Sunday, April 25, 2010

I was visiting some friends a few years ago who had the tradition of repeating the "Ten Commandments" every evening during family worship. They also had the tradition of reciting the "Lord's Prayer" every morning during prayer time at worship. They knew both by heart, (I guess you would if you repeated it every day) and the children seemed to rush through the words breathlessly, as if trying to see who could reach the finish line first. "Do they even think about the words? Do they hear what they are saying?" I often wondered.

Just today, I was reading through the Lord's prayer myself again. Not that I have to read it...I too know it by heart. But is it just something I can smile and whisper to God? Do I really understand the profound depth behind the simple childlike faith and words? Or is my life a mockery to this prayer? Honestly, I haven't thought about it in depth for awhile. But with just a few moments of un-hurried meditation, I am reminded of the rich blessings God has in store for those who really mean...not just pray, this prayer!

Let's look at it again...

"Our Father which art in Heaven..." WOW!!!! Do we think about what this amazing statement means?? It's not... "Our Father which ignores us half the time and doesn't take care of us" or "Our Father which owns the bank down town and buys us fancy toys." It's not even, our "Our Father which is the President of this country, and can tell everyone else what to do!" It's "Our Father which ART (or is) in Heaven!" Just think of it...our FATHER is KING and RULER of ALL!!!! There's no daddy, no authority, no provider, no caregiver, no presence more big and important, and omnipotent than His! He RULES the Heaven's...." Our planet called "Earth" is just a pinprick when you consider the scope of the universe. And yet...God cares soooo much about us, He's asked us to call Him "Father."

Check out this link: "The Heaven's Declare" to gain some scope on the size of our "Our father who art in Heaven."

When we realize the significance of WHO our father is, it's only natural that we will most reverently lovingly, respectful, "Hallow" his name, right? But how do we "Hallow" his name? Well, first off..."Hallowed" in essence means, to be separate from sin, from the profane, from the unclean. So in other words, it could mean that as we latch on to the title of "Our Father," the response of our love and grateful adoration for what He is to us, makes us loath sin and the evil ruler of this world. Thus we allow Him to cleanse us from all that profanes, defiles or separates us from Him. In this heart surrender, we have "Hallowed His name."

"Thy Kingdom Come..." we pray. "Thy will be done in earth as it is in Heaven." This one is really heavy if we seriously think about it. For if we really wanted His kingdom to come, if we really were in earnest about His will being done here AS IT IS DONE in Heaven, every breath and molecule of atomic energy in our being would be directed towards this cause. In Heaven his angelic host rush to do his bidding. But we thinking we are doing "his will" while we are going about being busy with our lives, our hobbies, our interest, our families, our comfort, our friends, our ministries...but is this really following His will as it is in Heaven? Furthermore, have we seen enough, sacrificed enough, and felt enough suffering and pain and persecution for Him that we yearn with every fiber of our being for His Kingdom to come? Or are we rather comfortable, thankful for the blessings He has provided, and enjoying the wait for His return?? Remember those both from years past and present who knew what it meant to give all to follow God's and tell others about Him, and you'll found those that can pray - "Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done (through me) even as it is done in Heaven."

We pray, "Give us this day our daily bread" and He has! In fact, He's given us more than our daily bread...we are stuffed and overly plump by all the bread we've eaten (physically and spiritually) yet if we are not careful, we can become obese and unfit for spiritual use. Here in America we have so much food, and so many spiritual resources, we have grown lazy and lax. "Oh father, forgive us!" If we only knew the price for the bread we have enjoyed, and how soon it will be taken from us...we would live much differently...

"Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors." Wow - this could be painful if God honored this prayer. " see....I have this grudge toward my mom. She really hurt me a long time ago by something she said, and every now and then she use to hit me when she was angry. There is no way I'm gonna let her forget that." Can you just imagine God.... "Ummmmm, Melody....there's this thing you said a long time ago about me that really fact, a couple things, no wait....a bunch of things, or maybe a few million things...oh yeah, and you didn't just say bad things, but you did bad things still do...ummm lots of bad things....there's no way I can let you off the hook for all that. There's just like, no way! I'm not gonna ever let you forget all that!" Ugh! Yep, if God truly forgives us as we have the tendency to forgive our debtors...umm....that's not a very good! We need to learn to be better forgivers like God. As Corrie Ten Boom once said, "He cast all our sins into the depths of the sea (Mic 7:19) and then puts up a sign, "NO FISHING ALLOWED."

"Lead us not into temptation" we pray...and God doesn't. The problem is, we lead Him, and then expect Him to dig us out! "Ummm God, I know I shouldn't be here...but I just came anyway...and now I need help, I don't know what to do! I've made a big mess!" And God's like, "I didn't lead you there....I told you not to go...I answered your prayer...but you went into trouble anyway! What were you thinking?" We obviously weren't thinking about God, were we?

"Deliver us from evil!" we pray - and again, He will and He does constantly, in more ways than we can imagine. As one author writes, "If we only knew the things God saves us from, the power of the enemy that he keeps at bay, we would shudder to see how close we have often walked to disaster and death and yet unknowingly and glibly passed by and gone on our way." But we still have free choice too, don't we? And if we are gonna be safe, we have to STAY CLOSE to Him. If we go out on our own, sooner if not later, evil will find us every time! How unfortunate, this is such a difficult lesson to learn.

And finally we pray... "For thine is the Kingdom, the power, the Glory forever..." but sometimes I wonder... Who really sits on our throne?? Is it really all for His Kingdom, His power and His glory...or for mine??

Wow - what a powerful prayer!! Wouldn't you agree?? And yet I'm sure, we've only just skimmed the surface...

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