How You Can Live the Lord's Prayer
- Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Editor's Note: The following is a report on the practical applications of David Timms' new book, Living the Lord’s Prayer, (Bethany House, 2008).
The Lord’s Prayer is much more than just a model of how best to pray. It's a statement of how to get to know God’s heart. And when you live out those words, God will transform you completely.
Here’s how you can live the Lord’s Prayer:
Our: Realize that the journey to a deeper walk with God can only be fully lived in the company of God’s people. Faith is not an individual pursuit; it’s meant to be pursued within the context of community. Whenever you abandon the body of Christ, you’re abandoning yourself. You can’t grow in grace by withdrawing from others. Commit to long-term relationships with people. When you face a difficulty in any of your relationships, don’t simply run or battle it out with the other person. Instead, resolve the issue and reconcile. Focus on people over productivity and on relationships over results. Instead of looking at people in terms of what they can do for you, seek to simply get to know them and love them. Don’t place people in categories and distinguish between them. Ask God to help you view all people as He sees them – equally valuable because they’re all made in His image – and to treat everyone with respect and kindness. Remember that you can truly love God if you don’t love your brothers and sisters in Christ. Don’t let anything divide the unity God wants you to have. Remain committed to each other, living in grace and forgiveness, just as God remains committed to you.
Father: Experience true love and security from your ultimate Father: God. Remember the Gospel’s promise of freedom. Don’t slip into a lifestyle of worrying about duties, obligations, rules, regulations, expectations, and demands when God wants you live freely. Instead of trying to live faithfully just because you’d feel guilty if you didn’t, let your love for God and your gratitude for His grace motivate you to live faithfully. Rather than letting fear guide your decisions, make decisions with the confidence that God will love you no matter what and will always be there to help you.
In the heavens: Developing a cosmic perspective of God will nurture your faith and give you the hope you’ll need to get through challenging circumstances. Recognize that the spiritual realm you can’t see is just as much of a reality as the material world you can see. Just beyond what’s visible lies a supernatural dimension that often intersects with the natural world in which you live. God transcends your human limitations, and He is present in all dimensions. God is as close to you as your next breath, yet as far-reaching as the most distant areas of the universe. Ask God to help you become fully aware of His constant presence with you, and of the work He is doing in the world around you. Change your lifestyle so you’re not regularly distracted from noticing God at work. Learn how to be still, focus, wait, and listen.
Hallowed be your name: Seek to honor God by the way you live. Do more than just say words of adoration about Him. Surrender every part of your life to Him and do your best to obey what He calls you to do. Ask God to help you become aware of your own sinfulness. Acknowledge your failures, confess your sins, and repent. Then pursue holiness. Aim for higher standards – God’s standards. Let the knowledge of your sin show you how much you need God’s grace and motivate you to draw closer to Him. Acknowledge that it’s God’s holiness that enables you to be fulfilled. His holiness empowers you to see the shortsightedness of secularism, the poverty of profanity, and the futility of immorality. As you hallow God’s name, He confronts everything destructive and poisonous within you. Never allow yourself to become complacent; keep pursuing more holiness every day of your life.
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