How To Pray

'Lost and Found' by Greg Olsen. Used with Permission.
“Lost and Found” by Greg Olsen. Used with Permission.

Gospel – March 3, 2020 – Matthew 6:7-15

Jesus said to his disciples:
“In praying, do not babble like the pagans,
who think that they will be heard because of their many words.
Do not be like them.
Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

“This is how you are to pray:

Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name,
thy Kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

“If you forgive men their transgressions,
your heavenly Father will forgive you.
But if you do not forgive men,
neither will your Father forgive your transgressions.”

I have never been good at these flowery prayers. I can’t think of enough words quick enough. But I learned long ago that it isn’t the quantity but the quality of prayer. Say what you need to say. Don’t make God sift through all the stuff. Just say what it is and ask him to consider it.

So, Jesus gives us the perfect prayer and we can model all our prayers off that simple prayer. Give God a break.

The last section on forgiveness gave me pause. Forgiving others gets us forgiveness. But take that a step further. What if you can’t forgive God? What if something happens you just can’t reconcile yourself to like losing a wife? Will God understand? Or will he sentence us to be forever separated from the Trinity?

I don’t have a good answer for that. I don’t know I could be angry at God for long. But I do know people who have lost their trust, their love of God over such things.

I said I don’t have an answer but I do believe that God loves us even in our hurt. He fashioned us out of love – his love.

As a father of three I know if Sarah, Aaron or Rebekah should ever get so angry at me as to not be able to be reconciled to me – I would love them still. I have to believe that a greater Father than me should be presented – and he has – with that he will love that person anyhow.

Forgiveness isn’t something so easy to give – even to God. But God is bigger than all that.

He’s the one who can dig through all that superfluous stuff in our prayers. He can see the forgiveness in our hearts. He wants it to come out from our hearts and into the world.

At least that’s what I heard Him say…

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