Friday, January 8, 2010

The Lord's Prayer

So I was all excited to get started reading all the books I bought about prayer. I had a lot of enthusiasm and energy for the project. And then the holidays happened. Not in a bad way like the holidays sucked all my energy out of the marrow of my bones but in a really good way. We had an incredibly restful, peaceful, downright lazy Christmas break full of magic for the boys and joy for us parents as we watched Christmas through their eyes. And then a group of girls from my church and I decided to read the Bible in one year. This required setting up a blog for everyone to share what they were learning and also to keep track of the slackers. I did not want to be one of the slackers and so far have stayed on track with our reading plan. So let's just say I have gotten off track with my prayer study plans. And I was not really all the concerned about it. Apathy seemed to have set in a bit which I guess is usually what happens after the excitement of the preparation and planning fades. Could explain why I won't have to wait for a treadmill in a month or two at the gym but right now it is crazy there. And then I was doing last night's daily reading in Matthew 6.
"And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think 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.
"This, then, is how you should pray:
'Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be 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 debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.'

For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. Matthew 6:5-15

We went to a church in California that said the Lord's Prayer every Sunday and I found it very comforting. I like the prayer. It is clear, straight forward, to the point. "This, then, is how you should pray." I was also really struck by the teaching before the Lord's Prayer. Go into a room alone. Do not keep on babbling. The problem is I am a woman and not just any woman who has lots of words to use but a babbling woman. But when I think about my babbling moments in life, it is usually because I am trying to prove my point or am feeling unheard or disconnected in the conversation. I don't have to babble to God, repeating my words to convince him to do what I want or to care about my ideas. First, I don't want to convince God to do what I want because let's be honest. His plan is far better than mine. Second, He does care! I don't have to go on and on trying to make him listen to me because He is listening. He knows my heart, my mind, my soul. I can tell him once and have confidence that He has really heard me. Doesn't me I won't go to Him again and again with my cares and concerns because I need Him. But I can relax in knowing that He did hear me the first time.

So while I might lose enthusiasm for my projects. God heard my heart, my request for Him to teach me to pray and He did not let me go. He pulled me back in!

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