Matthew 6:5-13

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Pray With Simplicity

Scripture

“And when you come before God, don’t turn that into a theatrical production either. All these people making a regular show out of their prayers, hoping for stardom! Do you think God sits in a box seat?

“Here’s what I want you to do: Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace.

7-13 “The world is full of so-called prayer warriors who are prayer-ignorant. They’re full of formulas and programs and advice, peddling techniques for getting what you want from God. Don’t fall for that nonsense. This is your Father you are dealing with, and he knows better than you what you need. With a God like this loving you, you can pray very simply. Like this:

Our Father in heaven,
Reveal who you are.
Set the world right;
Do what’s best—
    as above, so below.
Keep us alive with three square meals.
Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others.
Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil.
You’re in charge!
You can do anything you want!
You’re ablaze in beauty!
    Yes. Yes. Yes.

Lectio Divina

Read – – read the passage aloud slowly, noticing what it says about simple prayer versus complex, shall we prayer. What is the most important issue for you listed below? Be honest.

     Simple prayer – finding a quiet, secluded place.
     Complex, showy prayer – turning prayer in turn dramatic production.

     Simple prayer – not role-playing before God.
     Complex, showy prayer – making a regular show prayers.

     Simple prayer – being with God is simply and honestly as you can.
     Complex, showy prayer – using formulas, programs, and advice.

     Simple prayer – watching the focus shift from you to God.
    Complex, showy prayer – using techniques to get what you want from God

Think – – read the passage again. This time, picture yourself sitting with other people about 6 feet from Jesus and listening as he says these words. When does Jesus would directly at you as he teaches? What words is he saying because he knows you need them? Why are those words meant for you?

Pray – – paraphrase the Lord's prayer (verses 9-13). In other words, add to or change each phrase in a way that makes the prayer specific to you.

Live – – sit quietly before God, praying the Lord's prayer, if you wish, or just being silent. Feel the focus shift from you to God. Enjoy that.

Our Lectio Divina posting is take from  The Message: Solo - An Uncommon Devotional by Eugene Peterson

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