Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name.
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom,
and the power, and the glory, for ever.
Matthew 6:9-13 King James Version (KJV0
There are seven clauses in the Our Father, seven being the number used signifying Self spiritual fulfillment, restoration to our nature as God created us. (According to Emmet Fox, the author who wrote “The Sermon on the Mount”, the eighth clause was added to the prayer, by later Christian writers.) One might say the prayer is about Atonement, conscious contact with God, returning to the Kingdom — our work here on earth including forgiveness, our primary purpose in God’s plan for salvation.
However, not making this personal commitment in our lives does not mean we somehow can escape salvation and our returning to His/Her Love, the Kingdom. It is inevitable, as God does not leave His/Her creations, his children, separated from their Source.
These commentaries cover one clause or sentence in sequence, working eventually through all eight.
The first word, “Our” is highly significant as a beginning. All the pronoun’s in the prayer are key to understanding Jesus’ meaning in writing the prayer. One can imagine his apostles and disciples happily, perhaps at times not so happily, following him but I suppose frequently wondering what he meant in his sayings, sayings that would completely turn what the world believes up-side-down. His disciples wanted to be like him and do as he did. Prayer falling into this category. They ask him to instruct them in how to pray. The Lord’s Prayer is his answer.
How inclusive is this word, “Our.” It is the possessive pronoun that includes all of us. Everyone. When we express it, no one is left out. If we exclude one person, the the meaning of the word is clearly changed into an exclusionary expression and the prayer then becomes something other than what it clearly is. “Our” means everyone on earth, in heaven, or any other place we might think there is. Your house, my house, your friends and “enemies”, and my friends and “enemies.” Heaven and hell. Which on earth means either one or the other. Heaven is real, hell is made up to house “enemies’, that are also made up, contrived to house our own fear.
God is Our Father. Everyone’s Father. At this point we have to remove ourselves from thinking “our” in the sense we at times use the term on earth. For one, on earth what is ours has been given to us and the giver cannot get it back. However, In the sense the word is used in the prayer, along with the act of being a Father, God, All, is given and received at once and forever. What God has given was never not given, nor will ever not be given. God is eternal, and we will learn later, so are we.
Giving and receiving are the same. And, secondly, we base all of our perception in this world on what has been self learned for the human mind, which is based on projection, within the context of our egos. God does not project. He extends. God extends to receive, as we can do here on earth, but most frequently do not. Giving away our love that resides in us, is the very nature of how our Spirit exists so that having is being. Which amounts to a gain in Love, and never a loss of Love. We gain Love by giving it away. If we don’t give it away we cannot keep it.
The word “Our” then has a very important spiritual meaning as we address God in the first sentence of the prayer. One is vertical to and from God, and the other is horizontal, to and from one another. This clearly describes the foundation for God’s creation, which is to and from His children, and amongst His children.
This does help us to understand God’s very nature, which we will learn here is our very nature. Father is a suitable metaphor in the sense that the relationship between father and son, loving, kind, thoughtful, sharing, extending, compassionate, forgiving, even here on earth can never change. Is is all we are required to accept. Therefore, acceptance is a gift, never a sacrifice. And it is especially grounded in holiness. I cannot be my father, no one else can be my father,yet others can share the same Father, my father can have other children, but none will change our relationship.
Yet being of the same father also sets offspring as having a particular relationship with one another, based on the nature of fatherhood and childhood. I believe Jesus uses this expression to establish our relationship with God and God’s relationship with God’s children. And our relationship with one another then describes God’s nature, His “name”, which has special meaning int he Bible. To name something is to speak of its nature.
We may not be able to experience the Oneness of God here on earth, which includes our Oneness with Him. From our perspective, this world we made has little to do with the unity of Father and Son, God and Jesus, you and I, we and our Father — being One. Fully sharing interests. It seems the world hasn’t a clue of what this means. If the world did, we would not be in the world which we made to directly oppose such an idea. In fact, the world we make up, without God, is the rests on the insane idea, we can attack God. We play this out on a daily basis. Read the newspaper, watch television, listen to the news, if you think may not be so. Although we don’t see taking a life, killing one another for any reason, as an attack on God.
However, if we can just see this relationship as it is, God and His/Her children, being One in Christ, (or other references to Enlightenment) we are able to see the true meaning of Oneness and the Holy Trinity, and perhaps where Jesus is coming from in this use of such a powerful possessive pronoun to begin his prayers. Listen to the use of pronouns throughout the prayer as we proceed.
Prayers have power the power of God’s Love. For once we think of God’s sense of “Our” as an idea in our minds it will not leave our minds, ever. As with God, ideas do not leave their source. In this case the Source being God. In our Oneness in God’s mind we have never left. Clearly, we think we have, but illusions are not real. Remember, we allowed to make perception here and perception is always based on the projection. We project what we believe to be, and that whatever it is,can be. It seems to work this way for Truth as well as illusion, fortunately.
Our thinking is a closed thought system, which God allows for in Creation because he cannot not allow the freedom we need to choose His/Her love for his children. We are free to assert our free will. Otherwise His love would not be a gift, but a demand, not complete understanding but forceful disregard.
How freeing is course of life, as it becomes a matter of experience and naturally how we feel. Suffering and pain are not what God has in mind as the effect of Creation, which is only love. Un-forgiveness always the sole cause of all human suffering. If we choose an illusionary world it will be outside the cause and effect relationship created by God, a relationship that can only be holy and in His/Her Name. Although in truth there is nothing “outside” the cause and effect relationship that exists between God and His/Her children.
So I leave to your imagination what the world is about. And perhaps you will also see why it seems so, so real. We are not dealing with “invention” here but the very mind of the only real Power in the universe, misused of course. Yet, near without the Voice left in us that carries the message of Our Parent to His/Her children. It seems reasonable we can invent what we want and believe it to be real (albeit a belief that makes us struggle dreadfully and, in fact fatally.)
“We are as God created us”, a simple quote from “A Course in Miracles,” Jesus’ second coming here on earth, which lovingly tells the story of God’s love, and that God has no intention of changing His/Her mind about us. No matter how much guilt we build up and suffer in the cause of changing the authorship of ourselves this love is steadfast and eternal. There is only one effect, Love.
We cannot change the true relationship between God as our Father and in kind our relationship with one another. But, how we try! Bill Willson, a co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, and one of the most effective spiritual writers of the 20th century says, “We are totally incapable of forming a true partnership with other human beings.” (Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions.) If we add our “Father” to this claim it makes no sense whatever. It does make perfect sense when we edge God out — e G o.
“…which art in heaven,” No doubt, Our Father is in heaven and we think not of ourselves. Most of us believe that some day we’ll arrive there. Somewhere, outside ourselves. Some place where our sins will be gone and we will be holy enough to meet the tests God sends us for admission. There will be the peace of God. Admit one. Finally. But true only in our circular thought system.
Adam’s only sin was his inability to form a true partnerships with Eve. He forgot to forgive and know that God doesn’t forgive because He/She does not condemn. When we blame another person, our brothers and sisters, we are the mistaken ones. Thus, in this story of Adam, a different and unforgiving god was born in the mind that made the fatal error: sin is real, I cannot bear it, let me project it onto another, she’s right here, she made me do it. I am never really lost until I blame someone else. It is a condition that always blocks us accepting the only thing God can do, love.
There is nothing outside our minds. Only what we project. And as we project un-forgiveness, we reap it. At which Our Father is now something else. We are separated because we separated from our brother or sister. At least think we are. We do have a choice. Although it will always seem like we don’t if we think there is someone or something out there causing us to think, believe and act differently than Truth deep inside our minds. In God’s witness protection program perhaps, we know better. We all know better than to see attack as an impossible state in the holy mind of God. (Jesus message on the cross.) And if we are as God created us, which we are, we will always survive suffering of any kind. Although, that will always be difficult to go through if we don’t believe it. Jesus did. For us, and now he awaits our joining him as we trudge our own steps of happy destiny in joining him.
God in heaven will never allow His children to not be with Him. It is not His will to do so. He/She will allow their choosing, because that very choosing signifies the only pathway to the only love there is, His. (God does not have a gender, which is why I keep shifting back and forth using our terms for God’s children. I never see God as masculine or feminine. God is Love, our true nature, which is also neither masculine or feminine. Nonetheless, in this world we can look upon each other with respect and honor according to the perspective we have freely chosen.)
In the minds of us all, God will enter a relentless and magnificent idea, “My children, I bid you home. I am calling you in the wilderness. You will hear me. All of you, those who listen now and those who will listen to those who have listened. You are all equally my sons and daughters. While you do not see your great Oneness now, I will make the way for you to do so, in lightness and darkness, I will be with you on this journey you made. I am with you always. I can assure you the Power I have given you will guide you and you will come to know that this Power will cause you to look toward all your brother and sisters as My children. Think not that you may leave any one behind. They all hear the same ancient song as you do, for it calls to their willingness as Truth. The world you have come to know is your forgiven paradise as I reenter every mind that now believes otherwise. Holy am I so that my children are all holy and all equal to one another.”