This week in chapel we have had Rev. Kevin Smith speaking to us about The Lord's Prayer. I have heard the Lord's Prayer read several times, I've recited it myself, but I have to admit I have never intentionally dug into the Lord's Prayer and studied it.
Rev. Smith has been unpacking it in chapel and I have been both enormously encouraged and convicted by what he has been sharing. I thought I'd highlight a few of the major points that have been encouraging or convicting to me.
1). Our Father. Simple phrase, but a phrase packed with meaning. Our Father. Those of us who are saved through Jesus Christ are God's children – adopted into His family! He is our Dad. I have an amazing Dad. One who loves me, cares for me, provides for me, and much more, but, as Rev. Smith said, no matter how great our earthly dad is our heavenly Dad is SO much more. He is the King of the universe! He loves us with an unfailing love. He cares for the sparrows, how much more does He care for us?! He provides in unimaginable ways. He is our Father! Rev. Smith pointed out how appropriate it is to begin a prayer like that. It shows us our relationship with God. He is our Father; we are His children. We are totally dependent on Him. Wow! Praise the Lord for His redeeming grace!
2). Hallowed be Thy name. Hallowed literally means holy. Holy. God's name is holy, it is set apart. Rev. Smith pointed out that this is the only attribute of God listed three times in a row. You never hear, "God is love, love, love." or "God is true, true, true." And yet He is all those. Isaiah and Revelation both say God is holy, holy, holy. His very nature is holy! His love is holy, His power is holy, everything about Him is holy.
And then came the convicting part. "Hallowed be Thy name." God's name is holy. His name is set apart. Yet, how many times do people, sometimes even Christians, use God's name – a holy, set apart name – in vain? I sat in my seat thinking, "Well, that's not me." And then Rev. Smith said, "We all have taken the Lord's name in vain at some point. We call ourselves Christians and yet, how often do we not live like it?" We bear the Lord's name and yet sometimes we are not living a holy life... not glorifying His holy name, taking His holy name in vain. ... Ouch.
3). The last thing was today at a luncheon with Rev. Smith. He was telling us about how the major prayer warriors in his church are the ones who realize they are weak. They are the ones who realize how dependent they are on Christ. He looked at us and told us that we are at the point in our lives where we think we can conquer anything, all we need to do is study more, or be active, or this and that. But he told us, "YOU. ARE. WEAK!" Our lives need to be consumed in prayer. We need to be so dependent on Christ so prayerful in everything that everything we do is done through prayer. It was a good reminder.
I am weak. He is strong. I am dependent on Him. Please God, help me to believe this.