Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Our Father...

Caroni Bird Sanctuary, Trinidad, West Indies - July 2006

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.'
Matthew 6:9-13

The disciples asked Jesus to teach them how to pray. He told them to pray to the Father...not to others. Now this is difficult to admit, but I still fear being called on to pray in public...doesn't matter if there's just one other person or a crowd of fifty. The Holy Spirit has really has been convicting me about this lately. He told me I would be less fearful if I wasn't concerned about what others thought of my prayer. Makes me ask myself, Are my prayers to my Father, or to others? Since my Father is the only one who can answer my prayers, why don't I just relax and pray from my heart?

Francois Fenelon, a French-Roman theologian, poet, and writer said, "Tell God all that is in your heart, as one unloads one's heart, its pleasures and its pains, to a dear friend. Tell God your troubles, that God may comfort you; tell God your joys, that God may sober them; tell God your longings, that God may purify them; tell God your dislikes, that God may help you conquer them; talk to God of your temptations, that God may shield you from them: show God the wounds of your heart, that God may heal them. If you thus pour out all your weaknesses, needs, troubles, there will be no lack of what to say. Talk out of the abundance of the heart, without consideration say just what you think. Blessed are they who attain to such familiar, unreserved intercourse with God."

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