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Issue No.116
26 September 2018

Prayer focus: Overcoming our familiarity

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New translations can help us see fresh truths in the Lord's Prayer, writes Janice Tindale

 

FAMILIARITY WITH THE LORD'S PRAYER means that, when we begin to use it, the prayer can flow from us and barely touch our minds. However, a new translation such as the school children's version in this issue's worship pages can surprise us and bring a fresh understanding.

We all pray differently. I visualise the power of God whenever I see a beach on a stormy day or after a high tide, swept clean and purified by the salty water. I know that I am swept clean from my sins and then I understand that I too must forgive and let go of hurts.

We also know that we are blessed with both physical and spiritual food, education and health care. The Gospels provide us with the example of Jesus, of how we must care for others both in feeding and healing. That is surely our prayer when we say:

Your will be done on earth as in heaven.

Some of us find the practical side of loving and caring easier than evangelism, the proclamation of the good news of God's Kingdom. Many with a social conscience are prepared to help the needy and the sick, but Jesus told us not only to love one another, but to go and make disciples.

We pray:

Your Kingdom come … on earth

That will come about when people take time to listen to God, care for his world and to reach to share his love and introduce others to him.

We must open our hearts and minds and ask the Spirit to come and empower us.

If we keep lists of those we pray for, then that 'still small voice' will surely prompt us that if we desire to see heaven here on earth. Then we are part of the answer to our own prayers.

What is our part in producing answers to prayer?

Ponder your role in fulfi lling the great commission.

Are you called to a special task?

 

Pray for all who strive to carry out the great commission:

› that our eyes be opened to our own role and that the Holy Spirit will guide us to share the love of Jesus.

Pray for those who serve in our neighbourhood, such as:

› our church leaders and Christians in government

› street pastors and chaplains in sport, industry and hospitals

› Christian broadcasters and Christian volunteers.

Pray for those who serve in other lands:

› that their needs will be met as missionaries relocate their families

› that their relationship with God will remain strong as they learn to love the people they are called to serve

› that their physical and emotional needs will be met as they adjust to a new culture.