Following the decision by DCM not to show the short movie advert for prayer from the Church of England, let’s take a look at this controversial prayer. It's really a lesson in prayer from Jesus, given to his disciples. (Taken from Mark 6:9-13 ESV)
Our Father in heaven,
Wow! Straight in; assuming the relationship of a child with his/ her father! Jesus claimed to be the exclusive route to knowing God the Father. No one comes to the Father except through me. The world is full of orphans striving for identity. What more awesome identity than to be a dearly loved child of God?
Hallowed be your name.
Hmm, it’s a bit of an old fashioned word, but means, holy, unique, set apart, pure, worthy of worship and awe.
Your Kingdom come,
The Kingdom Jesus introduced was based on bringing freedom for the oppressed, release for the prisoner and sight to the blind.
Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Heaven on earth? Nice!
Give us this day our daily bread,
Acknowledgement that God the Father is our source of supply, not our boss, our career, our talent, hard work…
Forgive us our debts
Yep, there is such a thing right and wrong. When I cross the line, I owe people; but importantly, I owe God. My forgiveness must come from him.
As we also have forgiven our debtors.
This is radical. It is assumed that I am going to forgive others because I have received forgiveness myself. This is a huge contrast to the rhetoric of revenge, so common in today’s mass media.
Lead us not into temptation,
Here is a recognition that sin and trespasses begin in the heart. Temptation is where all life controlling issues start. This prayer is asking for God’s help to see temptation coming, to that we can avoid walking into a trap.
But deliver us from evil.
Rich or poor, none of us know what lies around the corner. Drastic life changing events often happen to people when they least expect it.
For yours is the kingdom, the power and the glory for ever and ever. (This bit is sometimes left out.)
It’s all about you, you are God: awesome, amazing, powerful and eternal!
Yep! I can see why the cinema advertisers; used to advertising alongside the regular movie business of violence, murder, revenge, lust, adultery, witchcraft and dysfunction; might want to think twice about screening such a prayer!