Friday, August 28, 2009
When You Pray
Jesus' disciples saw that when Jesus spent time in prayer He received heaven's answers. They saw the importance He placed on getting alone with His Father and so one day they asked Him, Lord teach us to pray.
Jesus said, when you pray.... and then He gave them a pattern to follow which most of us know as "The Lord's Prayer". Sadly The Lord's prayer has been used as a nursery rhyme to soothe us into a religious feeling.
Jesus said, when you pray say, "Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be your name. Notice where Jesus wanted them/us to start. OUR FATHER who is in heaven. Our heavenly Father who is holy, separate, awesome to be reverenced and honored and adored. Have you listened to yourself pray recently? Now I know prayer is simply conversation with God - but God is not a God of random disorder - anything kind of goes kind of God. Just look at the excruciating lengths of order and precision that the Israelites went through to set up worship to God in the wilderness tabernacle. God cared about the tiniest details down to the spoons, garments to be worn, how many pegs in the boards, etc. etc. - Clearly we see there a God that is VERY attentive to details. So when Jesus teaches His disciples about prayer He instructs them to begin with focus on the Heavenly Father. Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be THY name. Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is done in heaven. Notice up to this point not one thing is mentioned about our needs.
When I listen to people pray, I am astounded! If I did not know better I would think they were writing a letter to Santa Claus or maybe a "to do list for Superman. God is neither one of those - He is not just waiting for our "wish list" and then one morning magically going to deliver it all in our living room with bows and shiny paper because we wanted it. Nor is God going to jump when we say jump to zap all the people in our lives into line as we perceive that to be. God is interested in relationship with us. He loves us extravagantly and has already given us the most lavish gift imaginable - the life of His only begotten Son. When we approach Him, He does expect reverence and our focus is to be on Him and His Kingdom. God needs us on this earth to accomplish HIS will and His purpose and that only can happen by our having the heartbeat we see here in this prayer ... THY KINGDOM COME - THY WILL BE DONE... here in my life, in our world, in my community, in my family, in the lives of all those He has placed around us, those hurting and grieving and suffering. That is where our praying needs to START.
I'll continue this thought tomorrow.
My fortune cookie tonight said I was to write my life events in a journal :-) I'm not sure I've added any life events but I am at least journaling.