Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Sum of All Prayers

This is an article on prayer that I just read in my devotional Bible.

Mathew 6:9 “This then is how you should pray……”

Thomas Aquinas believed that everything we need to know is found in three documents: The Apostles’ Creed tells us what to believe; the Ten Commandments tell us what to do; and the Lord’s Prayer tells us what to pray.

The Lord’s Prayer is like a compass. It points to our true north, God’s heart, and when we know that, we can discern east, west and south. In other words, when we are clear on God’s priorities, all other concerns fall into their proper place. The Lord’s Prayer purifies our longings and desires, and gives them proper expression. Every area of our lives can be hung on the pegs of its petitions.

Clearly, Jesus meant for the Lord’s Prayer to be repeated, not as meaningless repetitions, but as meaningful repetition. It can be like Christmas tree, on which we hang our own “decorations”, our own prayers. Or it can be like a map: The directions are there, but we must take the trouble to travel, to pray them. Each direction, each guideline, says, “pray this way”:

That God’s name be hallowed, revered, held in awe and adored. The beginning of wisdom, afterall, is the fear of the Lord ( See Psalm 111:10, Proverbs 1:7).

The God’s kingdom come, that he sovereignly bring about the glorious day when the earth will be as full of the knowledge of him as the waters that cover the sea ( See Isaiah 11:9), that every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord ( See Philippians 2:10-11).

That God’s will be our food and drink as we work and wait for his kingdom
( See John 4:34).

That God give us what we need in the meantime: our bread, our necessities, whatever we need to persevere ( See Matthew 6:25-34).

That God forgive our sins. Isn’t it lovely that Jesus teaches us to wait before we talk to God about our sins – to speak first to God about God before we speak to God about us?

That we be protected from every evil as we struggle in this spiritual warfare for God’s rule on earth ( See Ephesians 6:10-12).

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