Yesterday was a pretty day - we had three missionary families visit our church. Each of the fathers gave a sermon and described their ministries in Thailand, South Korea and South Africa. After evening service, they and some families from our church went out for pizza and I sat with several girls, age 5 to 10 - one a missionary's child who spoke of her travels and life in Cameroon. It gives me hope for our world in generations growing up.Yes – it was a pretty day! And the services were so uplifting. I took notes on all three sermons and will be incorporating them as I renew my commitment to sharing my Bible reading and Christian beliefs. A major resource for those two items is prayer.
Jesus gave us a model prayer that is easily remembered:
But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him. After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. (Matthew 6:7-13 KJV)
There’s a bit more before these verses that make for good reading, but I truly love knowing we need to pray from the heart, not simply repeat prayers – not even this one – and that God knows what we need before we pray. He doesn’t “need” for us to pray, but does require our obedience. Praying is essential, as is knowing what we are praying.
Our – a simple acknowledgement that we are not the only person reaching out to God.
Father – accepting that we are His children, responsible to see Him as our Creator. Without Him, we would not exist.
Which art in heaven – this is as important as knowing He is our Father since it entails belief in an eternal, spiritual, existence.
Hallowed be thy name – acknowledging that our Father in heaven is worthy of worship; that the angels before His throne crying “Holy, holy, holy” speak truth.
But Christians know all of this, and more. The question before us is whether we practice what we know, what we “preach.” I’ve been remiss in prayers, and in sharing His worthiness to be worshipped.
Oh, I’ve not missed most services since this blog stopped. What I’ve missed at church can be attributed to medicine – or the consequences of medicine. But that did not affect my ability to prayer nor my knowledge of subjects for prayer. I have continued to pray – for myself, for loved ones’ health issues, for friends with a variety of needs and for salvation for some loved ones who openly reject God and His Son. For their souls, that we might share eternity. Those are my most important prayers.
And, that is the most important message through this blog. It is the same message Paul preached two millennia ago:
But we preach Christ crucified, (1 Corinthians 1:23a KJV)
That’s just the beginning.