Matthew 6 (cont.)
I’m a morning person. I’m pretty good at getting up and I’ve come to love my early quite time before the crazy of the day begins.
Here’s what I’m NOT good at: FOCUS. My mind wanders, I think of my to-do list, I scroll social media, I check email, I get distracted when I initially start my devotionals.
Several years ago, I made a decision that I really wanted to give God the first minutes of my day. I wanted to start in prayer.
I decided I would begin with the Lord’s prayer. I figured what better way to pray, and what better things to pray for, than what Jesus taught us to pray.
Knowing how distracted I get, I committed to say the Lord’s prayer until I completely focused on each and every word. It might sound a little crazy, but sometimes I would have to say it over and over again until I was focused. It was a way for me to clear my head of the thousands of things running through my early morning mind and get in the mindset to talk to God. Then I would proceed with my prayer requests, gratitude, and devotionals.
I love this prayer now. I love how it covers all we need to step into the big, bad, world. Here’s how I generally process it…
Our Father who art in Heaven – God, I acknowledging you as Father…as OUR Father….who is in Heaven, above all; who sees all and controls all.
Hallowed be thy name – holy is Your NAME. It has power. It is worthy of awe and my deepest respect.
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done – not my will, but YOURS, God, be done. Let my will be in sync with Yours.
On earth as it is in heaven – and not just your will for us to be with You in eternity, but Your will to be done here and now. On earth. Using us as Your hands and feet.
Give us this day our daily bread – give me what I need today...this day. Let me not worry about more than I need to today. Be my provision in all things today.
And forgive us our trespasses – forgive me, God for [confession time]. Thank you that You forgive time and time again, even when I repeat the same mistakes over and over again. Thank you that you don’t give up on me.
As we forgive those who trespass against us – God, help me to forgive like You forgive. Help my gratitude for Your forgiveness of me spill over into lavish forgiveness of others.
Lead us not into temptation – God, please help me avoid temptation. James says that temptation comes from our selfish desires and motives (James 1:13-15). Help me to keep my focus on You and not the places where I fall into temptation.
But deliver us from evil – God, deliver me from all evil. Help me to walk in the light. Help me love the things You love and hate the things You hate.
For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory for ever and ever. Amen. – Yes, Lord. Yours is the Kingdom I want to be in. You are the power I need. Your glory is unmatched. Now and forever.
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