A divine desire is rising up in the hearts of believers in these last days. They are hungrier than ever to be all God created them to be. We can hear our destiny calling loud and clear, letting us know it is time to fully possess the land of spiritual blessing—the land we have inherited in Christ Jesus. It is time for us to grow up into His image and enjoy what the prophets have prophesied since the days of Moses—“days of heaven upon the earth” (Deuteronomy 11:21).
We can no longer delay. Jesus is coming. Time is drawing to a close. The end of the age is upon us and the final phase of God’s plan is at hand.
What should we do in times like these? How do we respond to the Holy Spirit’s call to fulfill our divine destiny?
We respond in faith…and in prayer. It is the faith-filled prayers of God’s people that open the door for God’s power to be released in greater measure. It is our prayers of faith that prepare the way of the Lord and make the way for God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven.
If you don’t think you know how to pray such prayers, think again. You’ve prayed them many times without even realizing it. You’ve prayed a powerful, prophetic prayer every time you quoted the familiar passage in Matthew 6:9-13. We have called it “The Lord’s Prayer.”
In just a few seemingly simple verses Jesus gave us a prayer that would contribute to the consummation of the ages. It was not just an outline for prayer. It was and is the perfect prayer containing all the elements necessary to bring forth the ultimate plan of God.
That’s not surprising when you think about it. After all, Jesus said the whole reason for His being was to do the will of the Father (Hebrews 10:7). So when the disciples said, “Lord, teach us to pray,” wouldn’t He tell them something that would bring about the ultimate will of God? Of course! That’s why we find more amazing revelations than we ever realized in that seemingly simple prayer.
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
Jesus begins His prayer with two simple words: Our Father. In so doing, He made a startling statement about those of us who would become born-again children of God. He declared us to be sons of God just as much as He is the Son of God. He called us His brothers, born of the Father just as He was. In those two words, Jesus actually proclaimed that we have the same spiritual heritage He has.
That quickly becomes obvious by comparing the spiritual to the natural. When a couple has two children, is one child any less their child than the other? Absolutely not. Those two children may act differently. One child may behave more like his parents than the other. But genetically, they both come from the same source. They are both equally their father’s children.
When Jesus said, “Our Father,” He was praying that all of us who are God’s children have the same seed of perfection within us that Jesus has. We have the same genetic makeup. We have the capacity to be just like Jesus. There is within us an incorruptible source of life! As 1 Peter 1:23 says, we have “…been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever” (New King James Version).
What’s more, that divine seed within us is hallowed, which is an old English word for holy. It is pure, perfect and without fault just like our Father is. We have the capacity to be that way as we “grow up in every way and in all things into Him” (Ephesians 4:15, The Amplified Bible).
God’s name is holy and without fault and we have been given His name (Ephesians 3:15). God intends to reveal the power and holiness of His name in us. It is His will for us to cultivate the divine seed within until we come to a place of maturity in Jesus. That is the true destiny of every child of God. Jesus spoke of it in the first sentence of His prayer.
Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
Such a destiny might seem beyond our reach if it were not for Jesus’ next words. He was praying for God to exercise His kingly power. He was asking God to exert His authority and dominion so that His eternal purpose could be fulfilled on earth as it is in heaven.
What is God’s eternal purpose? According to Ephesians 1:10, “[He planned] for the maturity of the times and the climax of the ages to unify all things and head them up and consummate them in Christ, [both] things in heaven and things on the earth” (The Amplified Bible).
God’s plan is for us to be so perfectly joined and united with Christ that it brings heaven and earth together! The more we pray and believe that, the closer we come to the Rapture—and the closer we come to the marriage of heaven and earth when Jesus and His Church will forever reign.
Give us this day our daily bread.
Obviously this phrase can be interpreted as a simple request for God to supply our natural needs each day. It means much more if we put it in the context of the eternal purpose about which Jesus is praying. It becomes a request for God to daily give us whatever we need to progress further in His eternal plan. It becomes a petition for the things we must have—revelation, wisdom, supplies of the Spirit—to take another step toward our divine destiny.
We aren’t instantly transformed into the image of Jesus. We don’t grow up into Him overnight. A process of transformation must take place. That process requires daily impartations from God.
The phrase “Give us this day our daily bread,” indicates there is something we need today to prepare us for tomorrow. It reveals that we are building for our future in God every day. We are moving from faith to faith (Romans 1:17) and from glory to glory (2 Corinthians 3:18). Each day we need something from God so we can build on yesterday for tomorrow.
We are continually transformed into the image of God’s dear Son as we receive His daily provision. We are becoming more and more like Him in every way.
We increasingly find we have exactly what we need just when we need it. Jesus lived that way, didn’t He? He always had what He needed. He was never sick. He was always well. He always prospered. He was always at peace. He always had the wisdom He needed.
Did He automatically have those things? No, He went to God and received them as His daily bread. But He did it more fully than we do because He completely understood His perfect union with the Father. He knew who He was. Jesus comprehended His ability to receive from God. He never left His prayer place empty-handed. He always received the daily substance for His being.
He told us to do the same thing. In John 15:7, He said, “If you live in Me [abide vitally united to Me] and My words remain in you and continue to live in your hearts, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you” (The Amplified Bible). In other words, He was saying: Maintain your connection with Me. Receive from Me for today what will prepare you for tomorrow.
If we’ll do that, we won’t have to worry about tomorrow. Tomorrow will take care of itself. We’ll be in the right place at the right time. And every day, we’ll be one step closer to our destiny!
Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil…
Here again, we find Jesus praying about far more than the concept of God forgiving us and us forgiving others for various offenses. He is actually praying out the plan of redemption. The redemption He bought for us through His shed blood was the ultimate act of debt cancellation. Jesus obtained for us a permanent release from the bondage of and penalty for our faults, failures and moral defeats. He put us in right-standing with God and left us with nothing to repay.
And the very next sentence tells us why. It was so that God could lead us out of the place of temptation and into the place of ultimate deliverance from evil.
God victoriously brings His people through temptation, adversity and affliction. When God brings us through adversity, He does so in order to lift us up. When the devil brings adversity upon us, he does it to destroy.
The Bible makes it very clear that God is never the source of our trials. He is never the one who brings the temptation. (See James 1:13.) But He will bring us through. That’s why James 1:2 tells us to “count it all joy” when we encounter trials. Learning to trust God in those trials is a part of our growing up. And when they come, we can be assured that God will bring us through.
Why then would Jesus ask God to lead us out of those temptations? Why would He pray for the Father to deliver us from evil? He wasn’t just asking God to sustain us or even to bring us through them in triumph. To deliver someone from evil means to snatch them out of danger. Jesus was praying for our escape.
Why? Because He was praying about the culmination of all things. He was looking forward to and praying about the Rapture—the Great Escape!
In light of God’s eternal purpose and plan, mankind has been walking through a trial ever since the Fall in the Garden of Eden. For 6,000 years we’ve been assaulted by temptations of the devil. God has always delivered His people from those temptations to a place of victory when we have allowed Him to.
But Jesus was praying about the end of that process. He was saying, Father, bring us to full grown sonship so You can snatch us out of here to be with You! James refers to that stage of maturity as one where we are “perfectly and fully developed [with no defects], lacking in nothing” (James 1:4, The Amplified Bible). It is the stage where we are truly conformed to the image of Christ!
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever.
How is it possible for us to reach such a state? Because God has the kingly power and authority to complete the good work He began in us. He has the achieving power to get the job done. The word power used in this verse carries not only the idea of strength but of willingness. A king might have the power to do something. But if he is not willing, he won’t do it.
Our King, however, not only has the power to bring His plan to completion in us—He is willing to do it! He has the dominion and the authority. And He has the glory needed to get the job done. One Bible scholar defines glory as “an exalted state of perfection which is the portion of those who dwell with God.” Isn’t that wonderful? In His prayer, Jesus was confessing His faith in God’s power to bring us into that exalted state of perfection. This is our destiny in Him! Not just temporarily but…forever. Unto the ages of eternity.
That’s what Jesus was telling us to pray. That’s what He was telling us to believe. And we can be assured that He can also bring it to pass. We can pray “The Lord’s Prayer” in faith and say—amen and amen!