Thursday, April 3, 2008

The Powerful Prayer of Christ

Today has been a good day. It’s my second day back in Lubbock after spending a week in Tulsa with my girlfriend Michelle. It hasn’t been easy getting back into my “school groove” after my two week long break. Yesterday felt like a Monday. You know, the kind of day where everything just seems to be going wrong and somehow even though it didn’t start of well, it gets worse! That was my yesterday. Now today. Today was good. My morning coffee was great, the sky was blue and beautiful and the air was fresh, crisp and full of the aroma of the Spring. Today I was able to give my day over to God, whereas yesterday I wasn’t.

I like to start my days out in prayer. To pray that God takes control of my day, that His will is done in my life. The prayer I pray goes like this:

My Father in heaven,

Your name be honored as holy.

Your kingdom come.

Your will be done

On earth as it is in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

And forgive us our debts,

As we forgive us our debtors.

And do not bring us into temptation,

But deliver us from the evil one.

For Yours is the kingdom and the power

And the glory for ever.

- Amen.

The Jews in Jesus time prayed a similar prayer called the Kaddish. The Kaddish was all about the glorification of God and calling on Him to reign in ones life. It was liturgical prayer. Liturgy is repeated; it’s recited regularly, kind of how our school children say the Pledge of Allegiance every day at school. When you say it often and mean it, the prayer becomes something very real. It moves past being mere spoken words, or wishes to a far off being –to becoming a part of our lives. Something real -among us in the here and now. And that’s what the prayer Christ gave us is all about. Jesus took the prayer that was popular at the time, asking God to reign in our lives, right here on Earth. And Jesus threw in the mission to love others, as well, when he added the line “forgive us our sins as we also forgive everyone in debt to us.” The prayer is the mode, the rhythm and driving force of our lives lived out to God in service of others, making the Kingdom of God soothing, fresh, alive and very real for us throughout our day.

This is a powerful prayer that Christ gave us as a model for life. It is the Greatest Command put into prayer form. May we daily pray such a prayer. May we pray prayers like it, asking God for His will to be done in our lives. For His Kingdom to rule our worlds. May we ask for His help with the simple things. Pray that we keep our focus on Him, and avoid the tricks that Satan throws our way. That we shine like Christ in this dark world, loving others with a love that holds nothing back. That we remember all that God has done for us and is constantly doing on our behalf. So that each day, we may take hold of the life that God has given us. Let us always pray the powerful prayer of Christ.

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