First Day – November 2016

Dear friends,

Just about every day, I pray “The Lord’s Prayer.” That which led me to such was that, over time, I
came to realize I suffered from “attention deficit disorder” in prayer. If left on my own, I can
wander aimlessly in prayer. Using the prayer Jesus provided to his disciples helps me to
focus. Furthermore, it brings assurance that I am praying about things that Jesus thought
important.

The prayer is relational in two ways. All of the pronouns are plural. There is no “I” in the entire
prayer. It is all “our,” “us” and “we.” Furthermore, it is addressed to “Father.” Bible scholars
tell us this was unprecedented. As we know, we relate to someone by how we perceive them.
Jesus wished for us to view and know God as “a good, good Father,” and thus, by
implication, we are his children.

lords-prayerOur concerns, and thus our prayers,
are not to be just for “me and mine.”
To pray, “Give us this day our daily
bread” should remind us every day that
while there is food in our pantries, millions
of “us” live from meal to meal and without
the basic “necessities” of life, such as clean
water. This intercession both invokes God’s
activity about such as well as our own.

Another petition is a call to be both humble
(“forgive us our trespasses”) and gracious
(“as we forgive those who trespass against
us”). Sometimes there are those who
unknowingly trespass on us. They do not
mean to, but either by their words (or lack
of words) or their actions (or lack  of actions),
they “walk” on us, and it can hurt. And, yes, sometimes there are those who intentionally trespass
against and on us. They meant what they did and said to inflict pain.

Either way, our response is to pray the same, “Forgive those who trespass against us.” To pray
such is to choose that, by the gracious help of God, not to hold these things against these
persons, grateful that God our Father does not hold our trespasses (unintentional and
intentional) against us. This, when prayed sincerely, is a means of peace and rest.

If you don’t have a “prayer guide,” allow me to suggest this one. Take it slowly. Insert yourself and
others in each phrase. Prayer just might take on a whole new level and meaning for you.

Warmly yours in Christ,
Geoff Kunselman