I rarely have the Lord’s Prayer as part of the Sunday service. I know this disappoints many members in the congregations, but I think it is more important that we learn to pray in our own words and pray from the heart.
The Lord’s Prayer was the first prayer I learned as a child. I remember the day I finally memorized it – probably when I was about seven years old. I knew all the words but I couldn’t tell you what any of it meant. When I hear the Lord’s Prayer being said in church I wonder every time if people know what they are saying or if they are simply speaking what they have memorized.
The letter to the believers in Colosse offers some encouragement. As believers in Christ, what are we to do? What should be our attitude? What should we guard against?
Belief in Jesus requires more than just the words declaring that we believe. If we will be truly Christian in our faith then we must live out what that means. We must make the Spirit of Jesus and the Holy Spirit of God part of who we are and how we act. All of the lessons from Jesus should be what our faith is founded upon, and these should give us the strength and ability to live out our faith.
How do we live out our faith? We do so by being merciful to others. We live out the love of God by welcoming the non-believers into a life of belief, a life where they may have a genuine connection and relationship with Jesus. We live out our faith by doing what we can to help those in need – physically, emotionally and spiritually.
A relationship with Christ means that we let the teachings of Jesus guide us and govern us in what we do. Would Jesus ignore that poor person? Would Jesus forget about the person in the hospital, the widow alone at home?
Of course he wouldn’t. So we shouldn’t either. We should take the time to be with those who need our presence and our compassion.
Our faith is all about living in love and not about memorizing prayers, mindlessly reciting responses, or singing familiar songs without paying attention to what the words mean. Our faith is about bringing others into that place where we hold our love for God and one another in common.
DAILY CHALLENGE: Can you find someone who needs you today and go to them?