fertilizer, farming implements, trucks, grocery stores, grain mills, eggs, mixing bowls, whisks, baking pans, and ovens, as well as the fuel which each of these implements will typically run on.

But at that point, we may as well concede that “our daily bread” is a sound economy, particularly when the topic of debts comes up. And when we are also told by Jesus to pray that our Father would deliver us from evil, and lead us not into temptation, this would presumably include, but not be limited to, asking God to deliver us from the raiders and mountebanks who pillage, undermine, defraud, and destroy sound economies.

Yet when we get that far down the line of implications, we may as well concede the point that we are talking about our political situation, to a God who knows it full-well, better even than we ever can, and that we are asking Him to act on behalf of more than just us as individuals, but even our homes and communities.

Or else what is meant by the plural of “us” and “our” throughout? And what is meant when debts and debtors is more than just a financial thing, but is as much or more a matter of rights and wrongs which can either be forgiven or not? In that case, we are talking about doing justice, loving mercy, and walking humbly with our God, as the prophet Micah tells us God has shown us is good, and which He requires of us.

As some translations include, His is the power, and the glory, and the kingdom, forevermore.

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