I’ve been doing a lot of praying lately. I’ve needed some respite and reflection, and a little restoration.
It’s amazing to me the encouragement, humility and security that washes over me in an honest prayer. The kind of prayer where I’m not trying to say anything eloquently; the kind of prayer that at times, I don’t even have words to be said; the kind of prayer that means nothing to anyone but me, and God. It’s these moments that break me down so that He can build me back up; stronger, more confident and more secure in myself and in Him. There are times I don’t even know what or how to ask Him. But take comfort that He knows exactly what you need even before you (Matthew 6:8). But for those times when you, like me, don’t have the words or even the thoughts for a prayer, we’ve been given a perfect prayer to Him (Matthew 6:9).
Dissecting the Lord’s Prayer: (Matthew 6:9-13). You’ve all heard it; you don’t have to be a Christian to even know it. But have you really considered what it means when you recite it? (IF you recite it…)
9…Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
10 Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
13 And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
9…this is indicative of how majestic and holy our God is- we should honor His name
10Christ reigns in our hearts, and in Heaven. Asking for God’s will to trump ours, and that we may be used for to accomplish this for Him here
11acknowledge that God is our provider, everyday
12ask Him to forgive us, and that we may forgive those that hurt us
13Ask Him to help us with temptations and sin, and to rescue us from the devil and his evil. Once again acknowledge His holiness and power.
It’s not the actual words that you need to take to heart; it’s the meaning behind those words. Jesus wasn’t telling us that we have to recite this prayer, these words for God to listen. He was giving us a model for how to pray, a pattern to follow when we approach God: praise Him, pray for His work in the world, and for our daily needs and help in our daily struggles. How often do you follow this pattern when you go to Him? I didn’t get it for a long time. I always prayed (well, not always; sometimes it never occurred to me to pray- but that’s for another day); but I didn’t always understand that power that prayer truly holds; nor to Whom holds that power.
My women’s bible study recently read Francis Chan’s ‘Crazy Love’, and it begins with Chapter One: ‘Stop Praying’. At first glance, that seems ridiculous and even sacrilegious. But his thought is to stop praying the way we always do, as it becomes insincere and hasty. He teaches that we should revere God, acknowledge His magnificence, appreciate that He is all-knowing (Hebrews 4:13). How insightful, and refreshing is that!
We’re taught to ‘take it to God’ whenever we have a problem, that it’s become so routine we don’t even think about it. Do we even trust that He’s going to heal us, make the situation better? Do we trust that His way is the ultimate way? Or do we expect that our way is the only way, and when we don’t get it, we don’t get Him…?
I’m still learning to trust. I know in my mind that it is His Will to be done, not my own; it’s just, my heart wants to argue and try to understand why my will and His can’t co-exist… I don’t have that answer, and possibly never really will. I do have comfort in knowing that He knows better than I do; He sees everything, as in the whole picture; I only see a brief snapshot of a piece of the picture. Obviously He knows best. And trusting Him is my only respite. There are so many variables in this world, but one constant remains: God. There is nothing in this world, during this life that God can’t beat (read Revelations- He ultimately wins) - the Creator of everything is Everything- all that we need, anything we could possibly ever want. And that certainly is worth the praise of ‘hallowed be Thy name.’