Support for Christianity
11 November 1872
"Many thousands babble this prayer, often many times a day, and hardly one of them understands what he is actually saying or what I wanted to say when teaching it to My disciples.
Even you, who are certainly better informed than many and have even received various explanations on this prayer by Me personally, do not know in the deepest, purest sense the meaning of this prayer, or you would not often pray it just looking up to Me, but would consider it far above any other formulated prayer.
In order to send another light-ray into your hearts, lighting up for you the wonders of My spirit-world from a different angle, I will elucidate this prayer for you and the words it contains. Thereby you may recognize what it means: God, a loving Creator and Father, teaches you this prayer so that you may realize how much of what is spiritual lies in those words, which I bequeathed to My disciples and to the whole of mankind, so that they may enter into spiritual communion with Me. Besides, these words comprise all the worldly as well as spiritual concerns of mankind as only this prayer, a request to Me, as a child’s request to its Father, is able to express it.
Well, I will now explain this sole prayer from My sojourn on earth to you, word for word, sentence by sentence and reveal its profound meaning, thus enriching you with a great treasure.
If you will scrutinize the circumstances under which I told this prayer to My disciples, you will easily recognize the mighty difference lying in the fact that, contrary to all religious customs, I showed My contemporaries with the first words of My prayer how little they themselves understood their religious books, being unable to interpret them spiritually. For, whereas the Jews were strictly forbidden to use the name of their God idly, whereas they regarded their God as a God of revenge and wrath and often implored Him only for this very same reason, more out of fear than of trust towards Him, I taught them in the first two words “Our Father” How to bridge this gulf between their God and Creator and humanity, and turn the severe judge into a loving Father.
Through this word alone the subsequent content of the prayer was justified; for a child could implore its father in the manner I taught My disciples. However, no one at that time was allowed to implore his God for things which, according to the prevailing concepts, would have been far too trivial for a God, whom one imagined far beyond the stars in inaccessible space, to concern Himself with.
Thus the word “Father”, and even more significantly, “Our”, was this great difference which pulled down the remote God into human life, allowing man as a dependent child to embrace his Creator with love, whereas in all other conceptions of divine attributes, even with the pagan peoples and their gods, this only really true one was lacking!
Thus the opening of this prayer provided the greatest and mightiest impulse by which to exalt a heart in piety. For the gentle call “Father”, “my Father” or, since in this prayer the fundamental concept is neighborly love, “our Father” is the greater, mightiest lever. Thereby one engenders a trust in the One to whom one prays to grant this prayer and that man, being his Father’s child, will be granted by Him what is best for his material and spiritual well-being!
The next phrase is: “in heaven”. These words have a twofold meaning. Firstly, having a Father who is in heaven, as the abode of pure spirits and of permanent bliss, it goes without saying that I am either descended from there or, if I prove myself worthy of the Father, shall one day be able to draw near the One who allowed me to call Him “Father”.
The second meaning of this word is, that a Father in heaven must be a Being that, despite the fact that I transferred Him to the heavens, must be omnipresent, omnipotent; otherwise my entreaty is in vain. He does not hear nor can He fulfill one’s request.
Furthermore, it must also be borne in mind that our Father in heaven, who is Spirit, for this very reason must be entreated spiritually and in the most profound surrender, if I want to consider in the least His greatness and my nothingness. This is also corroborated by the following phrase where it says: “Hallowed be thy name!” For only he who has understood the first words in their most profound sense can grasp what it means: “Hallowed be thy name!”
It means that, in contrast to a physical father, the Father in heaven, as Spirit, can only be duly honored when also in invocations, protestations and oaths the name of the Supreme Being is not misused and dragged down into worldly dealings. For this Creator, who allowed you to address Him as Father, is too sublime, and you as child are too highly placed on the spiritual gamut of all thinking beings that you should invoke such a Name and with the Name itself your God and Father to be a witness to your words. For only if you fully grasp and understand the position of this Father, namely in heaven, as an eternal abode of joy, and act accordingly, can you come forward with the entreaty: “Thy kingdom come!” Only then are you worthy of this kingdom of the heavens, this soul-paradise, to descend into your own heart and let you feel there on a small scale what will peculiar one day be in store for you on a larger scale.
Only after the fulfillment of the first phrases is man worthy of being admitted to the realm of those spirits who recognize the Creator of the universe as their sole God and their sole loving Father.
For this kingdom on earth to become permanent, it is necessary that the will or the divine laws of a supreme Being, whom you may call Father, be carried out on earth; for this is stated, as proof of the preceding phrase, by the following phrase, where it says: “Your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.” Only when people, recognizing and valuing their spiritual descent, fulfill the laws of love for God and the fellowman, is it possible for the Kingdom of God to descend and transform the earthly life again into that Paradise, from where the first human beings were driven. Only when these love-laws are always fulfilled as willingly on earth as they are in heaven, is lasting peace, lasting tranquility possible.
Trying to make My disciples understand how the earthly life can be bettered, I told them spiritually that, although the paradisiacal, blissful life cannot be easily achieved generally, this pure joy of serene awareness can be reached by individuals in their hearts. They would thus have a pre-taste of what, in the future and in higher regions, will be in store for them.
Thus the power of prayer shall induce a state, if only for moments, which, comforting and calming in itself, can impart strength and endurance to the soul on its future path through life.
So that this spiritual uplifting, where the soul rises to Him, the Father of all living beings, may not be disturbed by worldly abuses, so that also your conduct on earth may bear fruit for others and you do not have to look up to Him amid tears of distress and pain, this earlier spiritual request is followed by the material one, namely: “Give us our daily bread always!” Only he who has his daily bread can fulfill his worldly obligations and also wherever necessary help his fellowman.
That I, as Jesus, taught My disciples this prayer in such a way, lies in the fact that spiritual uplifting and spiritual nourishing are possible in the fullest sense only if the body, as essential uniting agent between here and there, does not suffer under the pressure of hardship.
Of course, My disciples, in the time subsequent to My ascension, were sometimes forced to fast and they lacked the most necessary things. But this is the reason why I formulated this prayer, so that man should also entreat Me regarding his worldly concerns and not suffer under the delusion that he was only allowed to entreat Me for spiritual things.
The prayer as I gave it to you comprised the entire human life of pilgrimage, as well as all the Ten Commandments, including My two great laws of love.
It had to be practical, suit all circumstances of life and give man in any possible situation, provided he prays full of fervor and with the deepest spiritual understanding, the comfort and calmness which only a God, a heavenly, loving Father, can give. Thus follows the next phrase: “forgive us our trespasses”, which is a frank admission that people are capable of acting contrary to His laws, of failing or, as the saving goes, of sinning, but as human beings and not as spiritual beings or children of a heavenly Father.
The entreaty for forgiveness of the sins comprises the admission of weakness. It shows that the praying human being, or the entreating child, recognizes his weakness and his capability of sinning, often against his will. For although the will to resist is present, either his own passions or the world are too mighty, so that despite the best of intentions the child errs, thereby making himself unworthy of this heavenly Father.
Thus, plagued by remorse, the child shall throw himself at the feet of his spiritual Father, confess his sin before Him and retain this very promise of betterment as firm intent on his future earthly path, which is expressed in the following phrase where it says: “as we forgive those who trespass against us!”
Thus, just as the Father in heaven is only capable of forgiveness and love, but not of hate and revenge, the intent shall be that also you, even though on a smaller scale, shall act in a divine sense, or worthy of your heavenly Father, and forgive those who have wronged you. A word of great significance, particularly at that time when one said: “an eye for an eye”, etc., when revenge was permitted and even counted among the divine attributes of Jehovah!
So you see that this prayer deals with all human passions, brings to the fore everything exalted, but everything base as well, with a few words in the form of a prayer turning the wanderer, created as man in this world, into a spiritual cosmopolitan, provided he is willing to heed these few words, which once issued from My mouth.
However, so that this firm intent may not be doomed to failure, this same prayer contains in the subsequent phrase the actual cause which often seduces and forces man to act contrary to his intent. It is his surroundings and the chain of circumstances creating temptations for him, from which he does not always emerge as a victor.
Although these temptations in the world are a necessity, for without conflict no strengthening in faith, in the trust in Me, is possible, man recognizes the weakness inherent in his dual organism comprising soul and spirit, namely, that he is not always master over himself. And so he entreats in this prayer: “lead us not into temptation”, which, in a spiritual sense, means: “oh Father! Have mercy on your weak child and help it, lest it succumb often against its will to the temptations others prepare for it.”
Only in the honest recognition of one’s own weakness lies the whole fervor of a prayer directed to an Almighty One, who lets Himself be called Father, and who tries to educate and form these very same human beings to become His children.
As long as pride or an overrating of one’s own strength reign in a heart, no sincere prayer or entreaty can reach Me. As I once expressed it, so it still says today: “And when you have done everything possible to man, you are still lazy servants.”
Man, no matter in what circumstances he may find himself or what adversity he may have to fight against, shall always be aware of the fact that he has done the least, but I have done the most part.
Thus his trust in Me grows, thus by fighting he gains his tranquility, his peace. And only when he prostrates himself before Me in contrition and is forced to call out: “Lord! What am I for You to remember me”, when he confesses and realizes the inadequacy of his own strength to reach his eternal spiritual goal, only then will he understand the value of the help of his spiritual Father and how vastly different it is from the help his fellowmen can give him!
This admission that without Him, the sole true and always unchangeable Father, nothing is possible; this alone can then induce man, who has recognized his weakness to make the exclamation concluding this prayer, by saying: “Having understood that without my Father in heaven I am a nothingness, I entreat Him to keep me at a distance from all evil” or, as it says in the prayer: “deliver me from all evil!”
The redemption, or the acquittal from the offence committed with or against one’s will, must of course take place, or a progress is impossible and to become a son of the Father in heaven unachievable.
For this very reason this prayer concludes with the entreaty: “Remove all danger from me,” which could delay me on my path instead of furthering me. Forgive what is in the past and prevent the impending evil.
Only in this way can man find a tranquility, a solace in a prayer, which with few words demonstrates to him his whole position as man and as a child of God and that he, as a being between two worlds, between matter and spirit, must follow the latter if he wants to be worthy of this name with which he addresses the Creator of all that exists.
Therefore, this prayer opens with the call “Father” and ends with the entreaty to this very same God, who could not deliver man from his evils, forgive him and fill him with trust unless He were the Father!
Thus, My children, pray this prayer to Me, do not think with the first invocation only of yourselves, but with the call: “our Father!” embrace the whole of mankind, which now more than ever is a crowd of lost children. All of them, in apathy and without purpose, hasten to meet their doom. For most of them forget this very same Father or have even repudiated Him, not knowing and not wanting to know that He is in heaven, waiting for them, so as to embrace them all with loving arms one day.
Pray to Him, the Father of all created beings, to forgive when His Name is misused and dragged down into the dust, instead of being hallowed. Pray that the Kingdom of Peace, of eternal bliss, which reigns in that very same heaven which is His abode, may descend also to you and man will not stand against man in eternal hate and discord, but that brother towards brother in word and deed may practice neighborly love in its highest sense, for only then can the world become a paradise if the will of the Father in heaven is also carried out on earth.
Pray that all people on earth may have their daily sustenance so that all can rejoice in the rising sun and do not curse a day which at best must shine on misery.
Pray in this way in My prayer: “our Father”, and your sins will be remitted in the same measure as you forgive others. There will then be fewer temptations because, strengthened in faith, you will be able to fight them more easily, and will thus be delivered of all evil because you have become pure. For “to the pure, everything is pure,” and if, where perhaps at first you used to easily waver and fail, now, strengthened by your trust in Me, you go past dangers which for you have long ago lost the sting of temptation.
This is how you shall pray My prayer, which, more than a thousand years ago, I gave to My then children and disciples and which I am now again giving to you, My present chosen ones!
Recognize from this word how much that is sublime and beautiful lies in My words and also understand that when God teaches you to pray He has placed words into your mouth which contain a boundless depth of truth and infinite bliss for the one who, as I once said, worships Me in spirit and in truth. For the opening of this prayer is in the highest sense spiritual and is then linked to worldly truth where at first, conscious of your divine descent, you implore the Father in heaven. However, subsequently not forgetting the weaknesses and defects of human nature, you sink down devoutly before the great Creator, as your Father, in the first words and later, realizing your weaknesses, implore Him for help, lest He let you forget in the mire of sensual passions your spiritual descent.
This is how you must pray the Lord’s Prayer, and your Father will let you, His children, feel His fatherly love in the fullest measure, provided you are, like He, willing to practice instead of punishment, revenge and anger, only love and forgiveness in your earthly life. Then the Father, whom in this prayer you reminded with such a moved heart of His grace, His might and His never-ending love, is on your side as, beside His great omnipotence, you are ready to contritely confess your own weakness! Amen." (Secrets of life, chp. 21)
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