Posts Tagged ‘perfect’

Prayer & Perspective

A verse that I’ve thought of on and off lately is the Lord’s Prayer – or as I like to call it ‘The Disciple’s Prayer’ – since Jesus gave the prayer to his followers as a guideline of how they should pray; Jesus already knew how to pray. I’ve always thought of prayer as something more than “special wording meant for Jesus.” It’s a personal thing; and that’s how God intended prayer to be – he wants your true thoughts and word, coming straight from your heart. A prayer shouldn’t be something you memorize and recite each night; it shouldn’t be like a script for then it loses its whole meaning.

I am only using the first four verses of the passage (Matthew 6:5-9), but the whole passage can be found in Matthew 6:5-18. I use the ESV version for verses.

“And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward,” (vs. 5).

Pause there for a second. Before I go on, I want to point out these lines alone, are the first verse. This is a crucial verse. For oh-so-often, too many Christians get caught up in themselves – believing they know it all. The modern day “Little Christ” is not like the early, first Christians. “Little Christ” is what Christian means – it was coined when the first disciples were teaching, and actually the word Christian or “Little Christ” was meant as an insult.

The modern day Christians often think highly of themselves; thinking of how much better off they are because they know Christ and others don’t. They don’t care about the poor and needy – their focus is on money, while they teach Jesus’ sermons on how to care for the poor, broken-hearted, and lost souls. This is wrong, wrong, wrong; the opposite of how a Christian is supposed to act. Sadly, by preaching and having people look at them and either marvel or scoff, they get their reward of satisfaction. They are not true Christians – they do not live up to the definition of a “Little Christ.” Because these Christians are so caught in themselves they do not receive or get to experience the amazing wonders, things, and feelings that Jesus has to offer us.

“But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who is in secret will reward you. And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him,” (vs. 6-8).

It is true, often it is the short, simple things that work best. Long, drawn ouutttt things make people lose interest, especially if they aren’t to the point. When people ramble on and just add “fluff,” they really don’t know what they are talking about. As it says in (some concordance to) verse 7, they are just wasting their breath and their words are “heap[ing] up [like] empty phrases” – they have no meaning.

God knows what is on our hearts and minds, he’s more than aware of our needs – but he also knows that we need a way to communicate our feelings, needs, and what is on our minds and hearts to him (not just other people). He gave us a way to do so: prayer. This, to me personally, meant so much, knowing I had a way to connect to my Father in heaven. Knowing there was someone, someone who was so powerful and perfect, was always there for a sinful ridden and hurting person like me… is just indescribable. He always listened. He always comforted in some way. He won’t tell anyone. And to me, that meant a lot, as my trust to certain people has been cut. I know that when I can’t find the words to express how I’m am feeling – he knows exactly what I’m feeling and going through. All I have to say in my mind, in the quiet of my room, is: “Father, help me – you know my heart and thoughts. Please help me to get over this painful feeling that’s tearing me apart in an indescribable way.”

He’ll always listen to you in your hardest moments.

It is comforting to know that my Father knows what I need before I ask him, that relationship between Father and daughter (or son) is unbreakable and imaginable by people who don’t truly know what it is like to know such a force. Those people who stand on the streets proclaiming out loud don’t hear when God calls them, like we do, they don’t hear it because of all the noise they’re making. For God doesn’t normally communicate in the form of a thunderstorm (per-say) – loud and noisy, but he comes like a soft wind, blowing gently. Only those who are quiet and listen can hear it.

When God calls to those lost people out proclaiming on the streets or elsewhere, they don’t hear him, or if they do, they ignore him. Even when fellow believers try to humbly point out that their ways are wrong or try to kindly help them in the right direction, they most often push them off. They point their finger at them, saying they are the wrong-doers; they are the false believers. And it is sad, but it is reality. We live in a fallen world and we are waiting desperately for our Savior to return to take us home.

Our Lord is like a shepherd – he calls and pulls us back when we are lost. He is most persistent and never gives up, even with those who are stubborn. But there are cases when flesh must die and their time to be redeemed runs out or the sheep don’t want to live under the wing of their shepherd. They believe there is something better; they get lost in the ways of the world.

I hope you all got as much as I did out of this verse – if not more.

I am no longer eager, bold, and strong

  All that is past; I am ready not to do

At last, at last, 

  My half day’s work is done,

And this is all my part,

  I give a patient God

My patient heart.

p 265, March by Geraldine Brooks

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The verse the study is focused around is in 2 Corinthians. It’s 2 Corinthians 5:6-10 (NIV):

Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. We live by faith, not by sight. We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.

In the first verse Paul is telling us that we must be *confident  in all we do. Why? Because confidence is one of the traits people lack these days. Our nature is timid; quiet. Though for some they fake having confidence and use power and worldly possessions to look good. Confidence can be delicate, when people pick on others they lose confidence in themselves, that is why, as Christians, we have to remember to stand strong, stand up and be ready knowing we’ll be made fun of, but also knowing that we are made perfectly in the image of God.

When we walk by faith, so much more can be accomplished. If we walk by plain sight, sure we can see, but we see everything from a human perspective. When people walk by faith, they are more confident, knowing Christ is always there. No matter what. So many amazing things happen when people walk by faith, ‘ cause really, you’re able to see more, you’re not “nearsighted” like others who walk by plain sight.

Verse 8 talks how we are confident (in Christ) and sure that we’d rather be in paradise (heaven), than here, on earth.  It’s true, but we also need to go our and serve, just like our Savior Jesus did. We have a purpose on earth. And when our days are up God will call us home, for he has numbered our days. We’d rather be home with Jesus because our soul wants to be in a good; perfect, place. Earth is the opposite. It’s in fact, far from perfect – its full of sinful people.

In verse 9, we are told to do something. That something is to make a goal to please our Lord, to honor, worship, and remember him. Whether we are at home, school, a friend’s house, or across the globe. Or even at church or in heaven – glorify him!

In the last verse it talks about how when the day when we are all called home Christ will seat us before himself and look through all the scenes of our lives. On that day he’ll judge us with wisdom, fairness, and with the truth. We will receive our dues done in our earthly body whether it was good or bad, judgement will be shown.

*1. having strong belief or full assurance; sure: confident of fulfillment. 2. sure of oneself; having no uncertainty about one’s own abilities, correctness, successfulness, etc.; self-confident; bold: a confident speaker.

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“You created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”

Psalm 139:13-14  (NIV)

Ever get that insanely happy feeling when you create something you feel worthy enough to be hung on your bedroom wall? Or the wall in the living room? I know I have. Well, when God made you, he was more than “insanely happy” he was beyond that. You are created in his image; no one else’s. His image; perfect; without blemish. Doesn’t that just fill you with happiness and love?! God knows you better than you know yourself (creepy, yet cool, right?) and he, as your creator and heavenly Father is with you were ever and whenever, even when you don’t want him.

We are told to praise and worship him. Why? Says right there in the verse: “because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful.” His works are wonderful in all ways. There’s no doubt about that, and if you do doubt, I suggest you talk to a close friend who’s strong in the faith. 🙂

Always have confidence in who you are and your faith, for it’s the strongest thing out there. And remember: Your heavenly Father, loves you, no matter what.

“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”

Romans 8:37 (NIV)

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“For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from you ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.”

1 Peter 1:18-19 (NIV)

Can you ever imagine something more valuable or someone so close to you dying for something you totally screwed up on; some horrible thing you did? God sent his perfect son to die for our wretched sins and our messed up lives. One can’t comprehend such love or something with such meaning. I mean, would you be able to die for a friend – or all your friends if it meant saving them? Do be sincere. Our human nature of selfishness kicks in and we normally chose to opt out. I’m sure there are a few people who would sincerely sacrifice their life for others, and for those who have friends like that, you’re blessed! I will say that personally I would have second thoughts. But. I love and care for my friends. They mean a lot to me, my family even more.

You know, a French jeweler once engraved on a’many medallions, “Car, vois-tu, chaque jour je taime davantage, Aujour dnui plus quenhier et bien moins que demain.” Translated to English is says: “For you see, each day I love you more. Today more than yesterday and less than tomorrow.” The poem is entitled Eternal Love – just like God’s love for us; unfailing and ever-lasting. That’s why he sent his son, he loved us so much, he wanted to deliver us from evil, he wants to have a forever-lasting relationship with us. He is El-Shaddai.

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