“When you are praying, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Pray then this way.”
“Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed by your name,
Your kingdom come,
Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins,
As we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial
And deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and forever. Amen.
I just began a new book this evening called Lord, Teach Us: The Lord’s Prayer & the Christian Life by William H. Willimon & Stanley Hauerwas. The first chapter, as the last book I read by Willimon, has blown me away already. Here are some quotes from the book:
Think of Christianity, not primarily as a set of doctrines, a volunteer organization, or a list of appropriate behaviors. Think of Christianity as naming a journey of a people.
To be a Christian is to have been drafted to be part of an adventure, a journey called God’s kingdom.
Prayer is a bending our lives toward God… This prayer is not getting what we want but rather for bending our wants toward what God wants.
Most of us have been taught that religion is something we ought to choose for ourselves. We don’t remember being taught this because choosing for ourselves is a value so widely held in this society, so firmly sanctioned by the economic order and the government, that choosing for ourselves seems natural, innate. In so believing we demonstrate how well a consumer society has formed us, turning our lives into a mere matter of consumer preference without our even remembering when we were taught this.
Salvation, Christian salvation, is not some individual relationship between me and God. Rather, salvation is being drafted into an adventure, having our lives commandeered by God to go on a journey called the Christian faith.
Being saved is not some individual achievement, not the result of some flash of personal insight, not the securing of life’s sense of meaning… Salvation is the delightful surprise of having your little life caught up in the purposes of God for the whole world.
I look forward to expressing further thought on The Lord’s Prayer, probably one of the most important teachings from Jesus. It seems that most everything of true and utter importance that anyone should follow is found in this prayer.
And it wasn’t a prayer like the Gentiles (or pagans — or modern day Christians who like to try and get God attention and make him do something for us, if he didn’t know what we needed already). It is so important to realize the importance of prayer in simplicity.
As my Grandfather said several months before passing -
“Why don’t we stop praying and DO SOMETHING.”
I think it is about time this started to take root.
Lets not stop praying, but stop praying with aimless amount of words. Lets pray this prayer, “Our Father”, over and over and over again, embedding like HTML coding the words in our minds, so that our response to God through this prayer will drift like flood waters into our daily actions.
This little girls name is Kate. She is so precious and beautiful, and such an inspiration to so many, and has so much to look forward to in life.
But she has cancer. In June of 2009, she was diagnosed with brain cancer and ever since her and her beautiful family have been fighting for her life.
It breaks my heart to see such a precious child, created to bring joy and smiles and laughter and hope to so many around her, with such a terrible disease. That has not been lost, and never will be.
My photographer friend, Jannelle Althoff, took these photos while the family was in Hawaii on vacation before Kate’s Chemo started again (Helicopter Ride With Kate –> the post by Jannelle). Beautiful work, Jannelle. Thank you for what you do and for inspiring us all by your heart of compassion and love. My life has been forever changed by this little girls story.
You can follow Kate and her family on their website here — Pray For Kate.
You can read Kate and her families story and hear a beautiful song written for Kate by Audrey Assad. Please pray for her and her family, for her complete healing and for strength and courage for her parents as they continue to fight this horrible disease.
So today has been a relatively good day. Snow has melting some, not as much ice on the roads, and it is not below 20 degrees anymore…
We, my family, has a lot of time together tonight. An amazing meal by my mother, Anita. Fish, sweet potato casserole, and a yummy salad. One of my favorite meals in a while, beside last nights meal (chicken noodle casserole!!!! soooo good!).
Other things in my life, my path with God has been altered some… not in God’s, just in mine. I’ve not been at the place I need to be, and if you have read my blog, you know what I mean (such as this or this). God has really been working on me, letting me do the things I do, loving me still, and giving me mercy. I am so grateful for His love. I just hope I no longer take it for granted.
I know his direction for me, and the basic look of His heart in mine. I know the connections he has made for me with others, and what pleases him is what I want. I want his desires, his heart, his hands, his feet, his everything. That is the most important thing to me.
So now, I am going to get in the word’s of scripture, study them, keep praying, focusing, writing, loving in the best way I know, by giving of myself and being obedient to God’s commandments. That is the most important thing in this world: loving (God and others).
So as I close this night down, and head to bed, I hope and pray your lives are being so intentional to serve God. ‘God is Love” and encompasses all that is love. He is the most important.