An Awkward Prayer

Did you keep your New Year resolution? A decision to get faster, slimmer, fitter, gain a skill, lose a habit, take up a hobby, visit, clear out rubbish, read more. The decisions are firm.  The progress may prove wobbly.

Did anyone resolve to know God better? Perhaps you’ve met a blockage in the past? A difficult encounter with a church person? A distracting event? A tragic episode that crushed you? Or maybe more of a gradual drifting out to sea and struggling to return to shore?

A time for a spiritual health check is built into the church’s year. Lent is traditionally a time to take stock: six weeks before the Easter celebrations. How can we test the state of our souls? Let me ask: Are you passionate about God? Do you want to get closer to God? Honest answers might show how we go in short spurts, or bump along the bottom, or tend to be unresponsive or even lack spiritual life at all! The first step is to ask for God’s mercy as we humbly read the Bible to discover His way and His will for our lives.

There are spiritual passion killers to avoid. One big one is named and shamed in the book of Proverbs: “Two things I ask of you, Lord; do not refuse me before I die: Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’ Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonour the name of my God” (Proverbs 30v7-9). We are neither to grasp for more, or grab what others have! We are to learn to trust God to provide what we need. For if we pursue more wealth it will result in denying God. If we fall into poverty it may lead to immoral ways of trying to get what we want. Learning to be content spurs us on our walk with the Lord.

Jesus teaches us to pray: ‘Give us this day our daily bread’. It’s an awkward prayer because it rests on being committed to trust God. But I hope you take up the challenge to live this way as you trust in our Father in heaven to provide what is needed. Join us as we learn together His way.

                           Paul Kingman