John Cassis is one of our nation’s finest motivational speakers. He told a story recently about a time when he was serving as one of the chaplain’s for the Chicago Bears during their glory years of the 80′s.
As John tells it, Mike Ditka was about to deliver a locker room pep talk one day. He looked up and saw defensive tackle William “Refrigerator” Perry. How could he not see him? At 338 pounds the Fridge stood out even in a crowd of pro football players. Ditka gestured to the Fridge. “When I get finished,” he said, “I’d like you to close with the Lord’s Prayer.” Then the coach began his talk.
Meanwhile, Jim McMahon, the brash and outspoken quarterback, punched John Cassis. “Look at Perry,” McMahon whispered, “he doesn’t know the Lord’s Prayer.”
Sure enough, Perry sat with a look of panic on his face, his head in his hands. He was sweating profusely. “Everybody knows the Lord’s Prayer,” said Cassis to McMahon in disbelief. After a few minutes of watching the Refrigerator leaking several gallons of sweat, McMahon nudged Cassis again. “I’ll bet you 50 bucks Fridge doesn’t know the Lord’s Prayer.”
When Coach Ditka finished his pep talk, he asked all the men to remove their caps. Then he nodded at Perry and bowed his head. It was quiet for a few moments before the Fridge spoke in a shaky voice, “Now I lay me down to sleep. I pray the Lord, my soul to keep…”
Cassis felt the tap on his shoulder. It was Jim McMahon. “Here’s the 50 dollars,” he whispered. “I had no idea Perry knew the Lord’s Prayer.”
Like the Fridge and Jim McMahon, you may not know much about the Lord's Prayer. Or, you may not know as much as you think you do.
When the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray, they had no idea how much He actually would teach them! He taught them not just about prayer, but about how they should think about God and about how they should relate to God and a lot about themselves.
The Lord's Prayer is about worship because it connects you with the Person of God and brings you into His presence and can actually shape your life into a living praise for Him!
Not only in this prayer about worship but it is about His will. When you pray for His kingdom to come and His will to be done you are asking for Him to reign and rule in your life.
For this prayer to be answered you must accept His will.
The will of God is for you to acknowledge Him as King of your life. You must surrender to Him before you can accept His will. You must acknowledge that He is King and you are not!
Accepting His will and His kingship over your life requires that every decision you make choose His will and desires above your own. Kings aren't negotiated with or nagged or told "no". Kings are obeyed and honored and served.
Have you accepted God as your King? Have you sincerely prayed - "Your kingdom come"?
Second, you must align with His will.
Prayer is not for the purpose of trying to persuade God to get in line with your will. Prayer is to ask Him to help you align with His will.
Ancient mariners were able to navigate vast oceans and large seas after they discovered the North Star. It is a fixed point in the sky that they can use as a point of reference in determining their direction. When they face toward the North Star they immediately know that west is to their left and east is to their right and south is at their back. Aligning with the North Star gave them their bearings and lead them to their destination.
The will of God is to be your North Star and you are to line you life to that in every decision and with every step you take.
When you pray - "your will be done" - you are asking God to help you come into line with His will. His expressed will is to "Love the Lord with all your heart and love your neighbor as yourself". That is where it begins.
Third, you must act on His will.
God's will exists for the purpose of shaping your life in a way that pleases and honors Him! When you live out His will in your daily decisions and deeds you allow His kingdom to come and His will to be done through you right where you are!
Jesus accomplished the will of God because He accepted God's will, He aligned with God's will and He lived it out until the day He died - and in the way He died!
God's great gift you is a free will. But a free will in the hands of a willful sinner brings judgment upon Him. If you use your free will to live according to your own lusts and desires you will reap the consquences of sin.
The purpose of the Lord's Prayer is to give your free will back to God and let Him have control of it so what you desire will align with what He desires for you!
Will you pray - "your kingdom come, your will be done IN ME as it is in heaven"?
Will you crown Him King in your life and spend your days serving, honoring and obeying Him?