Sunday, August 13, 2006

The Lord's Prayer: Understand it, Say it, Mean it

Prayer – your speaking to God, ascribing to him Glory, and asking for His touch in your life, is, needless to say, powerful! It must be something more than a pat-recitation, one that’s made simply as a routine. It must be something that flows out of a truly committed heart; a reflection of what’s in your spirit, a mirror of your attitude toward God, i.e., what’s inside of you.

Take the Lord’s Prayer for example. An unknown author put it this way:

"I cannot say OUR if I live only for myself in a spiritually watertight compartment;
I cannot say FATHER if I do not endeavor each day to act like His child;
I cannot say, WHO ART IN HEAVEN if I am laying up no treasure there;
I cannot say hallowed be Thy name if I am not striving for holiness;
I cannot say Thy king­dom come if I am not doing all in my power to hasten that wonderful event;
I cannot say Thy will be done if I am disobedient to His Word;
I cannot say in earth as it is in heaven if I’ll not serve Him here and now;
I cannot say give us this day our daily bread if I am dis­honest or if I am seeking things by subterfuge;
I cannot say forgive us our debts if I harbor a grudge against anyone;
I cannot say lead us not into temptation if I deliberately place myself in its path;
I cannot say deliver us from evil if I do not put on the whole armor of God;
I cannot say Thine is the kingdom if I do not give to the King the loyalty due Him as a faithful subject;
I cannot attribute to Him the power if I fear what men may do;
I cannot ascribe to Him the glory if I’m seeking honor only for myself; and
I cannot say forever if the horizon of my life is bounded completely by time.”

The reality of your prayers is that you are speaking to the sovereign ruler of the universe. Your prayers are an expression of your heart; evidence of your relationship to God. May we all be daily encouraged to keep our heart, mind, soul and spirit focused on Him, and on who He is, and who He is in us.

For an excellent study on the Lord's Prayer, see John MacArthur’s sermon series, The Disciples' Prayer.

You may also be blessed by watching the Lord's Prayer in Sign Language.



At 8/15/2006 12:18 AM, Anonymous Steve said...

Thanks. This is really insightful!

At 8/15/2006 11:04 AM, Blogger Jeff said...

Very encouraging post, thanks. Great reminder of what prayer should be. I'll link to this post on my blog.

The only thing I'd add to the list is this:

I cannot say any of this without the enabling grace of my Father.


At 8/15/2006 12:34 PM, Blogger Andii said...

When I read the 'I cannot ... if' section I remembered having seen it before a while back, but I'd forgotten also how useful a reflection it is, thankyou for posting it again.

In turn, you might find the following link useful for further thought, it's about prayer as a lifestyle using the Lord's prayer as the structuring principle.

At 8/16/2006 11:48 AM, Blogger Andii said...

FYI. I blogged this post here.

At 9/07/2006 1:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like that prayer, it's powerful. Too bad, we're still stuck with the moron, who's still active in this world. He's a spiritual brat, worse than a human. He thinks he can overthrow God, yeah right, what an idiot. He's not about love at all, he has no compassion in him, he's about pride, selfish, and power. Jesus on the other hand, his message is about love. Please pray that people will receive the spirit of love, so Christ can return to reign forever.


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