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Prayer: You Were Made For It

Prayer: You Were Made For It

The disciples asked Jesus how they are supposed to pray. I imagine that this was a fairly common practice among rabbis and disciples. The rabbis were to teach their disciples what it is that God wanted them to pray. This assumes a pretty noble calling for the human race and it assumes a particular theological position as well. To ask this question is to assume that God has a will for you and the world, and that you have an important role to play in that world. Why else would you ask how you are to pray? If God has no specific purpose for the world we live in and if you have no obligation to fulfill a particular role within that purpose, then do what you want, say what you want, and pray what you want (for whatever good it may or may not do). But Jesus does believe in a particular, God-given, vocation for the human race and so He responds to the disciples request by saying: "When you pray, say: 'Father, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins, For we ourselves also forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation.'" Luke 11:2-4 Jesus said that His disciples are to pray for God's kingdom to come on earth as it is in Heaven. Along with this most foundational of prayers, we are supposed to pray that God will feed us, forgive us, and deliver us from evil. This is a prayer about God coming to earth to set things right as opposed to a prayer about getting us out of earth and getting us into heaven. Jesus doesn't teach us to pray for escape or survival. Jesus teaches His disciples to pray for dominion. God's dominion. That is exactly what Jesus was working on accomplishing. God's rule and reign, God's kingdom, was coming on earth as it is in Heaven, in and through Jesus. Jesus was teaching His disciples to agree with this in prayer. And why shouldn't we? The reign of Jesus results in the healing of the human race and of creation itself. The dominion of Jesus means healing and life! The dominion of Jesus means forgiveness and healing for wrongs committed by humans and against humans. All that is good and beautiful comes into view when God becomes King in and through Jesus. How can we not pray for the dominion of God? The result will be heaven on earth. Why are we waiting? Let's pray!

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