You may have read about the controversy that resulted when the UK’s three leading cinema chains refused to show a 60 second advert featuring the Lord’s Prayer which was produced by the Church of England. As so often happens when something gets banned, there was more interest in the advert than originally hoped for as people all over the world searched for it online. In case you missed it you can find it at www.justpray.uk
It is 2,000 years since Jesus taught his disciples to pray using these words:
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name;
Thy kingdom come; thy will be done; on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, for ever and ever.
In those 2,000 years the prayer has been translated into thousands of languages and prayed by billions of believers an incalculable number of times. The prayer has been a part of our British heritage since the first Christians landed on these shores centuries ago and has featured in the daily prayers of the House of Commons and the House of Lords since 1567.
At the recent United Service, which was attend by 150 people from the 5 churches in Hook and Odiham, David Williams, the Bishop of Basingstoke, invited us to focus on the phrase: Thy kingdom come; thy will be done; on earth as it is in heaven.
The bible gives us many glimpses into what God’s kingdom looks like, especially the vision of the wonderful new heaven and earth which will be brought into being when Christ returns; a world without sickness and suffering, a world without trouble and pain. When we pray thy kingdom come; thy will be done; on earth as it is in heaven we are asking God to give us a foretaste here and now of what the world will be like when everyone submits to his kingship.
Bishop David encouraged us all to pray the Lord’s Prayer every day at midday throughout 2016 and to believe that we will see God answer by causing his kingdom to break out here on earth as it is in heaven. I believe that this will bring about an incredible transformation of our society and would encourage you to join in this simple yet powerful act of faith.
This blog post featured in the February 2016 edition of Hook Focus