Archive for September 23rd, 2009
The Lord’s Prayer reminds us of our dependence and need for something, or really the great Someone, to step in change our situations when we cannot. Resting just beneath the surface of the prayer is the recognition that we face immovable situations more often than we like. Our prayer, in essence if not in substance, is a cry to God that he please deliver us from situations — whether large or small, frequent or infrequent, physical or spiritual — that we have no power to change. At the same time, we are asking God to align our hearts and actions with His work in the world through His reign of grace and glory, character and compassion.
As we pray today, let the act of prayer, the words of this prayer, and the essence of this prayer lead you back to dependence upon the Father and an humble recognition of the areas of your life where only God’s power can move you out of your stuck places and deliver you from your intractable ones.
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
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 also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.
For yours is the kingdom and the power
and the glory forever. Amen.
Bottom line: Life comes at us “fast” — yes, I know the adverb should be quickly — and we often feel as if we can’t keep up and yet can’t change the circumstances. For me, this old clip from the I Love Lucy show is a humorous reminder of this reality:
A much heavier but relevant way to emphasize this can be found in the Igniter Media video, This Weight I Carry, which you can preview online. Both remind us of the many overwhelming things in our lives that put us in bondage, stick us in a rut, and leave us powerless without God’s intervention.
As we think about these kinds of things, several thought questions seemed relevant:
What is your favorite “God story” — a story about God being at work in the lives of everyday people in Scripture.
- How did God “showing up” in their life change the situation?
- What is your favorite “God story” in your life?
- How did God “showing up” in your life change you even if the situation didn’t immediately change?
Think through the prayers you’ve prayed recently:
- Were you honest with God about your current situation in life, your struggles, your sins, and your frustration?
- Did you praise God for Who He is and what He has done in the past?
- Did you thank Him for the good things and the blessings in your life?
- Why do you think it is so important to be honest about our emotions in prayer with God?
Why do you think the Bible emphasizes that praise and thanksgiving are so important in prayer?
Who is a friend with whom you could share the deepest struggles of your heart?
- If you don’t have that kind of friend, who would be blessed by having you be this kind of friend to them?
What group would benefit from you being a part of their team — what volunteer group at church, in the community, at the hospital?