How does it work? Is it like a heavenly vending machine? If you insert just the right words like the right change make your selection known to God with the push of a button, your desired product will appear every time! Or is it more like a heavenly slot machine? You put in your quarter and pull the lever, sending your prayer to heaven, but only hit the divine jackpot of answered prayer if all your stars line up right.
In Luke 9, James and John ask Jesus if they can pray for fire to come down out of heaven and devour some Samaritans who rejected them.
Still, Jesus answers their request. He teaches them to pray, and gives them an example, a model prayer, that has lasted down through the centuries to the present day. I have said many times that how we understand the scriptures has consequences for how we live out our faith and our lives, for how we treat others, and how we relate to God.
My hope is that doing this will accomplish three things: 1 To give each of us a better framework upon which to develop our individual prayers and meditation. That last goal is important, because I believe that this one simple prayer, more than anything in our scriptures, our doctrines, our programs, has the power to change us, and to change the world.
Five weeks. Five Sermons. You have five fingers on each of your hands, and there are five aspects, five phases of prayer that I want us to learn and remember.
Most of us realize, if we think of it, that God is neither male nor female, but rather embodies all aspects of both. Jesus did what was most natural in his context, and we are free to do what seems most natural in our own. But knowing this, Jesus takes the time to begin his prayer in a personal, intimate way.
Think about it this way: Who would you rather have a conversation with? Love doesn't want to hurt me. God's will is to bless me Romans The very first sentence of the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches: "God, infinitely perfect and blessed in himself, in a plan of sheer goodness freely created us to make us share in his own blessed life. Thy kingdom come. It's come.
The Lord's Prayer, also called the Our Father (Latin, Pater Noster), is a venerated Christian .. And he said to them, "When you pray, say: 'Father, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread, and forgive us our . The Our Father is the Lord's Prayer and is a summation of the whole Gospel. Jesus teaches us to pray: "All that you ask for in prayer, believe that you will.
It's in our midst Luke I can see it if I have eyes to see, I can hear its silent music if I listen to its still small voice Matthew The kingdom of Love is not of this world John I can only see what the poet Gerard Manley Hopkins called "the dearest freshness deep down things" when I understand that the kingdom of God is not material but spiritual. To behold the reign of God requires an alchemy of the heart.
On earth as it is in heaven. Heaven is not a place far away but a quality of awareness. What happens in my consciousness manifests in my life, as words, behaviors, conditions, a mode of being in the world. The ideas I cultivate make heaven or hell. What I think of my neighbor I will do unto them, and what I do unto them I do, literally, unto myself 1 Corinthians God, purify my awareness Matthew Give us this day our daily bread.
I pray to feast on Jesus' life and teachings and drink of his love so that I may walk and talk and be like him. This is life eternal, to come to know God and Jesus Christ whom love has sent John Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. We cannot let go of the guilt we feel born with until we see our neighbor, even our enemy, as our very self Matthew and in forgiving them we forgive ourselves.
When Jesus saved the adulteress about to be stoned, he didn't say, "Sin no more and I will not condemn you. Now go and sin no more. Forgiveness makes love, and inspires us to forgive others. Love begins, and grows, with forgiveness, unearned and freely given.
Forgiveness is perfect love, and perfect love drives out guilt and fear 1 John And lead us not into temptation. When we ask God for our daily bread, he does not give us a bag of stones Matthew When temptation taunts, God lifts us up on angels' wings Psalms But deliver us from evil. I cannot save myself, I cannot save anyone. Only Love can save us 2 Timothy And bring us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.
Your kingdom come, Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. And forgive us our debts, as we have forgiven our debtors [letting go of both the wrong and the resentment]. Manifest your kingdom realm, and cause your every purpose to be fulfilled on earth, just as it is fulfilled in heaven. We acknowledge you as our Provider of all we need each day.
Forgive us the wrongs we have done as we ourselves release forgiveness to those who have wronged us. Rescue us every time we face tribulation and set us free from evil. For you are the King who rules with power and glory forever. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day 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 evil. Matthew Share.
Amen Cross references: Matthew : For ver. We cannot let go of the guilt we feel born with until we see our neighbor, even our enemy, as our very self Matthew and in forgiving them we forgive ourselves. Bless you Brother. Not having God to want to forgive all of your trespasses against Him is not a place you ever want to be at in your own personal walk with Him. We are not to pray to impress God or others, or to think that we might be able to manipulate Him in order to get what we want. Enter your email address to receive free newsletters from NCR.