Father John was born in Southampton N.Y. He served as an altar boy during his youth at the Kimisis Tis Theotokou Greek Orthodox Chruch. He is a graduate of Hellenic College with a B.A. and received his Master of Divinity degree from Holy Cross School of Theology in Brookline, MA in 2012. He is supported in his ministry by his wife Abigail. He was ordained to the priesthood in August 5th, 2012 and assigned to Saint Demetrios as the assistant priest.
The Gospel of Matthew
6:9 – 15: The Lord’s Prayer
Opening thoughts and basis for discussion
This is a prayer, which Jesus taught His disciples to pray. To be a disciple, one must have an idea of Christ and His mission and be devoted to the will of God.
The order of petitions:
1. The First Three petitions have to do with God and with the glory of God.
- Gods proper place in our lives
2. The Second Three petitions have to do with our needs and our necessities.
- Help in temptation
Matt 6:9 – “Our Father in Heaven.”
- There is only One God, and this involves the elimination of self.
- There is the holiness of God and the power of God.
Matt 6:9 – “Hollowed be thy name.”
- Let God’s name be treated differently from all other names; let God’s name be given a position which is absolutely unique.
- When we pray, “Hallowed be Thy Name,” it means, “Enable us to give to thee the unique place which thy nature and character deserve and demand.”
Matt 6:10 – “They Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”
- “The Kingdom of God is a society upon earth where God’s will is as perfectly done as it is in heaven.”
- The Kingdom of God is individual, not based on nations or countries; it deals with each and every one.
Matt 6:11 – “Give us this day our daily bread.”
- God will supply us with the things we need for the coming day.
Matt 6:12, 14, 15 – “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us….. For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”
- Sin is a “universal disease, in which everyone is involved.”
- Christ is the only one who can aid us in giving forgiveness. But to be forgiven, one must be able to forgive.
Matt 6:13 – “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”
- Help us in our struggle in the “test” you place before us. We need to come out on top of our “test” and pass it.
- This petition is not a recipe to seek to seduce into evil, but a test that needs to be overcome, to emerge stronger and finer.
- The Lord’s Prayer is a prayer which only a disciple can pray. Are we His disciples?
- It is only when God is given His proper place that all other things fall into their proper places.
- God understands our needs and shortcomings, and that is why we pray for the past, present, and future.