Connected to God
Last night, as I was drifting off to sleep, I was praying the Lord's Prayer. I was reciting it as I had learned it as a child, from the King James Version. I stumbled a couple of times in my sleepy state, but it finally came together. This morning I decided to check out the Message version.
Matthew 6: 9-13 MSG
"With a God like this loving you, you can pray very simply. Like this:
Our Father in heaven, Reveal who you are. Set the world right; Do what’s best— as above, so below. Keep us alive with three square meals. Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others. Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil. You’re in charge! You can do anything you want! You’re ablaze in beauty! Yes. Yes. Yes."
As I was reading this chapter, I was also struck by the verses just before and just after. Matthew 6: 1-18
Don't try to make yourself more important by telling everyone all about your 'good deeds'. Do them well and be humble about it. Just do it - quietly and unobtrusively.
Pray simply. Don't make prayer a production. Use words that you would use in a normal conversation. God knows you better than you do. He knows your needs. You don't need to be gimmicky. You don't have to try to be all flowery in your speech or even try to use 'church speak'. Make it simple. Just talk to God. He's your friend. Talk to your friend. (There's the song <grin> "I Am a Friend of God.")
When you pray you are connected to God. It's not a one way street. God doesn't just give us stuff because we are asking. God is not an ATM, Amazon or a drive through. We can't just order it up our way. We have to do our part. Our part is important and necessary for our well being. God knows that. He's looking out for us. We have to do our part, so that we can experience the fullness of God's part.
If you're going to fast and pray, do it without a lot of hoopla. Get up, get dressed, go to work, go shopping, cut the grass, whatever you need to do without broadcasting your fast to whoever can hear you. God knows and that's enough. He sees you. He knows what you're doing and why. He won't overlook your efforts.
Prayer. It's not so hard when you really look at it. Talk to God. He's always there. Open the conversation and speak to Him. Prayer is just that: a simple conversation with God. Speak, listen, (don't interrupt, listen) talk about it, talk it over, and hash it out. Make sure you understand. Move.
That's it. Simple. You can do this all day long. (That's called praying without ceasing.) Speak, listen, make sure you understand. Move.