Ellen G. White Writings

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The Signs of the Times

November 4, 1903

The Lord's Prayer

By Mrs. E. G. White

“Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread”

Like the child, you shall receive day by day what is required for the day's need. Every day you are to pray, “Give us this day our daily bread.” Be not disturbed if you have not sufficient for tomorrow. You have the assurance of His promise, “Thou shalt dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.” David says, “I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor His seed begging bread.” That God who sent the ravens to feed Elijah by the brook Cherith, will not pass by one of His faithful, self-sacrificing children. Of him that walketh righteously it is written, “Bread shall be given him; his waters shall be sure.” “They shall not be ashamed in the evil time; and in the days of famine they shall be satisfied.” “He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” He who lightened the cares and anxieties of His widowed mother, and helped to provide for the household of Nazareth, sympathizes with every mother in her struggle to provide her children food. He who had compassion on the multitude because they “fainted and were scattered abroad,” still has compassion on the suffering poor. His hand is stretched out toward them in blessing and in the very prayer which He gave His disciples, He teaches us to remember the poor.

“Forgive Us Our Sins; For We Also Forgive Every One That is Indebted to Us”

After completing the Lord's Prayer, Jesus added, “If ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” He who is unforgiving cuts off the very channel through which alone he can receive mercy from God. We are to have a spirit of compassion toward those who have trespassed against us, whether or not they confess their faults. However sorely they may have wounded us, we are not to cherish our grievances, and sympathize with ourselves over our injuries; but as we hope to be pardoned for our offenses against God, we are to pardon all who have done evil to us.

Calvary alone can reveal the terrible enormity of sin. If we had to bear our own guilt, it would crush us. But the sinless One has taken our place; although undeserving, He has borne our iniquity. “If we confess our sins,” God “is faithful and just to forgive our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Glorious truth,—just to His own law, and yet the justifier of all who believe in Jesus. “Who is a god like unto Thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? He retaineth not His anger forever, because He delighteth in mercy.”

“Bring Us Not into Temptation, but Deliver Us From the Evil One”

This prayer is itself a promise. If we commit ourselves to God, we have the assurance, He “will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” Christ will never abandon the soul for whom He has died. The soul may leave Him, and be overwhelmed with temptation, but Christ can never turn from one for whom He has paid the ransom of His own life. Could our spiritual vision be quickened, we should see souls bowed under oppression and burdened with grief, pressed as a cart beneath sheaves, and ready to die in discouragement. We should see angels flying swiftly to aid these tempted ones, who are standing as on the brink of a precipice. The angels from heaven force back the hosts of evil that encompass these souls, and guide them to plant their feet on the sure foundation. The battles waging between the two armies are as real as those fought by the armies of this world, and on the issue of the spiritual conflict eternal destinies depend. Live in contact with the living Christ, and He will hold you firmly by a hand that will never let go. Know and believe the love that God has to us, and you are secure; that love is a fortress impregnable to all the delusions and assaults of Satan. “The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.”

“Thine is the Kingdom, and the Power, and the Glory”

The last, like the first sentence of the Lord's prayer, points to our Father as above all power and authority and every name that is named. The Saviour beheld the years stretched out before His disciples, not, as they had dreamed, lying in the sunshine of worldly prosperity and honor, but dark with the tempests of human hatred and Satanic wrath. Amidst national strife and ruin, the steps of the disciples would be beset with perils, and often their hearts would be oppressed by fear. They were to see Jerusalem a desolation, the temple swept away, its worship forever ended, and Israel scattered to all lands, like wrecks on a desert shore. Jesus said: “Ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars.” “Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.” Yet Christ's followers were not to fear that their hope was lost, or that God had forsaken the earth. The power and the glory belong to Him whose great purposes would still move on unthwarted toward their consummation. In the prayer that breathes their daily wants, the disciples of Christ were directed to look above all the power and dominion of evil unto the Lord their God, whose kingdom ruleth over all, and who is their Father and everlasting Friend.

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