LEARNING FROM THE MASTER: This morning – Sunday January 17 – my adult discipleship class will be talking about the Matthew 6 passage where Jesus introduces The Lord’s Prayer. We’re working our way through the Sermon on the Mount, taking a look at discipleship by reading the foundational teachings of Christ.
We will likely discuss the difference between forgive us our “debts” versus “trespasses,” or “sins” – Lord knows I’m guilty of all three. But, more importantly, we’ll be sharing some of our personal experiences of prayer, being honest about what we want from prayer, and opening our hearts up to learn what Jesus intends for us to understand about the way that we approach the Father.
The Lord’s prayer is, after all, an outline; almost a bullet list that Jesus is suggesting to his followers (that’s us), a way of helping serious disciples approach prayer in a humble, balanced, appropriately reverent fashion.
I’m looking forward to the conversation. For this morning’s post, let me share the following paraphrase I wrote as I was preparing for my class (It’s also written in the meme pasted into this post).
Good Father in Heaven, the one who lives and reigns beyond the limits of human experience and understanding; may your great name always be reverenced, with gravity and light.
We pray that the good kingdom Christ calls us into will become synonymous with the life we experience from day to day. We pray that what you imagine and will for us becomes second nature in the way that we live into our discipleship, and that your will is celebrated in this world the same way that it is in the next.
Regarding our wants and our needs, we simply ask that you grant us sustenance enough for this day.
We know that we sin on a regular basis, falling such a long way short of your glory; so we pray for forgiveness, and also for the grace to forgive and to welcome those who have wronged us. As for temptation, we ask for the common sense to stay away from what we know we cannot handle, strong handrails to help us negotiate the gray areas, and the strength of character to keep our heads held high and your way written on our hearts.
We understand that you have already secured the victory, and we acknowledge we cannot defeat the power and the deception of evil without relying completely on you. Because it’s your kingdom that Jesus welcomes us to inhabit, it’s your power that sustains both us and the world we live in, and it’s your glory that shines with such light – not just today but forever, and then still ever beyond. Amen
In love, and because of the Gospel of Love – DEREK