The Drawbridge and the GateComing to God in prayer, and in particular the Lord's Prayer, is very much like a group of people approaching a castle in olden days after it has been secured for the night, with the Drawbridge up and the Gate closed to outside intruders. In order for us (for we are that group of people) to be admitted into the king's castle, the watchmen in the towers require identification so we call out, "Our Father Who art in heaven..." Therefore, as He is our Father we thus identify ourselves as His children and being so recognized, the Drawbridge comes down, the Gate goes up and we happily enter into His presence.
The HallwayAs today, when guests arrive in our homes we meet them in the Hallway by the door where greetings are exchanged. In like manner our King welcomes us in His Hallway where we meet him with, "Hallowed (holy) be thy name...". As Luther explains in his catechism, God's name is holy in and of itself, but it is our prayer that it may always be kept holy in our midst.
The Throne RoomWith the words, "Thy Kingdom come..." we enter into the Throne Room of the castle where we see and acknowledge our God as the King and Ruler of heaven and earth and of His invisible Christian Church. Again as Luther explains, God's Kingdom (Church) is going to come no matter what we do or say, but it is our earnest prayer here that we may always be members of that Kingdom, both now and hereafter in eternity.
The King's CourtroomIn days of long ago, the king served as judge of all his subjects and so it is with our God. In the next petition, "Thy will be done..." we therefore enter into the King's Courtroom where we see His Will being carried out. God's Will of course is that His Name ke kept holy in our midst and that we remain forever in His Kingdom. It is for this reason then that we do earnestly pray, "Thy will be done...".
The KitchenA king also took care of all the needs of his people and in order to do this, had his Kitchen well stocked with ample supplies. In like manner, when we pray, "Give us this day our Daily Bread..." we find ourselves in God's Kitchen which is brimming over with every imaginable blessing to satisfy our daily needs. Luther tells us that "Daily Bread" includes "everything that belongs to the support and needs of the body such as food and drink, clothing, shoes, house and home, land, animals, money, loving and faithful wife/husband and children, etc. etc." Luther then goes on to say that God in his mercy freely gives these gifts to all people, even to the wicked, but we ask in this petition that God would lead us to recognize Him as the source of all these blessings and to receive our "Daily Bread" with thanksgiving.
The Treasury"And forgive us our tresspasses ("debts" - KJV) ..." Where in the castle would the king keep a record of those who owed him debts but in his Treasury? In Psalm 130:3-4 we read "If you O Lord, kept a record of sins, O Lord, who could stand? But with You there is forgiveness..." . And we are assured that this forgiveness (the cancelling of our "debts") comes about as a result of our faith in Jesus Christ as our Savior. This petition, however, is concluded with "as we forgive those who tresspass against us" and as Peter learned from Jesus in Matthew 18, this was not to be for seven times only but "seventy times seven" times.
The ArmoryIn the sixth petition, "And lead us not into temptation...", we are asking for God's spiritual protection and in the seventh petition, "but deliver us from evil", we are asking for both physical and spiritual protection. In days of old, knights protected and defended themselves from all types of danger with shields, weapons, and armor. All of this equipment was kept, of course, in the king's Armory. And so it is that we go to our King's Armory in prayer for His Holy Spirit that we may "resist him (the devil), standing firm in the faith" (1 Peter 5:9). St. Paul the Apostle also tells us in Ephesians 6:11 and 6:17 to "put on the whole armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes... Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God."
The Garden"For Thine is the Kingdom and the Power and the Glory forever and ever...". With these words we find ourselves in the most beautiful part of our King's castle, the Garden. Here we are expressing our faith in His ability to grant all of the requests we have just put before Him. We acknowledge Him as the King to Whom all things belong and under Whose will all things exist. We acknowledge Him as the One who is almighty and has the ability to grant any or all of our petitions. We also acknowledge Him as the only One Who is worthy of our eternal Praise and Glory.
"Amen." That is to say, "This I firmly believe and hold to be true and sure."