The Happy Exchange through Prayer

Since we are disciples of Jesus, He gives us much more than a set prayer that is to be the model for all our prayers; He gives us His own status as God’s Son and allows us to share in all the privileges of His unique relationship with His Heavenly Father. By giving us His prayer, He includes us in His relationship with His Father and allows us act as if we were Him, dressed up in Him. By giving us his prayer, Jesus puts us in His shoes and involves us in His royal mission, the holy vocation as the royal Son of God. We may therefore stand in His shoes and pray with for the hallowing of His Father’s name and the coming of His Father’s kingdom.

Still, it gets even better than that. The prayer that Jesus gives us to pray with Him is, in fact, His prayer for us and for the whole world. In it He does not just address God as His own Father, but as “our” Father; He goes so far as to pray for our daily bread, our forgiveness, and our protection in temptation. He therefore identifies himself with us and attends to our needs so that we can identify ourselves with him and receive his blessings. He swaps places with us, so that we can be where he is before God the Father (John 12:26; 17:24). So then, when Jesus teaches us to pray, he gives himself and his intercession to us. Luther says, rather picturesquely, that Jesus piggy-backs us into his Father’s presence; we ascend ‘in his skin and on his back.’

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