This prayer is a compact formula for soul development. In keeping with ancient oriental style, there are 7 clauses for individual completeness and soul perfection.
1. “Our Father which Art in Heaven” -
a. “Our Father” implies the relationship between God and man as parent vs. child. It also implies God is the Father of “all”, both man and beast. It fixes the nature of man as being the same as God’s nature, as Divine Spirit. “Our” indicates the truth of the brotherhood and interconnectedness of mankind. When we pray for ourselves, we are praying for all mankind since we are each limbs of the body of God.
b. “Which Art in Heaven” - Heaven stands for God or First Cause; it is also refers to the presence of God. God is Cause (Heaven); Man is Manifestation (Earth). God is the infinite and perfect cause of all things, but cause need to be expressed. God expresses himself by means of man. Man’s destiny is to express God in all sorts of glorious ways. Your life is a manifestation or expression of something in your soul. Manifestation without “cause” or God is atheism or materialism.
2. “Hallowed Be Thy Name” – Hallowed has same root as Holy, whole, wholesome, heal, healed. The nature of God is wholesome, complete, perfect and good.
3. “Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will Be Done as It is in Heaven” -
a. “Thy Kingdom Come” - Man, being a creator as his Father, is dutifully bound to bring more of God’s ideas, goodness, into manifestation on earth. Find what God intends you to do and doors fly open. Individual means undivided or not separate from God’s consciousness.
b. “Thy Will Be Done as It is in Heaven” – Instead of choosing to use our free will in selfish, negative ways, separate from God (which causes our travails, from sickness, sin, poverty, to trouble and death), we need to include God in all our plans and actions. Our business is to bring our whole nature into conformity with God’s will. In his will is our peace.
4. “Give Us Our Daily Bread” – Bread means all things (food, clothing, shelter, freedom, knowledge, travel, etc.) required for a healthy, free, harmonious life. It is God’s will that we be healthy, happy, and joyous. God alone is the source and fountainhead. Lack results from seeking our supply from another source that God. God is the Source; investments, business, employment are merely channels through which God comes. This phrase signifies the realization that God is our source for all supply. We receive through prayer. No one can assimilate food for another. The presence-of-God realization is a thing that no one can have or do for us. The Bread of Life means our Daily Bread; our contact with God must be a Living One (here and now). We must realize God in the present moment and that we are the instruments and expression of God.
5. “Forgive Us Our Trespasses (Sins) as We Forgive Those Who Have Trespassed Against Us” – Sin (evil, fall of Man) is an attempt to negate the Truth that all is One, that we are one with God and all men. Sin, a sense of separation from God, is rooted in selfishness. Sin is a sense of isolated, selfish, personal existence. Every prisoner lives in a prison as does the jailor. Forgiveness sets both free. To overcome sin, say the Prayer of Forgiveness. Begin by reading a chapter from the Bible or other great scripture or say a prayer. Then, quietly say “I fully and freely forgive ____. I loose him/her and let him/her go. I cast the burden aside. He/she is now free and so am I. The Truth of Christ sets us both free. I thank God.
6. “Lead Us Not into Temptation but Deliver Us from Evil” – God doesn’t lead us into temptation, we lead ourselves by being over-zealous in spiritual growth by challenging God to present us with all forms of difficulties whether or not we are ready to deal with them. The Soul is challenged by various tests as it traverses upward, but our consciousness, our level of understanding must be ready for the test. The higher our consciousness, the more vulnerable we are to a wider variety of temptations; self-glory, personal preferences, biases in lieu of impartiality; spiritual pride, self-righteousness. By inviting temptations we are not ready for, we are doing evil.
7. “Thine Is the Kingdom, the Power, and the Glory Forever” – This sums up the omnipresence, omnipotence, and omniscience of God. God is working by means of us, but his is the Power. We recognize that Divine Intelligence is working through us and can perform difficult tasks. The Omnipresence of God in our lives transfigures every aspect of our lives, turning sorrow into joy, age into youth, dullness into light and life. This is the glory! We glorify God by letting God’s light shine through us.
Summary - The Lords Prayer tells us what God is, what man is, how the universe works, how we are to work, who our source is, how supply works, how to overcome life’s greatest difficulties through forgiveness, and how to glorify God.