The Lord's Prayer
- October 6, 2013
- Series: Prayer
- Category: Topical
The American culture makes this a difficult place to practice prayer. Words like productivity, entertainment, noise, and unnecessary demonstrate some of the barriers to a life of prayer.
We must realize that prayer is not about self-discipline. Prayer is about being "poor in spirit." Being poor in spirit means...
1. ...being completely helpless without God.
2. ...being fully dependent upon God.
Steven Covey, in his book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, urges people to have a proactive focus rather than a reactive focus. With a proactive focus, one's Circle of Influence becomes larger, thereby shrinking one's Circle of Concern. With a reactive focus, one's Circle of Influence shrinks, thereby enlarging one's Circle of Concern. This is the same basic principle as "focus on what you can control, not one what you can't control." This is certainly good advice, but there is no God in the picture here at all. We Americans are encouraged to see ourselves as Independent and not needing Help.
But the key to prayer is seeing ourselves as we truly are, as God sees us: completely helpless without Him and fully dependent upon Him.
Job 1 - "Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped. And he said, 'Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.'"
Job 38 - “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Or who shut in the sea with doors when it burst out from the womb, when I made clouds its garment and thick darkness its swaddling band, and prescribed limits for it and set bars and doors, and said, ‘Thus far shall you come, and no farther, and here shall your proud waves be stayed’?”
Job 39 - “Is it by your understanding that the hawk soars and spreads its wings toward the south? Is it your command that the eagle mounts up and make his nest on high? On the rock he dwells and makes his home, on the rocky crag and stronghold.”
Jonah 2:9 – “Salvation belongs to the Lord.”
Matthew 6 – “Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.”
James 1:17 – “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father…”
Only now can we ask as the disciples did to Jesus, "Lord, teach us to pray."
Luther: "We may ask Him as dear children ask their dear father."
Caedmon's Call / Overdressed / Sacred - "...teach me to run to You like they run to me for every little thing"
This is not a formula to do it right, but a way to ask God: "What do you want to do in and through me/us?"