Lenten Focus: Following Jesus (2)
The crowd was beginning to be restless when the man sitting on the mountainside started to speak. His voice was quiet and gentle yet carry with it power and authority. "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven" (Matt.5). Slowly and carefully, he explained the beatitudes. The he said, " For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven" (Matt.5:20). The rest of chapter 5 is about the Scribes while chapter 6 deals specifically with the Pharisees in aspect of giving, prayer and fasting. While talking about prayer, the man suddenly sidetracked.
"This, then, is how you should pray:
What a beautiful and inspiring pattern of prayer this man has given us. This prayer contains the seven 'A' approach to prayer.
1. Approaching God in a direct and intimate way
2. Adoring of the Creator and Almighty
3. Acknowledging his work and his worth, in praise and worship
4. Accepting from God one’s own situation as he has shaped it
5. Admitting sin, and seeking pardon
6. Asking that needs be met, for ourselves and others
7. Adhering to God in faithfulness through thick and thin
What a wonderful model prayer! So complete and comprehensive. This man, Jesus Christ, must be a master in praying. It is comforting to know that at his moment, he is up there in heaven praying for us directly to the Father.
Why I follow Jesus? He is a master at the art of prayer and I want to learn to pray like he does.
Meditation: Are you happy with your prayer life? How do we pray like Jesus?