Sunday, July 03, 2005

Life Begins and Ends with God

In this manner, therefore, pray:

Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen
(Matthew 6:9-13).

The model prayer of Jesus begins and ends with God. When we pray in this manner, as taught by Jesus, we recognize our place before Him. Everything we have and need in this life flows from and is provided by God.

The prayers of Nehemiah (Nehemiah 1:4-11) and Daniel (Daniel 9:4-19) recognized their dependence on God. Like Jesus' prayer, these prayers began and ended with God. They honored God in His ability to supply their needs, especially His ability to forgive the sins of repentant sinners.

If God is the beginning and end in our lives, that means we're in the middle. Not "stuck between a rock and a hard place," as the popular saying goes. Instead, Jesus teaches us to humbly acknowledge our dependence on God for all our daily needs.

What are these needs? Yes, we have daily needs for food and clothing (see Matthew 6:25-34) that Jesus aptly said God would provide. "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you (Matthew 6:33)" We must place God first in our lives.

Prime among these needs is the need for forgiveness. Jesus forsook heaven (Phil 2:5-11) and came to earth to "seek and to save that which was lost" (Luke 19:10). We have forgiveness of sins through the sacrifice of Jesus. This was only possible through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross.

In your prayers remember God who created you and who sustains you on this earth. Remember that life begins and ends with God.

No comments:

Post a Comment