Our Father in heaven,
……….May your name be kept holy.
……….May your Kingdom come soon.
……….May your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
………..Give us today the food we need,
………..And forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us.
………..And don’t let us yield to temptation, but rescue us from the evil one.
For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen!
Relate: When Jesus is speaking with the Samaritan woman at the well, He says, “But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way. For God is Spirit, so those who worship the Father must worship in spirit and in truth.” We recognize that Jesus is speaking truth to that woman, but one thing that sometimes gets lost in translation is that Jesus is doing this in poetic form. In speaking this truth, He is using a chiasm. This is a form of poetry found throughout the Bible. Rather than trying to explain it, it would be easier to just show it…
A – True worship
B – The Father
C – God is Spirit
B1 – The Father
A1 – True Worship
Perhaps the most famous chiasm in the Bible is the Lord’s Prayer. It starts with acknowledging God. Then there are three divine requests. The central statement is, “On earth as it is in heaven.” Then there are three human requests. And it ends with praising God. The Lord’s prayer is not just a model for us today, it is poetry in action. Perhaps the best way to wrap the Bible up, in a nutshell, would be to explain it in a chiasm. God is with us. We sin. Jesus came. Our sins are forgiven. God is with us.
React: One of the key things to know about a chiasm is that the key point is the central statement. In Western culture, we tend to put our key point, our “thesis,” right upfront. We are much more linear on our words and thought and so we want to know, right from the beginning where we are headed. In Near Eastern thought, at least in a chiasm, the most important point is the middle. The key thing in Jesus’ teaching on prayer is that it creates on earth what is found in heaven. What is the point of the three divine requests? That who God is in heaven might be made manifest on earth. What is the point of the three human requests? That how we live on earth might better reflect how we will live in heaven.
When we pray two things are happening. We are participating in bringing heaven to down earth and we are participating in lifting earth to up heaven. That is what intercession is all about. That is what Jesus was teaching. The Lord’s prayer is not simply a beautiful set of words that we repeat by rote. The Lord’s prayer, and all of our prayer, is stretching one hand out to God, stretching the other hand out to our fellow man, and then bringing the two together.
Our Father in heaven,
Let Your name be made holy on earth as it is in heaven.
Let Your Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven.
Let Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Supply my daily needs on earth as You will in heaven.
Forgive my sins on earth as You have in heaven.
Protect me from evil on earth as You do in heaven.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.
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To read previous devotionals taken from the January 7th The River Walk devotionals click below: