Applying the Lord's Prayer to Car Racing and Life
Jesus gave his disciples a very powerful way to pray, a way that has changed the world. We know it today as the Lord's Prayer, or "Our Father." It starts us right off with God as "our" God, not "mine," not "yours," but ours. Then Jesus explains our relationship to God -- we're children. What a gift! Praying in the manner of the Lord's Prayer heals, frees, saves, enlivens, enlightens, encourages, comforts, strengthens, and more.
Jessica Clark shares why the Lord's Prayer is so important to her and how it makes a difference in her life. Reading what she has to say can help inspire us and show us new ways to use the Lord's Prayer in our daily lives.
The Lord's Prayer has so many layers to it. You can apply it to anything. It has always been my number one prayer.
I'm a racecar driver, so I pray the Lord's prayer before every race. I take it line-by-line and really think about it.
Just look at the first line: "Our father which art in heaven…." Right in the very first line, I put myself with God. I think of how God is everywhere, and I see myself racing around in his kingdom.
"Hallowed be thy name" is one of my favorite phrases because it reminds me to thank God at that very moment. I try to remember as often as I can to thank God for what He has given me. Sometimes we get caught up in life, and we forget to give gratitude back to the One who created everything. If I've just navigated myself around a crash, I thank God. If I didn't have a great night at the racetrack, I still thank God for being able to get out there and race.
"Thy kingdom come" tells me that we're already in a safe place, and there's nothing to worry about. Knowing I'm safe is especially helpful on the track.
"Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven" ties into my expressing God and the qualities He's given me and everyone else on the track, and in the world, for that matter. When I'm racing, I'm expressing focus, mental strength, intelligence, trust, precision, goodness, and love. Everyone has the capacity to do on "earth as it is in heaven."
My other favorite line is "Give us this day our daily bread." I see this as God providing everyone with what is needed for each day. It is easy to feel as if you have a lot to get done in one day. By understanding the concept behind this line in your heart, the day will go by quite smoothly. God provides me with every single thing that I need going into a race, whether I realize it or not!
"And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors" ties into the competition in racing. Somebody may hit you while you're racing, and you may get angry at the driver. But we need to be forgiven, and we need to forgive people. This line is mostly focused on personal improvement for me. It's so important to let go and not dwell on things that other people have done, and it's important to forgive yourself as well.
"And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil" is perfect for racing. When I was little, I spent the entire race saying, "God is leading me" all the way around the track. I probably said it 50 times or more. It wasn't the action of saying prayerful words that helped me; I just knew at every point on the track that God was leading me. I know that God is leading and delivering us from evil, protecting us. I've been in situations where I've been completely protected from crashes that were occurring in front of or around me. Knowing that God is in charge and has me where I need to be at all times has helped me overcome the temptation to get frustrated and upset at mechanical difficulties or poor
"For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever." I look at this as saying that we live in a world filled with righteousness and glory -- forever, eternally -- and it is for everyone to enjoy and share. placement in races.
Although I apply the Lord's Prayer to my racing, the Lord's Prayer applies to every situation. It's there for everyone.
Jessica Clark, CA