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kingdom is no more present today in the   is  reminding  us  that  even  amidst  the
        absence of the King than it was when He   abundance many of us possess, we are
        was here. We are part of His kingdom   ultimately  dependent  upon  God.  Let
        (Col 1:13), and already experience it as   us  give  thanks  to  God  for  our  food  –
        a spiritual reality (Rom 14:17), but its   and mean it. The crops growing in the
        ultimate fulfillment awaits His coming   field,  the  job  that  enables  you  to  buy
        back to the earth in power. Subsequent to   groceries, the health that enables you to
        Matthew 6, Scripture gives the additional   enjoy it all – all of these are gifts from
        revelation of the Lord’s initial return to the   God. Independence from God is worldly
        air for the Rapture of the Church, but the   pride (cf. 1Jn 2:16); prayer is a spiritual
        kingdom is ours to enjoy as well. While   expression of dependence.
        we can readily see how suffering saints of
        the Tribulation era will utter this phrase   Forgiveness
        with particular intensity, we should also   In this context, “debts” refers to sins,
        eagerly anticipate that righteous reign of   whether wrong things we have done, or
        the Lord Jesus.                       right things we have failed to do. Verses
        Submission                            14-15  help  us  to  see  what  is  at  stake:
          “Your  will  be  done”  acknowledges   not our possession of salvation (judicial
        that prayer is not intended to convince   forgiveness), but the enjoyment of our
        God to change His mind – we are the   relationship  with  the  Father  (paternal
        ones to be changed. It takes time, but   forgiveness). Similar to Matthew 5:23-
        often two fruits of prayer are our honest   24, the Lord is teaching the importance
        acknowledgement  of  what  we  really   of right relationships with our brothers
        want  in  a  given  circumstance,  and  a   and sisters if we expect to have a right
        humble  acquiescence  that  our  Father   relationship  with  God  (cf.  1Jn  4:20).
        knows best. “Prayer is not a convenient   Remember, it is difficult to be angry at
        device for imposing our will upon God,   and unforgiving toward someone if you
        or for bending his will to ours, but the   bring them regularly before your Father
        prescribed way of subordinating our will   in prayer.
        to his …. Every true prayer is a variation   Deliverance
        on the theme ‘Your will be done.’” 3
        The Supplications in the Prayer         While the closing clauses of the prayer
          As it is a mistake to put our needs ahead   (v13) present some interpretive challenges,
        of His honour, so it is also a mistake to   the  main  thrust  is  clear:  we  need  the
                                              Lord’s grace to experience victory over
        think He isn’t interested in our needs. We
        are a weak and needy people, and our   sin. It is a mercy when opportunity and
        Father is able and willing to supply what   desire do not coincide. “Preserve me, O
        we need.                              God” (Psa 16:1). If we were spiritually
                                              stronger, would we pray less? No. We
        Dependence                            would recognize our weakness and our
          “Daily bread” may seem superfluous   need to pray more. The Lord Jesus was
        to  many  readers  today,  but  the  Lord   the perfectly dependent man. If He was a
        ³ John Stott, The Letters of John (Grand Rapids,   man of prayer, how much more we need to
        MI: Eerdmans, 1988), 188.             learn from the pattern He has left us.

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