Today’s Text and Thought of Encouragement:
“The Lord’s Prayer is the most perfect of prayers…In it we ask, not only for the things we can rightly desire, but also in the sequence that they should be desired. This prayer teaches us not only to ask for things, but also in what order we should desire them.”
How do I think the Lord’s Prayer affects my relationship with others every day?
“The Lord’s Prayer may be committed to memory quickly, but it is slowly learned by the heart.”
Frederick Denison Maurice
“The most beneficial prayer will be the one which moves your heart in the most beneficial way.”
Jordan of Saxony
For the last several days we have focused on what Biblical specialists call the “Godward” portion of the Lord’s Prayer. During the next few days we are going to turn our attention to what has been identified as the “Manward” verses of the Lord’s Prayer – meaning that we will study the phrases of this prayer that deal with God’s involvement in the interpersonal relationships we have with each other on a daily basis. However, since this is Transformation Garden, and this haven of peace is designed specifically to focus on the needs of women (although all you men who come to the Garden are more than welcome!), I am going to call our Lord’s studies over the next few days, “Womanward” studies, for we will deal with how God meets the temporal needs we as women have in the 21st century. And believe me, the challenges for single moms, working moms, elderly grandmas, divorced women, single women, abused women, abandoned women, sick women and depressed women – are, I believe, greater now than ever before.
This is why understanding the Lord’s Prayer is so vital and practical to our everyday living. Jesus didn’t just say, ”Trust your Dad in heaven. He’ll take care of everything.” No! He didn’t give us a “generalized” confidence builder.
Instead, Jesus got down in the trenches with us and addressed the common, everyday problems we confront more frequently than we would like.
Jesus took on the problem of living “hand to mouth.” He addressed what happens to us when we don’t know where our next meal is coming from. And what’s more, I think you’ll be tremendously blessed when you find out why Jesus was personally concerned about our basic needs like food and clothing and shelter. So concerned, in fact, He talks about them in the Lord’s Prayer.
But there’s more! It isn’t just our tangible, physical needs Jesus invites us to count on our Father for; He also asks us to talk to our Father about forgiveness, love, acceptance and revenge. And then Jesus goes for the nitty-gritty! He says we need to talk to our Father about evil, temptation, sin and deliverance.
I think you will find the studies over the next few days to be some of our best together as we recognize the tremendous love our Father has for us, His daughters, and how willing He is to become personally involved in our daily lives – encouraging and empowering us every step of the way.
Who permeates every fiber of the universe,
Let all beings confess your holiness.
May your reign in our world and in our lives
Be as real as your eternal reign
Meet our needs, both physical and emotional.
Forgive us when we err.
And teach us to forgive others.
Rescue us from trouble,
Protect us from evil,
Preserve us for your glory.
For all Life, all Strength, all Love
Was in Your hands,
Is in Your hands, and ever shall be. AMEN.”
(All our Affirmations over the next few days will be written as unique versions of the Lord’s Prayer by individuals or groups. I pray you will receive a blessing as our view of this wonderful prayer is expanded.)
Dorothy Valcárcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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