Monday, January 12, 2009

Dependent on God?

It's a prayer heard around the world. It's a prayer that Jesus taught His followers to pray: The Lord's Prayer.

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 forgive our debtors
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.

This is a prayer of dependence on God. It asks many things of Him.

Philip Yancey shares some good thoughts in his book: Prayer (Does It Make Any Difference?)

"In former days farmers lifted their heads and appealed to brazen heavens for an end to drought. Now we study low-pressure fronts, dig irrigation canals, and seed clouds with metallic particles. In former days, when a child fell ill the parents cried out to God; now they call for an ambulance or phone the doctor.
Prosperity may dilute prayer, too. The wealthy rely on talent and resources to solve immediate problems... We can hardly pray with sincerity, 'Give us this day our daily bread' when the pantry is stocked with a month's supply of provisions

Do we really need God any more? Can we pray "The Lord's Prayer" with integrity? Why wait on God when we can just do it ourselves? Are we dependent on Him still?

My answers in a few days. For now, I'd love to hear from you.


One Observationist said...

Man, this is something I've really been struggling with lately. It goes back to our convo at lunch a month ago.

At the very least I think people that pray have hope. Hope there is something better. And if I'm not mistaken hope has been scientifically proven to help people get through difficult times. Whether it is famine, health issues, economic problems etc.

So, on the surface I think prayer is a good thing. Do I think God hears me?

Yeah, I do. I still pray sometimes and I think he answers my prayers in one way or another.

I have always kind of felt like prayer is private. I know the early church may have had formal prayers, but I've always viewed it as something personal between me and God.

I also believe that I don't have to pray like I've been taught. I mean, I feel like I can say, "Hey God. What the heck is going on in my life? I'm drowning here. Can you throw me a life line?"

Formality and prayer do not go hand in hand in my book. As a result another thing that bothers me a little bit is the prayers during the formal worship hours. But that's another topic for another time.

Thanks for the post man. Looking forward to your next one.

Anonymous said...

I have come to believe that I complicate prayer too much at times. I think the purpose of prayer is simply to remind us of our relative relationship with God and to keep us in touch with Him. It's for our benefit, not His. The two simplest prayers are "Help" & "Thanks." I try to remember the latter more often these days as I am constantly shown new ways that I am blessed.