Tuesday, June 12, 2007

A roadmap for your conversations with God

The Lord’s Prayer was never meant to be said by hurried lips. Instead we should see each line as scaffolding to build our prayers around. Let me suggest how you might use it as a roadmap for your conversations with God.

Start your prayer with both hands clenched. This represents the things we want to bring to God, the things we care about, the things we are holding on to.

The right hand represents the God-ward request of this prayer.

As you release your right thumb recognize the intimate relationship you have with God. Our Father in heaven,

As you release your right pointer remember God’s holy character, love and power. hallowed be your name,

As you open your tallest finger ask God to help you make His cause your highest priority. your kingdom come,

Opening your right ring finger, submit your will to His. In the process you will move from submission to anticipation as you open yourself to his purposes. your will be done

Then as you release your pinkie look for ways you might experience and express God in your world. on earth as it is in heaven.

The left hand represents the us-ward request of this prayer.

As you release your left thumb register your heart’s concerns with God; both big and little. Give us today our daily bread.

Opening your left pointer, let it remind you when it comes to sin, point to yourself first. Confess your sins, failures and blind spots. And celebrate His forgiveness. Forgive us our debts,

As you open the longest finger on your left hand, remember that God desires His forgiveness to reach into all the relationships of your life. Ask for a forgiving spirit. as we also have forgiven our debtors.

Opening your left ring finger, ask God to lead you. Ask him to lead in such a way that you keep your vows to him and other and do not yield to temptation. And lead us not into temptation,

Then as you release your pinkie pray for His protection from all that would be destructive in your life and lives of those you love. but deliver us from the evil one.

Notice how this prayer ends: with both hands open. You started with two clenched fists full of all of your cares. And along the way every one has been released. And now you are ready to receive all God has for you.