Friday, March 13, 2009

First Things First

Invitation to Prayer
All the major catechisms of the Christian faith include the Lord’s Prayer as one of the three foundational documents. The other two foundational documents are the Apostles’ Creed and the Ten Commandments. The Apostles’ Creed tells us what we believe. The Ten Commandments tell how we are to behave. The Lord’s Prayer teaches us how we are to pray. Think of it as belief, action and prayer. It’s all right there (Ray Pritchard, And When You Pray, pp. 8-9).

The Psalm (Psalm 139:1-4)
1 O LORD, you have searched me and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD.

The Scripture Reading (Luke 11:2)
He said to them, "When you pray, say:
" 'Father, hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come.

For Reflection
The prayer Jesus gave us reminds us that we don’t pray to get something. We pray to get in touch with someone. God comes first, and our first thoughts in prayer gravitate to who God is (the name) and what God is doing in this world (Kingdom). Our first words seek to honor the name and recognize God’s rule over all things.

We think of “hallowed” as an adjective – like “hallowed” ground. How does that word become action? How does God cause his name to be “hallowed?”

Closing Prayer
Let my first thoughts this day be centered on you, O Lord – not the economy or the kids or the oil change that needs to be done. Before the news and the noise swell to fill my hours, I want to honor your name and remember that you govern this world. Amen.

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