When you read this, there are two things: what you can and cannot see.
Beyond what you see is the invisible, which is so much. For example, wherever you are, countless frequencies come from television and radio stations, cell phone towers, and GPS satellites. You can tune into them if you have a suitable device.
But even better than this frequency is invisible. The Spirit of the Lord is a wanderer who wants to control our lives. The problem is that many of us are not tuned into the Lord using spiritual advice or training, such as in prayer. We can say that the request is ready, but not really in the divine.
That is because of other skills and frequencies. Just connecting to a smartphone seems to cover all the bases. The average iPhone is worth more time than the computer used to guide the 11th lunar mission. It has access to nearly 2 million apps that you need. So why can you pray with Google?
But then NFL star Damar Hamlin crashed the Monday night game on January 2nd, and our smartphones can’t seem to get enough of it. Do you remember that? We immediately prayed to each other, that we might enter into another frequency, God’s frequency, through prayer.
But rather than through irony. Every other frequency, every other device, was immediately at Damar’s side: the best CPR, the best defibrillator, the best IVs, the best paramedics, the best doctors, the best ambulances. If you’re going to have a cardiac arrest, the NFL stadium is the place! But despite the availability of the best skills and technology, people spontaneously cried out for something else – the frequency of God through prayer, because there are times when all frequency is unstable and not enough.
What please? Because we need access to frequency, support that never fails.
We must recognize this truth not only when an NFL football player falls, but at any moment. Every day is a struggle of life or death, if we are honest, constant attendance and sure fire support.
Don’t see me
It is strange to begin the Sunday prayer with a common language, and not with a singular language. He is not my father, but our father in heaven. Therefore, prayer does not take into account one’s own needs as much as the needs of others.
Our needs are part of the equation; The Sunday prayer encourages us to ask: Give us this day our daily bread. But even that request is plural; our daily bread, not our daily bread, that is to say, there must also be individual concerns in the problems of God’s people. A special way of “singing” in divine prayer is to pray not only for our own needs, but also for the needs of others.
The only course of action is to compile a prayer list that includes both. In the formative years of the Evangelical Church, I met the patriarch, Harold J. Ockenga, founder of two theological seminaries and veteran pastor of Boston’s Park Street Church. As many of us surrounded him, we went through his life in prayer. Ockenga pulled out a prayer book, showing us a page or two. In one column were the needs of Ockenga praying. In the second column were the answers to each prayer received from the Lord.
In the second column there were some blank spaces, not yet answered. In other cases, the answer was, but not necessarily what Ockenga wanted. I have a modified version of Ockenga’s approach to Evernote.
Whatever works for you, make a prayer list, leaving room for answers. Again, don’t ask for something for yourself or for others, but to explain the divine promise in the second part of the Sunday prayer: “Let your kingdom come, let your will be done, as it is in heaven and on earth” (Ps 68, 7c-d). Matt.
The issue of praying in such a dedicated way is a great benefit and benefit. When praying in this way, author and pastor Tim Cellarius notes: “God will give us whatever we ask for.” [for] or give us what we asked for [for] if we know all that he knows.
Forgiveness and forgiveness
Rarely acknowledged, the heart of Sunday prayer fosters a spirit of mercy and compassion. Matt. 6:12: Forgive us our debts, as we also forgive our debtors. [God]just as we forgive those who hurt us, as it is said in Matt.
This request is so necessary that it is repeated immediately after the Lord’s Prayer, in the next verse, as Jesus calls us again to forgive other people who sin against us (Matthew 6:14-15).
By placing this admonition at the heart of Sunday’s prayer, God seems to indicate that a significant obstacle connected to prayer is the resentment we often hold among ourselves. The Sunday prayer urges us to face the critical requirement for a flourishing life: granting forgiveness.
At present, the British monarchy is far from flourishing. In part, this is due to the rivalry between Prince Harry and others in the royal family. Interest in the fee is huge. Sales of Harry’s recent “tell-all” book, “Spare,” broke the Guinness World Record for book sales, becoming the fastest nonfiction book ever with over 1.4 million copies sold on the first day of publication. But God does not want us to refer to the records of brokenness and comparisons, but to stories of forgiveness and forgiveness.
But it is critical to emphasize what forgiveness is not. Forgiveness is not forgetting; Iniquity brings pain, and pain lingers. Forgiveness is not a one-time event; It’s typically incremental, so we release a little more each day. And forgiveness is not always a happy ending. Sadly, however forgiving, reconciliation and restitution are not always possible.
In the New Testament, forgiveness is the Greek word for aphis, which means “let go.” And what do you let go of? We let go of bitterness, anger, hatred and any revenge.
The first meaning of aphie is more graphic: it means to throw or throw something. That reminds me of a recent excursion with our grandkids to Little Tuscarora Creek, near our house. Grandkids love to pick up rocks and throw them in their pockets. It occurred to me that by spending some time at bay, I could release the rocks of my anger and any pain and bitterness I still carry.
Where could you use rocks? When we just pray to Jesus, just the Lord’s Prayer, we are not asked to forget the wrongs against us, but we are asked to let go of the pain that consumes us.
THE SPECTACLE OF THE WORLD
The last part of the Sunday prayer revolves around two words of action. Matt. 6:13: lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. It is a sense of movement away from the temptation of worldly things and toward God’s perspective.
In the thought of St. Ignatius, such a transition refers to the movement from desolation to consolation. When someone is trapped in desolation, we look to other than God to lead us and deliver us, things like money, sex and power. Hence the restlessness, the guilt and the brokenness. When we are caught in comfort, we look only to God to deliver and lead us. Peace, purification and integrity. True prayer moves us from worldly aspects to God, from desolation to consolation.
We stimulate this movement when we keep our prayers direct, not simplistic, but simple. The Sunday prayer is our model, an ideal, simple prayer of 66 words. But sometimes even 66 words are too much, life’s pain and fear. So, Anna Lamont offers a prayer to stop writing, a three-word request, especially in urgent moments: “Help! Thanks! Wow!
First, “Help!” A prayer of raw need, believing God to be there, ready and willing to help. Then, “Thank you!” Pray vulnerable prayers of trust, believing that there is a faithful God, eager and tender to give grace. Finally, I pray “Ew!” Pray for tremendous boldness, believing that there is an omnipotent God, active and sufficient to demonstrate his prowess, his admirable power.
“Help! Thanks! Wow!” Three simple words can move us from worldly view to divine view, from desolation to comfort, especially in 911 times.
Last September, my wife Robin and I participated in Grandparents Day at the Catholic Kindergarten where our oldest grandson John attends. I had never been in a school before, so I was surprised when the principals came in and started the school today with a personal speech. But then I got scared. Immediately after the main prayer, the whole class of John began to pray the Sunday prayer, aloud, without any warning. It is difficult to describe the experience, but I was overwhelmed by a wave of comfort, holiness, goodness, respect, comfort and piety that soon surrounded the school. It was powerful that they added the doxology of the Sunday Prayer, not officially in the Scriptures, but added later by a manuscript writer, who prayed in the manner of the ancients: “For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever.” Amen.”
What please? Because a lot of us Damar Hamlin did not just fall and hurt. I am still deciding how to pray, but I know this much: prayer is uplifting, bringing a new wave of comfort and compassion.
We can recognize, even celebrate, the frequencies around us: powerful frequencies, valuable frequencies, popular frequencies, beneficial frequencies. But let us also recognize that there is only one frequency which will never fail, that is absolutely firm, which will never go down: the frequency of God.
And prayer is the first means of dialing into it, the best way to the incredible access, help and salvation of one’s divine tradition.
Paul Mundey minister, consultant and writer. Recently, in the immediate past he served as moderator of the Church of the Brethren, having completed two years as moderator, the denomination’s highest elected office. For 20 years, he served as pastor of Frideric Sr. Church of the Brethren.