In Sunday school class, we recently had a discussion that led into talk about the rote, ritualistic prayers or songs we repeat as a part of worshipping God.
That discussion set me to thinking. Do we realize what we are saying when we sing the Doxology?
Let’s take a look at the words we sing:
In the Doxology we sing: “Praise God, from whom all blessings flow. Praise Him all creatures below; praise him above, ye heavenly hosts; praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost. (1)
“Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;”
We are to give God thanks and commend Him. Several years ago I heard a child of evangelists’ defined praise as “giving God a compliment.” He wants us to remember that ALL blessings come from Him. The physical, spiritual, the relational ones, as well as the financial, come from God.
“Praise Him all creatures below;”
The writer tells us that each of God’s creatures are to praise Him for making us. Psalm 139 tells us that God knew us before we were formed. The birds sing beautiful songs to God almost every morning. Jesus tells us that if we don’t sing out the rocks will. (SCRIPTURE)
“praise him above, ye heavenly hosts;”
These words tell us that even the angels are to revere and worship God. I am always reminded of the seraphim that Isaiah saw in the temple. They were worshipping God.
“praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost.”
The one who penned these words reminds us to praise God, who created us, Jesus, who sanctified us from sin, and the Holy Spirit, who sustains us.
The Lord’s Prayer
What are we saying when we pray the Lord’s Prayer? Are we actually praying those words? Do they sink into our hearts? Let’s take a look at the words and see what they mean.
“Our Father who art in heaven”
It is God’s desire that all the children he created become as close to Him as a father and a child. This is His wish for all His children.
“hallowed be thy name,”
God’s name is to be lifted up, and set apart from any other name on earth. It is to be HOLY. Any mention of His name away from prayer or teaching is considered cursing.
“Your kingdom come,”
We ask God to establish His kingdom here, on this earth where we live.
“your will be done on earth as in heaven.”
We allow God to have carte blanche—full discretionary power (2) over the events of our lives and our world. God has the power to do anything He wants.
“Give us this day our daily bread,”
We ask God to provide for us what we need for that day.
“and forgive us our trespasses”
Jesus asks God to forgive us of our sins, the ones we have committed against Him.
“As we forgive those who trespass against us.”
We are to forgive those who sin against us. Yes, we can forgive those who cause us to be hurt by their words, deeds, or actions. After Jesus taught this prayer, he magnified the importance of forgiveness by saying if we didn’t forgive, God wouldn’t forgive us. We may have times when we have to forgive someone through Jesus Christ.
“And lead us not into temptation,”
We ask God to keep us safe from being lured into sin I have read where it is not a sin to be tempted but when the temptation is acted on, it becomes sin.
“but deliver us from evil.”
We ask God to deliver us from those snares that can entangle us in sin if we allow them to get to our hearts.
We have a lot to consider when we pray this prayer. Certain parts of it have come to be very dear to a friend and to me.
1. United Methodist hymnal 1969, United Methodist Publishing House, Nashville, Tennessee Number 95.
2. Merriam-Webster online accessed 7/07/2017
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