05-04-2014 The Lord's Prayer

My son was very excited that this year, May 4 fell on a Sunday.  Why?  Because he’s a geek, geeks consider it to be International Star Wars Day and Alex loves running around telling people, “May the Fourth be with you!” (if you don’t get the joke, then go rent and watch Star Wars immediately).

It’s the little things in life that keep ya going...

Illness appears to have taken its toll on our poor little church family -- an amazing number of people were home sick this week (in fact, if you’re reading this, you might’ve been one of them).  I myself am halfway through the round of antibiotics that my doctor gave me for a nasty sinus condition, so I can certainly sympathize.

Stay home, get lots of rest, and drink plenty of fluids.

That way, you’ll be plenty rested for our special Mother’s Day service next week.  As always, it’ll be led by our awesome Youth Group and their awesome Youth Leader.  So if you’re a Mom (or if you have a Mom), then make sure to be on hand next week with your whole family to celebrate the Mom-ness.

This week in our message, we looked at the Lord’s Prayer in detail, examining just what Jesus told us about “how to pray.”  On one level, it’s pretty straightforward -- you simply talk to God and listen to Him, just like you would with any other real-life person.  People get confused about that so easily, since you can’t see God standing in front of you, and you can’t (usually) hear Him answer back audibly, and we all tend to think of Him as so important that talking to Him surely couldn’t be like talking to my spouse or my next-door neighbor.

But when Jesus told us how to pray, He wasn’t telling us to simply memorize and recite the Lord’s Prayer (or even to make sure that we include all of the elements of that prayer in our own prayers when we pray -- Jesus certainly didn’t any other time that He prayed).  But the context of the prayer, the content of the prayer, and the order of that content all point to what He was trying to tell us -- namely, that a lot of the art of praying comes down to our own attitudes.

Before we ask God for forgiveness, we really ought to make sure that we’ve forgiven others.  Before we ask for what we want, we need to remember that the point of our prayer should be to ask God to help us obey His will (and not the other way around)... and then focus more on what we need and let God figure the rest of our wants out.  And when we think about our relationships with the Lord, the best way to make sure that we’ve got it right is to keep a healthy balance between seeing Him as the Omnipotent King who created the universe and seeing Him as the Loving Dad who happily sits on the floor with us to play Legos.  Drift too far to the former, and God becomes a distant Judge whom we can’t connect with; drift too far to the latter, and God becomes a vapid Buddy whom we don’t really need to connect with.  Either way, you miss God’s rich character and you hamstring your relationship with Him.

So take a minute today and just talk with God.  Treat Him like a loving Father who’s also still a holy Lord, and start by asking Him to get your attitude straight before you say anything else.  Talk with Him, and then listen to hear if He might lay anything on your own heart in reply...