As I was driving to work this morning, I felt like praying the Lord's Prayer. I prayed it slow... allowing for time to think about each part and what that might mean for this day. I wanted to make it personal... individual... so I started to pray...
"Our Father, who art in Heaven..." He is not just my Father, but ours. He has no favourites but He listens to anyone who calls upon Him.
"Hollowed be Thy name." We honour Him for who He is. Here we remember His holiness. His name is not to be used carelessly or loosely but in reverence and in praise.
"Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven." We desire His kingdom and we also think of how we can be a part of what He is doing... wanting to make our lives available to Him. To be led by Him this day.
"Give us this day our daily bread." - When the disciples asked Jesus to teach them how to pray, He said pray like this... and gave them the model to use. And in that prayer model He didn't say, "Give me this day my daily bread." He said, "Give US this day our daily bread." "Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors." "Lead US not into temptation, but deliver US from evil."
When God provides our "daily bread" (physical, spiritual, emotional) and we see others who don't have any, we need to share. Sometimes God meets our needs, giving to us through others... giving to others through us. He knows we need each other!
It can be hard to understand God's forgiveness sometimes... hard to grasp His love for us and the freedom He wants us to have. Often, it is hard for us to forgive others. Sometimes we need others to help us understand how God's forgiveness looks like... to see it in action... to see the hope of it! And sometimes we need each other's help as we learn to really forgive others.
This old world is full of temptations... things meant to draw us away from God... the enemy wanting to steal, kill, destroy, distract and derail us. But we can stand, and then stand together... locking arms to resist... as we look to God for the strength to do what is right and to follow Him.
Then it goes back to that individual/together part... "For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever."
Starting and ending our prayers with praise. Starting and ending our prayers with looking at who He is... remembering the size of Him, the depth of Him (beyond anything we could ever comprehend!). Remembering what He's done to show His love for us.
Giving us perspective!
We weren't made to walk this journey alone. We need God! And we need each other! We are "US"... His body!
Renee Butler writes from the United States of America.