Sometimes, it’s even welcome…
Posted November 1, 2012on:
I learned something today (ok, a few days ago, now) during my devotions. This is always a good thing. Sometimes it’s even welcome. Today it was startling.
A retired pastor had written this devotion (Which I would love to pass on the URL for, but, try as I might I cannot find it. Even going through their ‘prompts’. Very strange. Will keep trying until either I succeed or someone is bright enough to figure it out and send it to me.)
Anyway, as I was saying, a retired pastor wrote this particular devotion, and I was floored by his insight into the Lord’s Prayer.
Now, I’ll admit to always finding the Lord’s Prayer insightful and thought provoking. I recite it every day (or I sincerely TRY to say it every day!) and when I can’t sleep, I usually repeat it over and over like a mantra until my alarm goes off.
But what this pastor was noticing, was how the Lord taught us to be thankful and grateful, BEFORE we asked forgiveness for our sins.
“When you pray, say:
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come.
Give us each day our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins,
for we also forgive everyone who sins against us.
And lead us not into temptation.’”
“When the disciples ask Jesus to teach them how to pray, He instructs them to ask God to give them their daily bread before they ask Him to forgive their sins. He wants them to rely upon God to sustain them first and then forgive them second. It’s not that forgiveness is less important than meeting their needs; it’s just that Jesus wants them to be grateful first and then seek God’s mercy.”
*quoted directly from devotion, name of author withheld only cause I don’t know if he wants to be recognised or be associated with my ramblings*
BAM! Right between the eyes!
I thought about it and his ‘arguments’ and had to consider something I’d never thought of before. I had always assumed God couldn’t (or wouldn’t) hear my prayers unless I ‘cleansed’ myself through His Spirit first.
This fellow continued, in a very easy to follow way, to explain why we rush to expound our sins and have God deal with them: It makes us feel better.
I had to agree. And politely disagree. I agree that many times I’ve rushed to beg God to forgive me, because I felt bad. I need to feel that I’ve not blown it and I’m not headed for hell. (Even though, technically, deep down I know there is NOTHING that will separate me from the love of God.)
But my polite disagreement is that, I think, some people may feel like me. Maybe it’s the same thing, I’m not sure, but I do pray for forgiveness first, during my prayer time. Or, at least, I thought I did. A lot of times, my prayers start with the Lord’s Prayer. (Cause, really, who better to learn how to pray from?) So, I guess, I am thankful first. Just without knowing it.
That was his message. Give us this day, our daily bread.
That’s not an order to God. It’s a praise; an assurance. Thankfulness. Grateful that He is God and He is there and He will provide. Then forgiveness.
And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. (Some will say trespasses, both are correct… as long as the translations are correct!)
Interesting. Like I said, it hit me between my eyes. I like that. Now I have a whole lot of new insight to explore and see what God reveals.
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