I have written several pieces on aspects of the Lord's Prayer (including the upcoming devotional we will go through together this Lent), but as we consider the Lord's Prayer's place in the worship service one of the things that stands out to me is how the prayer is introduced. The pastor says,
"Lord, remember us in Your kingdom and teach us to pray:"
I always find the word "kingdom" fails to get across what it should. On the surface, this sounds like, "Lord, remember us up in heaven." But as Jesus teaches about the kingdom of God or kingdom of heaven, He is not talking about a place. He is talking about an activity. We don't have a useful word for it in English. It is the kinging of God. How God reigns and rules.
As we introduce the Lord's Prayer, we are saying, "Lord, in Your position as King, as You rule and reign over the world, remember us and teach us to pray:"
It is worth noting that Jesus gives this prayer at the request of the disciples. They want to learn how to pray. The Lord's Prayer is what Jesus gives them. The disciples are like children with a parent. Can you remember a time when you asked your parents to teach you something? Can you think of a time when one of your kids asked you to teach them something?
I'm reminded of the scene in A Christmas Story, where Ralphie's mom suggests that he should go help his dad fix a flat tire. Ralphie's response is so earnest - "Really! Can I?" When Ralphie tells his dad, "Mom said I should help." His father's excitement is beautiful, "Oh yeah?!" The old man isn't the most patient teacher, but the prospect of teaching his son something so near and dear to his heart is evident.
As we are introduced to the Lord's Prayer, we ask the Lord to remember us as He reigns as King, and to continually teach us to pray. We ask for Jesus to teach how to do something so near and dear to His heart: to pray.