But two thousand years later, worshippers still go about it in the wrong way.
Well, we usually ask for things to go our way and for God to remove all the sufferings of the world. If God does these things for us it will make us happy—in spite of ourselves.
Scientist/theologian Emanuel Swedenborg correctly suggested that we all pray for increased suffering—because the Lord’s Prayer actually asks us to do “God’s will” and not our own. In other words, instead of praying for good things to always happen, we should pray that the Lord God lead us directly to all our faults—so that we can acknowledge and remove them. This causes us to suffer the loss of our personal and precious preferences which usually trigger our worldly states of happiness.
God seems to know how destructive our personal preferences are and how this can pervert the nature of our strongest “Hopes.”
According to Swedenborg, even Jesus had to submit his worldly egotism for that of the Divine Will (thus using His life to represent all the elements of the Lord’s Prayer). That is why He was born into the world with a finite human physical body—to have his human ego clash with His heavenly ego. This divine strategy of friction also allowed the anger and false notions of hell to take direct aim at Him through His human desires and human notions and forced Him to suffer in order to become victorious over their devious pull.
While we cling to the Lord’s statements that we should love one another, this is not properly accomplished while our self-centeredness is taking part—which always muddles with and stains spiritual innocence.
Inwardly, Jesus suffered every time the hells activated His mere human and worldly passions. Because He had to combat all these ignoble influences going on deep inside Him in order to purify Himself and become worthy of Glorification with the “Father,” the uniting of His outer human life with His Divine inner, heavenly life (called the “Father”).
The Lord God asks us to participate in this same inner suffering. So pray for the strength to enter the cosmic fray as Jesus taught.