Matthew 6:9-13

As far back as I can remember and probably before that, my dear father would come to each of us at bedtime, kneel by our beds, and pray the Lord’s Prayer and the 23rd Psalm. He did this
three times every night because he prayed with me and my two siblings individually. After a while, we would say it out loud with him and this continued for many years, probably until we were going to bed after he did.

Every time we went on a family vacation after we were all seated in
the car, as we drove off, the whole family recited both of those prayers!
(and we still do to this day).

Did we understand what the prayers meant? No, not then. But what we were learning was that this was very important to our earthly father; it said a great deal about who he was as our dad.

He wanted us to receive deep foundational truth. There was a special sense of comfort, trust, and protection in praying those prayers. They were subliminally placing in our deepest
beings who our heavenly Father is, His purpose for our lives how He takes care of us, that He wants us to talk with Him, that sin needs to be dealt with, that He forgives us and so much more.

In the early church, it was the practice for believers to say the Lord’s Prayer morning and evening. Why did they do that? Because Jesus said, “This, then, is how you should pray . . .” Matthew 6:9.

As I grew in my faith and relationship with God, these truths expanded and deepened as I understood more clearly what was being prayed for. The Holy Spirit pulled out what was subliminal and affirmed it as core truth. Those core truths have led me through valleys as well as mountaintops! I am so grateful to God for giving me the father I had here on earth. Perhaps we should consider how to implement this practice in our own families today.

Ponder: What are you subliminally teaching those around you?

Someone once approached a teacher and asked her how to cultivate a
deeper prayer life. “Say the Lord’s Prayer,” she replied, “but take an hour to say it.” (NIV Spiritual Formation Bible p. 1287)

Francie Overstreet

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