Discover the importance of community in the Lord’s Prayer

Friday, January 11, 2013

“In this manner, therefore, pray: 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” (Matthew 6:9-11).

IDEA: The plural personal pronouns in the request to “give us our daily bread” imply that we do not pray this prayer alone.

PURPOSE: To help listeners pray for others as they pray for themselves.

Do you remember the children’s hymn we used to sing?

“Jesus loves me – this I know / for the Bible tells me so.”

Is that accurate? Do we need the rest of that verse?

“Little ones to him belong / they are weak, but He is strong.”

I. Is there a difference between personal faith and individual faith?

Where do American Christians tend to put our emphasis?

Where does the Bible put its emphasis?

Does it matter?

II. Do you think there is any significance that the request in the Lord’s Prayer is in the plural, when we say “Give US this day OUR daily bread”?

Suppose you make this request in the company of other Christians who are praying with you. What could it mean?

If the Father gives me two loaves of bread, should I assume that one is to eat and the other is to store? Should I consider whether, if I have two loaves and my brother or sister has none, could it be that one is for me to eat and the other to share?

Years ago in Dallas I picked up a leaflet in Smitty’s Pancake house that said:

“You cannot pray the Lord’s Prayer and even once say ‘I.’
You cannot pray the Lord’s Prayer and even once say ‘My.’
Nor pray the Lord’s Prayer and not pray for one another,
For when you ask for daily bread, you must include your brother,
For others are included in each and every plea
From the beginning to the end of it, it does not once say ‘Me.’”

III. Have you ever been bonded to another Christian who out of his or her abundance met your needs?