We come to our conclusion of our study on the Lord’s Prayer this week with this final line offered in Matthew’s Gospel, “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver from the evil one. For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever. Amen.”
In the middle two petitions of the Lord’s Prayer, our focus is not on the eschaton – the termination of history – but is instead on real needs we have in the meantime. We began with a focus on God in heaven – and we turn now to us, on earth.
This first part of the Lord’s Prayer teaches us that our prayers are legitimate only when they become mental marathons of self-abnegation and immersion in the ineffable Divine.