November 13, 2011

Teach Us to Pray

The prayer broke my heart open, softened it to the sweetness of a moment with others in the Presence of God.

It had been a very long time since I said aloud the Lord's Prayer.

Every Sunday I prayed this prayer in the little church where Jesus found me.

Today I revisit it in a poem of sorts and I am filled again with awe at the opportunity God has given me to enter into His holy Presence. So incredible to know I speak to the One whose words created this world. He hears from heaven.

Words are powerful.

Forty years after receiving God’s gift of grace, the truth that I am one of his children amazes me.

Still, I ask myself, "How often do I take for granted the glorious privilege to pray?"

Our prayers are so precious to God that he keeps them in a bowl. Like incense they fill his nostrils with a sweet scent of his children. (Maybe our prayers smell like babies or little boys after playing outside in the yard, or clothes dried in the sun.)

They are ever before him. He will answer in His perfect time. No prayer is wasted, only treasured.

I needed to be reminded of this prayer. It took me by surprise as I prayed in a circle of women when the leader ended with our reciting together the prayer. The prayer our Father hears over and over, the bowl filling. In every tongue, from every nation, His holy ears never tire from hearing the prayer Jesus taught the disciples.

In the beautiful rhythm I remembered from my youth, we began… “ Our Father…”


(Our Father which art in heaven) 
You made us,
every person formed, 
countless as the stars
those who have breathed 
earth's air,
countless those birthed from womb
into your Presence, 
into heaven.
All reflecting your image.

(Hallowed be Thy Name)
Who is like You?
I AM THAT I AM.
Name above all names.
Mysterious Three in One
Who spoke
and it was, and it is, and forever will be.

(Thy kingdom come,) 
Here now, 
and soon there.
The Bride readies,
Awaits the trumpet.
Ready to rise.

(Thy will be done,
On earth as it is in Heaven.)
Until then, we serve.
We go to the world,
take the gospel, 
bring hope to the dying.
Shine.

(Give us our daily bread)
Open hands receive
manna for this day,
just enough and no more.
The excess rots 
and we decay.

Nourished souls eat your Word.
Bread alone,
and we grumble,
wandering, circling
in the wilderness.

(Forgive us our debts)
Jesus suffering Savior,
straps upon His back
striped wounds, 
His pain brought 
healing.
Upon a tree,
The Sinless died for sinners.

(As we forgive our debtors.)
Empowered, required,
seventy times seven
to extend
forgiveness.
For we have been forgiven much
at great cost
Holy blood spilled
and we are pardoned.

(And lead us not into temptation)
The enemy crouches.
So common these temptations.
We hardly see the way of escape 
until we are snared.
Ready hearts, ready minds 
wield Holy Words
against the tempter.
We battle
and overcome.

(But deliver us from evil)
God is for us.
You are our Deliverer.
Mighty Right Hand
reaches down
rescues.
We sing the victor’s song.
Everlasting joy
upon our heads.

All this, Father.
All this, according to your will.
(For Thine is the 
Kingdom,
And the Power
And the Glory
Forever.)
Amen.

_____________________________________________
Counting the graces with Ann:
- a cooking lesson for sweet Alli
- wind in pines, sounds like the ocean
- lunch with my forever friend, my twin
- a call to Momma from the boy in college
- Naomi called me "Dandy"

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