Daily Prayer - week commencing 19th February 2018
I bring myself into your presence, O God.
May I always take time to notice and enjoy
the beauty you have created
for my pleasure.
Many countries are at this moment suffering the agonies of war.
I bow my head in thanksgiving for my freedom.
I pray for all prisoners and captives.
When I return to my everyday tasks, remind me Lord that you are always there beside me. I need never despair.
The Word of God Matthew 6:7-15
Jesus said, "When you are praying, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. 'Pray then in this way: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. 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 do not bring us to the time of trial, but rescue us from the evil one. For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you; but if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses."
Some thoughts on today's scripture
• Whenever members of the Jewish religion were speaking to God as ‘father’, they were addressing him as father of his people. But a Christian can approach God as her or his heavenly father, because Jesus has raised us all to the new status of sisters and brothers of himself – daughters and sons of the one Father. He has invited us by adoption into the family relationship, calling us family members/‘friends’ – rather than ‘servants’.
• The Our Father is the intimate family prayer of the Christian community. The emphasis is not on a whole list of passing needs, but more on ensuring – through forgiveness – that the family-bonds between us are not ruptured.
• It is important for us to become deeply aware of our needs and of our basic helplessness and total dependence on God. We also need to learn just what God wants of us so that we can do what he wants, not necessarily what we want.
• The Our Father is a challenging prayer but if it were to really enter our heart and minds, we would become deeply transformed people. So let us stop babbling it as we often do and really pray it, phrase by phrase – and live it.
To communicate we don’t always need to talk. Can I imagine myself sitting quietly with Jesus?
I looking silently at him and He at me. How do I feel?
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.