Friday, July 22, 2016

The Lord's Prayer #1: Non-Religious thoughts on it

I know that we have said the Lord's Prayer a million times. And just for a moment, once, I assumed it was a magic spell, that would make everything all right.

So why did Jesus teach us to pray this way, while also teaching not to babble like the pagans do with their chants?  Is this something we should repeat? Sure.  But I think it is more than that.  I think Jesus was giving us a pattern, an outline for prayer.  Well, that is how I see it, and use it.  Sure there are different outlines out there, some of which are good.  But more importantly than form, is the heart.  Anyhow, here are my thoughts on the Lord's Prayer as I pray through it.  Come and see:

"Our..."  Faith is to be lived in community.   Jesus was NOT super-individualistic. It is not "I" or "My" but "We" and "Our". This. Whole, "I can be a Christian without going to church." When, there are....I digress.
Father, I thank you that you have called us to community.  I thank you that you have given us a support system, a legacy, and a family.  I thank you that you include us in the family of Jesus, David, Abraham, Moses, Peter, Paul, Mary & the rest.

"Our Father..."  Before this, people called him "Lord" or "The Name" or other names.  Here Jesus makes it familial.
Father, first I thank you that I can call you father.  Through Jesus, you allowed me to enter into a relationship with you.  Through HIM and him ALONE, we have been adopted, declared righteous, and are born into your eternal family.  You know my sin, it is layed out ever before you.  You know that my thoughts are selfish most of the time.  You know that idols like peace, rest, respect, and image are so common in my life, daily.  You see all of this, you knew all of this, ever since the days of Creation, yet You still chose to adopt me, and to let me be forgiven of all my past, present, and future sins.  I AM SO THANKFUL THAT YOU ADOPTED ME!  You are a good Father, wanting all of us to be saved, to come to a knowledge of you, and to glorify you.  I am so thankful that I can call you "Father." I am so thankful that I am your child, and in your eternal family.

"In Heaven". Some scientists are Carazy!  They zoom their telescope into space and say, "I don't see God. So, where is he?" My answer to that is, "In Heaven, yet present everywhere."  The rebuttals to that are, "Where then is Heaven?" My answer to that is, "Who knows? I certainly don't have a map for it.  Although it is a physical place (seeing that the city will come down, and that physical Jesus is up there.  Yet, it is spiritual because Stephen, before being stoned to death, saw Heaven opened and the resurrected Jesus standing at the right hand of the Father.  But how this works out, you are asking a finite, fairly dumb person, to figure this out.  I have no idea."  But I digress.
Father, you are in Heaven, yet your are with us, you are in the believer, and you are at work in the heart of the unbeliever too-drawing them to you.  Greater, you are over us. You are enthroned on high, over your Creation.  We are under your rule.  Help me to keep that in mind.  So often, I sit myself on your throne and pretend that I reign.  O Lord, forgive me for this.  You are seated in Heaven, help me to be ever-mindful of this.  You are The Lord, The One seated in Heaven.  It is not you who do our bidding, but we are here to serve you, though you are so merciful and kind and gracious to serve us also.  It is Heaven because of you, and it is our future dwelling, until you restore all things and re-establish "Eden".  I can't wait for you to restore all things.

More later...