Monday, March 21, 2011

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:

" `Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one. '(NIV)

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?

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