Monday, November 9, 2015

Day Nine: Our Best Example

His friends were always trying to catch a glimpse of how the dusty-sandaled, calloused man who looked so much like one of them, was able to perform miracles with just a word. Fully human and yet fully God, he baffled their finite ability to comprehend it all. Jesus, who was with the Father and the Holy Spirit at the creation of the world, knelt down in the smelly, dirty earth and breathed out prayers to God. It was when his friends asked him exactly how to pray that we received our essential example of what to include when we communicate with the Almighty.  This is what He said (I will use the MSG version since most of us have memorized it in the KJV. Doesn't occasionally reading a less popular version make familiar Scripture stand out a little more?):
"The world is full of so-called prayer warriors who are prayer-ignorant. They’re full of formulas and programs and advice, peddling techniques for getting what you want from God. Don’t fall for that nonsense. This is your Father you are dealing with, and he knows better than you what you need. With a God like this loving you, you can pray very simply. Like this:
Our Father in heaven,
Reveal who you are.
Set the world right;
Do what’s best—
    as above, so below.
Keep us alive with three square meals.
Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others.
Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil.
You’re in charge!
You can do anything you want!
You’re ablaze in beauty!
    Yes. Yes. Yes.
In prayer there is a connection between what God does and what you do. You can’t get forgiveness from God, for instance, without also forgiving others. If you refuse to do your part, you cut yourself off from God’s part."     Matthew 6:7-15
Jesus knew what we'd require--to approach the Father with honour, to request what we need, to finish with praise and a big yes and amen! Of course, with so many other prayers in the Psalms and elsewhere in God's Word, we know we are permitted to gush our desperate cries for help, question our trials in angst, wonder over unanswered queries, and worship in adoration.
Think about your prayer style. Do you think you should consider a change? Perhaps not. But, I encourage you (me too!) to examine how you pray and ask the Lord to help focus a blurry area a little sharper for you. I want my prayers to resemble Jesus'. Perhaps it will make a difference in the answer!  

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