I’ve been meditating on Matthew 6:5-8 and Psalm 46:10
Matthew 6:5–8 (NIV84)
5 “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. 6 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. 7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
Psalm 46:10 (NIV84)
10 “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”
I am convinced that these two passages compliment one another.
In my life as a Christian I have rushed into prayer as if I were taking an agenda to God that He didn’t know about. In many ways it’s a matter of me bowing my head, closing my eyes and trying to be as honest as I can possibly be and then reminding God of all the things going on inside of me and around me that He has forgotten about.
I, like many of you, was taught to memorize The Lord’s Prayer as if it were some type of incantation to be recited that promised instant blessing, even if I didn’t feel blessed. In many ways it became “empty words” that I repeated. The very teaching Jesus gave instructed me NOT to do that.
I have came to recognize that “The Lord’s Prayer” is more accurately viewed as “The Disciple’s Prayer.” Jesus is teaching me to recognize that prayer is a time of meditation where I pause and focus on who I am in reference to who God is. I’m to enter in to this time understanding that I am completely welcome in the focused presence of the God who see’s all and knows all…about me and everything else.
This has allowed my anxiety to diminish (not that I don’t still have my moments!) and has allowed me to refocus on the fact that God hasn’t forgotten about any of the things going on around me. The Disciple’s Prayer is changing my heart and my world because I recognize that God has invited me to focus on who He is, whose I am and that He is the source of all I need.
You are everywhere and anywhere I may find myself.
Remind me of how amazing, powerful, holy and loving you are.
May things in this world be lined up with the way things are in your heavenly kingdom.
Allow me to be recognize that I have been provided with the things I need. Food, shelter, clothing. Give me the wisdom to grab a hold on them as you offer opportunity.
Remind me to offer grace and forgiveness to those who have done wrong to me. I want to allow others to see the life change that your love and forgiveness has brought about in my life by extending it to them.
I’m weak and easily distracted. Please protect me from the diversions that I so easily allow to distract me from you and your desire in my life. Without your strength, protection and grace…I’m doomed to fall into repetitive sins that may be silly but are very enticing. Keep the devil and his schemes to train wreck me at bay.
Teach me to realize that my forgiveness of others is an expectation you have for my life. That my forgiveness expressed to them is a direct reflection of how appreciative I am of your forgiveness in my life. Remind me that my hard hearted insistence and grudge holding inhibits my ability to receive your forgiveness.
If I can’t forgive others, I haven’t received your forgiveness.