If Faith=knowing Him, not just about Him…then Worship is…

Lord's prayer in Coptic language

Lord’s prayer in Coptic language (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Devotional THought of the day:

7  “When you pray, do not use a lot of meaningless words, as the pagans do, who think that their gods will hear them because their prayers are long. 8  Do not be like them. Your Father already knows what you need before you ask him. 9  This, then, is how you should pray: ‘Our Father in heaven: May your holy name be honored; 10  may your Kingdom come; may your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. 11  Give us today the food we need. 12  Forgive us the wrongs we have done, as we forgive the wrongs that others have done to us. 13  Do not bring us to hard testing, but keep us safe from the Evil One. For Yours is the Kingdom, and the Power and the Glory, Forever and Ever, AMEN!  Matthew 6:13 (TEV)

It’s necessary to be convinced that God is always near us. Too often we live as though our Lord were somewhere far off—where the stars shine. We fail to realize that he is also by our side—always. For he is a loving Father. He loves each one of us more than all the mothers in the world can love their children, helping us and inspiring us, blessing … and forgiving. How often we’ve erased the frowns from our parents’ brows, telling them after some prank, “I won’t do it again!” Maybe that same day we fall again…. And our father, with feigned harshness in his voice and a serious face, reproves us, while at the same time his heart is softened because he knows our weakness: “Poor boy,” he thinks, “How hard he tries to behave well!” We have to be completely convinced, realizing it to the full, that our Lord, who is close to us and in Heaven, is a Father, and very much our Father.  (1)

At the end of the Lord’s Prayer, there is what is called a Doxology, a time of praise and worship.  Some translations leave it out – citing that it doesn’t appear in some manuscripts.  Some do, taking the opposite approach that it appears in most.  I don’t bother with those explanations… all that much.

It belongs there… IMHO… for it is the reaction of what happens when someone can let God be God, when they realize He is by their side, as St Josemaria says, ALWAYS.   When we realize how loving He is, how merciful, how close to us, and our Father.

There are a few acronymns that would replace this prayer, this outline of prayer.  ACTS is one, ITCP is another. They have been used for a while, but I think they rely too much on our intellect and strength.  THey have us start where we should end – with adoration, with hearing how we are to live.  They don’t start with the relationship, the prodigal finding himself in the Father’s arms, the mom begging Jesus to heal her daughter, Peter… downcast and distraught, realizing his betrayal.

I think we need to start where Jesus taught us to. To pour out to God our despair, our brokenness, trusting that He is our Father, and as we pour out that brokenness, as He lifts the anxiety, the guilt, the pain from our hearts, as He assures us of our protection and His love.  It is then, as He lifts us up, as He calms us, as He reminds us of His love and peace… and His presence…

Then praise, and oh the praise.

I’ve often said we confuse the word translated as “believe/faith” with the gathering and storing of knowledge of God.  It isn’t.  It is trusting Him, finding ourselves in a relationship where we can depend,on God, and growing to the point where we turn to Him first, rather than trying to do this all on our own.  Praise and Worship isn’t about what we do – it is the reaction to what He has done.  It isn’t about being perfect enough in our performance, it is, having abandoned ourselves, living in Him, delighting in His presence, realizing we have been revived and healed and restored by Him, and living the  life He has given us.

We have been delivered into God’s presence, and He has told us, He is our Father – the incredible picture that St Josemaria paints of the our Father, the one who patiently works with us, correcting us, encouraging and empowering us, who simply wants to walk by our side through life.  Prayer is that conversation, that walk – that dance, as we together with God – enjoy His glory, enjoy His creation, and find ourselves led in this incredible dance of joy….

May you realize this day…how close you are to Our Father…

(1)Escriva, Josemaria (2010-11-02). The Way (Kindle Locations 706-713). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.

About justifiedandsinner

I am a pastor of a Concordia Lutheran Church in Cerritos, California, where we rejoice in God’s saving us from our sin, and the unrighteousness of the world. It is all about His work, the gift of salvation given to all who trust in Jesus Christ, and what He has done that is revealed in Scripture. God deserves all the glory, honor and praise, for He has rescued and redeemed His people.

Posted on May 4, 2013, in Devotions and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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