Ever find yourself asking God for more time, or more money, or more energy, or more wisdom, or more abilities, . . . . . ? At some point in all of our lives, I think we’ve all asked God for at least one of these things.
In my Lord’s Prayer experiment, I’ve found these kinds of requests interesting in light of Jesus’ instructions to ask our Father for “daily bread” – sustenance, essentials necessary for this day, etc. Here’s some of my thinking: if Jesus teaches us to make this request in praying to our Father, then because of God’s character of goodness & provider, He supplies our needs. To me, this means that He gives us what we need for each day, when we bring this request to Him.
As such, I’ve concluded that my heavenly Father does give me what I need for each day: enough time, enough provision, enough money, enough patience, enough talent . . . . In Ps 84:11 it says,”For the LORD God is a sun and shield; The LORD will give grace and glory; No good thing will He withhold From those who walk uprightly. NKJV
So given this understanding, when I ask our heavenly Father to give me my daily bread, I can trust Him to give me exactly what I need for this day.
Do you ever have trouble trusting our heavenly Father to provide what you need? What helps you trust Him?
Ok, maybe not heart burn like you might initially think – I’ve got something different in mind.
I really like Jesus – I like thinking about Him, praying to Him, writing about Him, singing about Him, reading about Him, being w Him, talking about Him – especially. What really gets to me is to sit w a friend & have an indepth conversation about Jesus, what’s He’s saying, how He’s leading, what He’s challenging us with, experiences w Him . . . . . There’s something that goes off in me when i get to talk in depth w someone i trust about Jesus & what He’s doing in my heart. There’s something that quickens in my heart when I get to listen to someone deeply share about what He is dealing w them about. I love getting to hear & be part of what He’s doing on a massive & micro scale – I just like Jesus.
Recently, I felt like He explained why I get so amped when I get to have a deep conversation about Him: in Luke 24:13-32, Jesus is walking w 2 of His followers, after His resurrection, on a road leading to a city called Emmaus. They had what appears to be a long & indepth conversation w Him where He talked & explained things to them while they walked. When they stopped for a meal, Jesus broke the bread & immediately disappeared & the followers suddenly recognized Jesus & said in vs 32, “did not our hearts burn within us as He talked w us along the road. . . . ?” I find my heart burns in my chest when I get to talk deeply about Jesus w some trusted friends. Maybe this is partly what Jesus meant in Matt 18:20 when He says that when two or three are gathered in His name, that He’s hear with us.
Get some heart burn – talk deeply w a friend about Jesus.
The word, “father” evokes lots of feelings, emotions, thoughts & responses. Unfortunately, because we’re finite & don’t have unlimited understanding, we take our experiences & project them onto other things & relationships – be that good or bad. This can be a problem when you consider that when Jesus teaches us how to pray, He tells us to address God as our Father. Notice that Jesus did not say to address the 1st person of the Trinity as: boss / employer, best friend, roommate, master, slave driver, etc. Jesus tells us to address the person we pray to as our Father in heaven.
Furthermore, I believe that there are a few reasons why our relationship with our heavenly Father can get dysfunctional based on the parable of the prodigal’s son. Consider that both sons didn’t have a very healthy relationship with their father. The prodigal’s relationship with his father lacked intimacy because the son was selfish. The older son’s relationship with his father was dysfunctional because he didn’t even see his father as his dad – consider how he describes his interaction with his dad in Luke 15:29; this doesn’t sound alot like a father / son relationship.
So when you address your heavenly Father, is there some dysfunction you could possibly be projecting onto your relationship with Him? What might this be & could God be wanting to help you make some healthy adjustments so that your interaction with Him is more authentic? Feel free to leave comments / thoughts. 🙂
Ok, before you decide to skip this because you’ve got this prayer well memorized – let me interject some thoughts to interrupt the rote, mundane familiarity. Consider:
- This prayer starts with “our Father in heaven”: wholly other to us, but Jesus uses the “Father” metaphor to give us some kind of familiar context to latch onto, a beginning point (don’t let it trip you up if the father you grew up with fell way short of a “good dad” or if he was simply absent in your life)
- the next 3 “requests” have everything to do with emphasizing God in our lives through: reverence to His Name, obedience to His Kingship and surrender to His will. How often is our prayer life initiated with these 3 priorities? Hmmmmmmm
- the next 4 “requests” ask for God’s participation in our daily living: give me what I need for today, help me to be forgiving in my relationships, keep me away from temptation & protect me from the evil one.
Could I impose upon you to try an experiment for a week? Would you consider making the 1st three God requests every morning when you wake up? After this, on the way to work or school, would you then submit to God the 4 petitions that are more self focused?
I’ve been trying this & have been pleasantly suprised – at present, I can’t find more words to bring more clarity to the experience. its just been good!!
so far, here’s what’s happening:
- fantastic God time this morn – quiet, dark & close
- tv taping: interviewed the Picones who are in the top 5 coolest people in the world, some good finance stuff & cool time w Curt!
- ran to the seminary to look for a pocket greek NT – can you pls help me find one?!?!?
- crossing guard
- off to work out
- Parent Senate at my kids school
- finish tomorrow’s message for church
I feel eclectic – wonder why??? 😉
Ok, i’m working on my message for tonight & would really like your help:
Do God have any weaknesses? If so, what are they?
pls leave a comment & tell me what you think – leave some Bible support if you’re inclined 🙂
Last weekend, i had an exciting time snowboarding. it was really overcast & i couldn’t read the snow on the ground from the air above it, no contrast (no line on the horizon) & so i couldn’t tell what the ground was doing. i couldn’t see if it was rising or falling, if the snow was bunched up or iced out. initially, it was pretty scarey to ride this, not being able to really see where you’re going very well, or determine what the snow’s like. but i discovered a trick – if i didn’t use my eyes as much, i could focus on how my board felt, how the snow felt under the board & how the board & i worked together. so i’m trying to learn how to ride without my eyes as much & more by feel.
This goes along w what Paul says in 2Cor 5:7 – we walk by faith & not sight. if we let our eyes tell us where we’re going, then the world is in a sad state of affairs. i like what Bono says: vision over visibility.
Ok, really crazy, lively & interesting dialogue from my facebook page about friendships. In a recent status update, i said, “who you pick as friends can reflect your future.” A sentence w less than 10 words but has generated lots of feedback!!
So, i want your opinion: agree, disagree & why
“who you pick as friends can reflect your future.”
Life has LOTS of distractions. Since i’ve sit down to write this blog, i’ve erased it 3 times, turned on my itunes, checked my blackberry, told David to be nice to Benji while playing chess & thought about the funny story of construction men looking in my window after i gave birth to Benji (its funny now but it wasn’t at the time).
Focus is a big deal. Right now, there’s alot of bad news you could focus on or you could chose to keep your eyes on God. I find that when i focus on God, its easier to give myself to Him, even during the busy-ness of the day. When i get my eyes & thoughts on other things, like concerns, worries, uncertainties, people frustrations, work issues, etc, i find that my heart gets jittery & unsettled. I pray that you would have God’s grace to give Him your focus throughout your day, its activities & demands.
ever feel like you should be in a circus act for plate spinning?
Everyone has busy lives – sometimes less, sometimes more. Today, is a plate spinning day for me, so i think its even more essential than normal to consider what Paul says in Phil 4:6-7, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
For every concern, frustration, request we pass along to God, and He tells us to do this, please be sure to include a thanksgiving as well. Then allow God’s peace to guard your heart & your mind. Then spin away baby & trust God to help you spin & catch a plate if it falls. 😉