Remember the days of the “photomat”? You know, the place you had to take your pictures to get developed? Yes, that’s right, there was a day that you HAD to get your pictures done at a store. Cost a small fortune too!
Anyway, the coolest part was picking up that stuffed package and looking inside to see how well your pictures turned out. Most were blurry but usually 4 pictures in a pack of 24 were good. So there you are holding a picture of you and your friends and who is the first person you look for? YOU! Come on, be honest. We all do it. We tend to look for ourselves first and might even get irritated when everyone else is not as interested in us as we are!
Now, when it comes to prayer, are we tempted to do the same exact thing? We come to God full of burdens and full of ourselves. Yet when Jesus teaches us how to pray He starts by looking at Who else is in the picture! He starts with God and His greatness, His glory and His honor. Think of that next time you get "tagged" in an online picture. There are many other people in that picture including the One you cannot see if you only see with your eyes not through your eyes.
Read: Matthew 6:9-13
9 Pray like this: ‘Our Father in heaven, may your name be kept holy. 10 Let your Kingdom come. Let your will be done, as in heaven, so on earth. 11 Give us today our daily bread. 12 Forgive us our debts, as we also forgive our debtors. 13 Bring us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For yours is the Kingdom, the power, and the glory forever. Amen.’
“Pray like this!”
Jesus expects His followers to pray and so commands us to pray continually (present tense verb). The use of the “middle voice” means we are to participate actively but also to receive benefit from that time in prayer.
How awesome that Jesus invites us to call God “Father”. He doesn’t call him our benefactor or our police officer or even our boss …. He is our Father! Please note also that he is “OUR” Father. This is a personal thing but it is also a community thing. There are many others in the picture than just ourselves.
"Make holy your name!”
Jesus expects His followers to allow God to use them in ways that make clear to others that He is different. Like a military officer in his best uniform, God is the officer and we are the uniform! This passive command tells us that God wants us to allow Him to show off who He is. And so Jesus tells us to pray that God will have control of us and use us to make Him the famous one.
Spend some time in prayer now and thank God for being an awesome Father. Reflect on His character and His names and tell Him how awesome He is. He is:
Adonai-Jehovah -- The Lord our Sovereign
El-Elyon -- The Lord Most High
El-Olam -- The Everlasting God
El-Shaddai -- The God Who is Sufficient for the Needs of His People
Jehovah-Elohim -- The Eternal Creator
Jehovah-Jireh -- The Lord our Provider
Jehovah-Nissi -- The Lord our Banner
Jehovah-Ropheka -- The Lord our Healer
Jehovah-Shalom -- The Lord our Peace
Jehovah-Tsidkenu -- The Lord our Righteousness
Jehovah-Mekaddishkem -- The Lord our Sanctifier
Jehovah-Sabaoth -- The Lord of Hosts
Jehovah-Shammah -- The Lord is Present
Jehovah-Rohi -- The Lord our Shepherd
Jehovah-Hoseenu -- The Lord our Maker
Jehovah-Eloheenu -- The Lord our God
Ask this God to live through you today. Surrender to Him and let Him fill you with life.
Pay attention to the music that you sing in church and on Christian radio. It seems our self love can be in full display there as well. Be sensitive. Pay attention to the references to “me” and “I”. Be warned: it can be distracting. We seem to sing more about our experience with God then to lift up God Himself. It is as if we are looking at the picture and singing our own praises. If it bothers you enough talk with your pastors or local radio stations to consider a little less of “me” and a lot more of He, a little less of me and a lot more of us.
To close, listen to "Indescribable” in the Worship Center below.
DevoLink: Devotions to help you Link with God.